Mentioned in this Episode

Kim Jongen  –
Mother Puppers Studio – Instagram

ConvertKit – Set up a free account that lets you have a list with up to 1,000 emails.


155 Pet Photographer Kim Jongen

Andy: [00:00:00] Hey, how’s it going? I’m Andy Jones and this is episode 155 of the Photography Side Hustle podcast. Before we get started, I need your help. I want to do more episodes where I chat with other photographers. So if you know anyone with an interesting story about how they started up in photography, let me know.

Andy: Most of the photographers I’ve contacted have been more interested in being able to sell to the audience and that isn’t really what I want. If someone is selling something that I think would be useful to you, I’ll get them on. But most of these guys are just stupid. It’s, it’s just nonsense, some of the stuff, anyway, so if you know someone or you heard an interview with another photographer on a different podcast, please let me know because I want to do a lot more of these interviews in the future.

Andy: Okay, so this week [00:01:00] I’ve chatted with a talented photographer from Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Her name is Kim Jungen. And she’s a pet photographer, her studio is called mother poppers, which is quite funny, mother poppers studio. And she does dog portraits using brightly colored backgrounds. Now, if you’re on Instagram, there’s a good chance you’ve seen her work and it is really striking.

Andy: She posts reels or whatever they call them, they’re like short videos. And. She gets some beautiful results and mean they’re very impressive. So after you’ve listened to this episode, check out mother nl for the Netherlands and it’s You’ll be instantly hit with a wall of color and lots of happy looking dogs.

Andy: They just all seem so happy. You can see the character in every dog. She does an excellent job. Now put all the links in the show notes and over [00:02:00] at photographysidehustle. com forward slash one five five.

Andy: Okay. Welcome to the podcast, Kim.

Kim: Thank you so much. Thank you for having me.

Andy: Oh, you’re welcome. Now, you’re a bit of a superstar, I think.

Kim: The dogs are, not me. No, no, no, no.

Andy: Your pictures are everywhere on Instagram. Oh, really? My daughter, she saw some, she said, have you seen these pictures? I said, yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m interviewing her in two days. She goes, wow.

Kim: Oh, really? That’s so nice.

Andy: Yeah. Your pictures are definitely getting out there.

Kim: Oh, great.

Andy: Now, I know, I read your website and I know how you got into photography, but if you just want to tell the story and so everyone can understand how you got in.

Kim: Yeah. So a few years ago, I lived alone with my three cats and somebody broke into my house. And, after that, my mind got, yeah, totally crazy.

Kim: I didn’t sleep [00:03:00] anymore. I was scared at home. So. I needed something to change and I took a puppy of three months old and after that, I started to capture every moment, every place, everything, and from there on, I started an Instagram account and I realized that I paid a lot of attention to how the photo looks like.

Kim: So I thought, why not buying a camera? So I bought my first camera, but I tried it out. I watched videos on the internet and it was just not for me. It, it was terrible. It just didn’t work out. So I was like, okay, nevermind. And then a little later I met my boyfriend. And I spent a lot of time at his place and I was like, what I’m going to do with my home.

Kim: And that’s where I found the opportunity to think, you know what, I’m starting a photo studio for [00:04:00] dogs. And that’s when I started to buy better gear and, started

Kim: every little, thing about it and took it serious. And from there on, it started.

Andy: Yeah, you do some beautiful work. So.

Kim: Thank you.

Andy: What, what year did you actually start your business?

Kim: Officially I started last year, January.

Andy: Only last year? One year.

Kim: And yes. And but before that I started my photography, but that’s when I started to learn everything. So, but officially I’m one year in business.

Andy: Oh, wow. Wow. So how long did it take you to perfect your lighting?

Kim: it took me like from, from the start, I already took the same position as I have them now, but, to really understand my light, it took about, I think six months and still today, [00:05:00] it’s not, it’s never perfect, but after six months I really understood how everything works and what to change if I wanted something different.

Andy: How many lights do you use?

Kim: three.

Andy: Three.

Kim: Two on the sides and one in front. Okay. Yeah.

Andy: Yeah, I’ve seen people trying to copy your style, but they have shadows all over the place and yours is so clean, it looks so nice.

Kim: Ah, thanks.

Andy: so you’ve been doing this for a year, how did you get your first customer?

Kim: Well, because I started an Instagram account of my, dog, I build, build it up in a community already. So. When I started doing this, I was, telling people there on Instagram, like, you know, if somebody wants to come by, I’m starting this and yeah, right away, they say, yeah, I want to come by. And from there on, it started.

Kim: So really from Instagram,

Andy: it’s crazy how [00:06:00] fast you built that it’s, it’s,

Kim: it’s free marketing, so you can use it if your pictures weren’t any good though, you wouldn’t get any customers. If I look back at it now, I’m like, Oh, but they knew I was just starting. So, you know, yeah, yeah, they know now. Yeah.

Andy: So do you have lots of bookings at the moment?

Kim: Yes. from, from the start already. I, in the beginning, I thought maybe because it’s something new, it wasn’t here in the Netherlands yet. So I thought maybe because it’s new, everybody wants to come by. But, yeah. I kept being busy and still today they, they want to come by. So no complaints.

Andy: So how far out are you booked it like a week ahead or?

Kim: I’m now planning in August. August? Yeah.

Andy: Oh man. So what are we at? May, June, July. So four months, [00:07:00] three months ahead. Oh, yes. That’s crazy.

Andy: Now, the one thing I did notice. Are you going to be putting your prices up anytime soon?

Kim: Yes, I am doing it, every, every little, how you say that? Every time I put them a little bit more up, because, eventually I want to be.

Kim: higher with my prices, but I want to feel good, so I want to feel confident with asking these prices.

Andy: So how many, how many people, how many sessions do you do a day?

Kim: Yeah, I count them, per week because or else, I cannot, I don’t have enough time to edit everything. So I can only take four or five a week.

Andy: Okay. Okay. That’s still nice work.

Kim: Yeah.

Andy: And how long do your sessions normally? [00:08:00]

Kim: about one to one and a half hour.

Andy: Really? Wow.

Kim: Yeah. So I, yeah, I had, the small session, but, like last week I delete my small session for my packages. So now I only have packages from one to two hours.

Andy: Oh, that’s a, that’s a good way of doing it.

Andy: Then you don’t give them the cheaper option.

Kim: No.

Andy: That’s good. That’s good. I saw that you were asking anyone who wanted to do any commercial work. Have you ever done a lot of commercial work?

Kim: Yeah. No, not yet. I had one big client and I do get requests, but because I’m so busy with my private clients, then I need a time for it.

Kim: So only if I really like the booking, I will take it.

Andy: Yeah, yeah. With commercial, you should really charge a heck of a lot.

Kim: Yeah, yeah. They want everything fast and you know, it’s more stress. Yes. Private portrait.

Andy: Yeah, I can [00:09:00] see why. Yeah, I understand. It can be too stressful for the amount of money.

Kim: Yeah, but also it, I have, I don’t have a lot of time in between my sessions with my, other clients. So it’s already stressing. And then. Even a lot more stressing because of the time I have.

Andy: And if you’re booking up till August, it could get, you’re really going to upset someone.

Andy: So, your dog is an American Staffordshire Bull Terrier, am I right?

Kim: Yeah.

Andy: Okay. And what’s her name? Cadillac.

Kim: Cadillac.

Andy: Now, you’ve won some awards. As an international pet photographer, you’ve got. Two bronze awards. Am I right in saying that?

Kim: Yeah. Yes.

Andy: That’s crazy. And you’ve only been doing this.

Kim: Yeah. Yeah. It was, like last year I just, tried. I was like, if you don’t try, you never know.

Kim: And then [00:10:00] I, got, in the final of the dog photography awards and, the other two, Yeah, it was just an award by point.

Andy: Okay. So. That’s crazy. Congratulations.

Kim: Thank you.

Andy: Wow.

Andy: How many different colored backgrounds do you have?

Kim: 30. Yes. Yeah. And they’re all up in my studio. So I don’t have any place left for more colors.

Andy: 30, that’s crazy amount. Wow. that’s the other thing. Your studio, is it? At home or do you rent a place or?

Kim: Yes, it’s my, it’s my own house because I spent so much time at my boyfriend’s house. I have my whole house to use for it. So that’s a good, it’s perfect.

Andy: Yeah, the neighbors don’t mind. [00:11:00]

Kim: No,

Andy: do they know?

Kim: And if they do, I don’t care. No, but it’s not a problem.

Andy: Yeah, I’ve got to say. I’ve done lots of dog photography. I’ve done studio. I used to do dog obedience, competitions. And then they, when they got an award, I was always down the hallway in this old school and I’d take pictures of the dogs and most of the dogs didn’t look very happy, but I noticed in yours, they’re almost smiling.

Andy: It’s crazy. They seem to be having so much fun. What do you put that down to?

Kim: I always let them use first. Until they are comfortable enough and cookies, yeah, they can do miracles.

Andy: Yeah, they work on me as well. Wow, I can’t jump. It’s just blowing my mind. Like in, in just a year, you’ve got to this stage.

Andy: It’s like people [00:12:00] work for years to try and get to this stage and you’ve just yourself taught as well. It’s crazy. Congratulations.

Kim: Yeah, but I’m, I’m always, I’m 24 seven busy with it. I always try to learn something or just look up something. I like it. So I am, I love to learn about it.

Andy: Are there any photographers that do pet photography that you follow?

Kim: yeah, I do follow some, but they, photograph, photograph outside. Okay. They do studio too, but they, then they do both studio and outside. So you, you see their work and you, you try to copy some things. Yeah. And I’m always trying, when I look at a picture, I try to understand how. How they do something I like about it and then just try it out and then until I find it.

Kim: I don’t like to ask people things. So I [00:13:00] just. Want to figure it out myself.

Andy: Yeah, and after a while you can, you start looking at the lights, you can see them in the image, right? You can see where it was lit from. Yeah. I’ve got to say, we’ve gone through these questions so fast.

Kim: Yeah. Oh. But you, yeah, you know so much, so every time I listen to your podcast, you, you have so much knowledge about everything. So I really like to listen to your podcast.

Andy: Oh, thank you. Thank you. The only, the only reason I know, I’m like you, I, I pretty much taught myself and I did, I asked people different things, but it was when my daughter decided that she wanted to get into photography that I decided I really should learn everything.

Kim: And, and I look. So how long you’ve been doing it? I,

Andy: I got my first digital camera in 2005.

Kim: Alright.

Andy: Now I’ve become a podcaster. It’s like I, it stresses me out. I, I, I almost [00:14:00] wish I was just a photographer again, but Really? Yeah. Yeah. Well, oh, well, I still got my camera. I go out whenever I can and, yeah.

Andy: But it’s not the same as making . There’s something . No, there’s, there’s a feeling you get when they hand over the money. It’s just nice. .

Kim: Yeah, .

Andy: All right. That was really short and sweet, but thank you so much for coming on and I absolutely love your work. I’m going to get everyone who listens to this to look at your website.

Andy: So if your website crashes in a few weeks, you’ll know why.

Kim: Thank you so much. Thank you for having me.

Andy: Oh, it’s a pleasure.

Kim: Thank you.

Andy: All right. Thanks. Thanks very much, Kim.

Kim: Okay. Bye bye.

Andy: Okay. I hope you enjoyed that chat with Kim. Take a few minutes to look at her website, motherpuppers. nl. Again, I’ll put a link in the show notes and over at photography side hustle.

Andy: com forward slash one five five. [00:15:00] Her work is so good. It is just beautiful and her business is only going to get stronger. Once she gets the confidence in herself, there’ll be no stopping her. And while you’re over there checking out the website, have a look at the American Staffordshire Bull Terrier Cadillac.

Andy: It’s Kim’s dog and I think he’s going to end up getting signed up by a modeling agency soon. And like I said earlier, If you know someone who has an interesting startup story, please let me know. And if your story about how you got your business started is interesting, contact me. We’ll have a chat. Okay, like I always say, if you need help with anything, you can find me in the Facebook group or Messenger.

Andy: You can get a transcript of this episode in the show notes and also over at photography side hustle. com forward slash one five five while you’re there, you can support the show and buy me a coffee. And thanks to Kim for coming [00:16:00] on and having a chat. I really enjoyed talking to her. And thanks to you for listening.

Andy: I really appreciate it. I’ll be back next week. Bye.