In Meet the Josephs I introduced you to some very dear friends of our entire family: Michael, Karen, and Tucker Joseph. (I should have used the above picture for that piece, but I didn’t have it yet. Oh well. Now you can see what the Josephs, not just Tucker, look like!)
I thought it’d be fun to interview them about their business, and thankfully their schedule wasn’t as swamped as it usually is so they had a little time to humor me…
Courtney Mroch: Say someone’s interested in getting a Pet Portrait by Michael. Describe how a shoot goes, what they can expect, what they can do to help make sure it’s a fun experience for both them and their pets, etc.
Pet Portraits by Michael: We try to make it a fun experience for everyone including the pet(s). What they can expect: Awesome images to pick from. The work sells itself. What they can do to help make sure it’s a fun experience for both them and their pets: Try and make sure the folks are dressed and ready from head to foot. They won’t regret the extra effort. It’s nice if the pets are clean and groomed as well. We want everyone to look their best.
CM: What is your favorite thing about being a pet photographer?
PPBM: Making memories for people that last a lifetime. I can’t tell you how many people call after their pet has passed away just to tell us how much they appreciate Michael and what he does for them. Once their pet has passed on that portrait has even more value and meaning to them. It becomes priceless.
CM: How many awards has Michael won now? What’s his most prestigious or the one he’s most proud of?
PPBM: The thing that he is most proud of is making the customer happy, making memories of families with their pet and they have a lovely piece of art to hang on their wall, and that they can be proud of forever.
As far as winning awards, well Michael never competed locally or nationally until after being in the business about 18 years which was in 2003. But he’s gotten:
* FL Photographer of the Year 2003
* North Florida Photographer of the Year 2004
* Florida’s Ton 10 Photographer Award 2003, 2004, 2005
* Florida Best of Show Portrait 2003
* Kodak Gallery Award of Excellence 2003
* PPA Loan Collection 2005 & 2007
* FDPE ( Florida Degree of Photographic Excellence)
Currently he is the President of PPSNF (Professional Photographers Society of North Florida) and working toward his Masters Degree of Professional Photographers of America.
CM: What’s the most unusual pet you’ve photographed?
PPBM: A pet snake, and a Siberian Tiger. But, not in the same session.
CM: Have you photographed any famous or near-famous pets?
PPBM: Yes, but not to name names Michael photographed two dogs of a winning Super Bowl Quarterback. He also photographed a winner of the TV show Survivor.
CM: What’s the largest amount of pets you’ve photographed all at once?
PPBM: Twelve Poodles and one Doberman Pinscher all in the same sitting with the two owners.
CM: Michael does photograph things other than pets, but he’s created quite the name (not to mention niche) for himself with his pet portraits. Of all the things he could have focused his skills on, what drew him to pets?
PPBM: It wasn’t planned it just sort of happened. And, after a period of a couple of years Michael developed a skill and learned the different types of breeds of the pets and their temperaments. It just sort of turned into a niche.
A Sample Pet Portraits by Michael Original
The very handsome Tucker Joseph, who also models from time to time for his mom and dad’s business.