Petco commissioned Jonpaul to shoot an image library representing its new Vital Care brand. Previously, Petco’s house brands had their own styles, and the goal of this project was to unify the look. Here, Jonpaul, who has worked with Petco before, takes us behind the scenes:

“The main task with a shoot like this is really being collaborative with the entire team. Petco takes animal care and safety very seriously. A lot of time, effort, and planning go into ensuring the animals are in tip-top shape to work in front of the camera. This of course takes time, so being patient and staying calm really helps keep it smooth sailing.

Not every animal will perform as expected. They’re going to give you what they give you. The best thing a photographer can do is to be ready to push the button.

Most of my shooting with Petco involves capturing animals on a minimal setting/stage, so really it's about designing the appropriate lighting and then working closely with the animal handlers. Then it's capturing that just-right moment or expression as the trainer works with the animals to hit their mark. It’s a team effort.

I am not an animal handler, only a camera handler and an animal lover. The animal lover part makes it more joyful overall. :)”