How Much Does a pet Portrait Cost?

You’re looking for a pet portrait or wondering how much you can make as a pet artist? You’ve come to the right place. Pet drawing has some amazing benefits regardless of what type of art you’re into or whether you’re a painter, photographer, or illustrator. Printed pet art is trending right now. Pet owners love beautiful, customized portraits they can share on social networks with family and friends.

Market Size

The pet art market is not just huge; it’s massive and growing all the time. Statistics show that more than two-thirds of U.S. households have a pet as a member. They spend more than $70 billion collectively on their furry loved ones every year. The market of people looking for cat portraits, personalized dog paintings, pet photography, pet drawings, and other animal art is buoyant and lucrative.

Prices and Price Factors

A personalized, original painting of your lovely pet won’t ever be sold to anyone else. It can take up to 15 hours to complete, and that’s just the work on the painting. It doesn’t include the time the artist spends getting the canvas printed, talking to the client, picking the canvas up, and personally delivering or shipping it. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that some pet portrait artists make thousands of dollars per high-end custom portrait. The price can go up to $10,000 for very complex and large paintings.

Of course, you can always pick up a digital, hand-painted, or hand-drawn pet portrait for less than $120 on Etsy. Some studios offer photo portraits for $150. This is the price per session, which is usually an hour long.

Some clients are tempted to get the artist to reduce the price by asking for “something simple” or “something small.” When you work digitally, you’re selling the same technology. The only difference in the size is the printing itself.  

Many artists will ask for a non-refundable deposit upfront because clients might reconsider the initiative as time passes. It can take weeks to complete a pet painting. If the client hasn’t invested any money in it, it’s easy to cancel. It might also happen that the client will ask for a lower price when the painting is done. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen, and no artist is safe.

What Are Clients Looking For?

On the plus side, your clients will definitely share their portraits with friends, and you might get new clients this way. It makes tapping into the pet picture market easier. That said, different clients are looking for different things. Some will give you a photo and ask for a high-quality, custom painting. Others will just want a photo edited into a fun image. Still, others will ask you to do a professional shoot of their loved one onsite.

Every client is looking for more than a mere replica. They want something they can hold onto forever, which shows their pet in the best light.

Best Practices

Before you get started, discuss any special needs or quirks with the owner (we also mean the pet’s needs or quirks). If you’re going to be doing an indoor photoshoot, make sure the pet has been to the bathroom. Give over-excited animals time to calm down. Ask the client to bring treats or a favorite toy to speed up the process.

Most pets will be less cooperative if you’re shooting in your studio rather than somewhere they’re familiar with. Consider lightweight, portable equipment to shoot in the customer’s home. 

Written by George K.

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