About Nicole Begley

The woman behind it all

Hey there, Nicole Begley here

I'm Nicole.  Master photographer, zoological animal trainer turned pet photographer, travel addict, conservationist, and chocolate martini connoisseur.

Since 2013 I've helped thousands of photographers become more confident in their craft and earn real money as professional pet photographers all while maintaining the balance needed to enjoy the journey.  

I love helping pet photographers because puppies + photography + awesome people = fulfillment.

Seriously though, nothing makes me happier than when I help a student have a major breakthrough, whether that is finally learning how those pesky layers and masks work in Photoshop or having their first multi-four figure sale!

I still do pet photography for clients in Charlotte North Carolina, so I know just what you go through!












I started my photography business in 2010 focusing on family portraiture and thought that if I could photograph an animal here and there that would be rad.  Well, after about 5 years (in 2015) I transitioned fully to pet photography.

Hair of the Dog started as a little blog to share my experiences in 2013 and never did I dream it would morph into what it is today.

Now I teach pet photographers around the world in destination pet photography retreats, master coaching, and my online Academy and courses. 

Just goes to show that you may not know your full path yet, but always, always, follow your passion and you never know what magic will unfold.


My dry boring bio for those who like these sorts of things….

Nicole Begley, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, is a zoological animal trainer turned pet photographer and educator. She is the founder of Hair of the Dog Academy, an online community in which she empowers pet photographers to improve their craft and grow their business. Nicole has authored the sold out book “Pet and Equine Photography for Everyone”, available on Amazon for Kindle.

She established Nicole Begley Photography in Pittsburgh, PA in 2010 but now serves the market of Charlotte, NC. Nicole is an international award-winning pet photographer, having received a Photographer of the Year designation from Professional Photographers of America numerous times, as well as numerous local and state awards. 

In addition to being an in-demand speaker for conferences such as ImagingUSA, Click Away, and Shutterhound, Nicole has organized and led sold-out pet photography retreats and workshops both domestically and in far-flung locations such as New Zealand, Iceland, and Costa Rica.  Nicole is also the founder of Hair of the Dog Conservation Fund, a 501(c)3 to protect our global biodiversity and inspire individual action by supporting conservation projects for wild animals and the surrounding communities.  The fund has raised over $150,000 so far for important conservation work.  

Nicole shares her home with her husband, two teenage humans, and her Coconut Retriever (rescue mutt from the islands) Cami.  She's proud treat lady to one no longer baby horse Morocco and she's also Chief of Staff to Emma the cat. She is the creator of the #selfiedog series, a travel addict, and a chocolate martini connoisseur.

My Podcast

Listen. Learn. Enjoy.

Are you ready to grow your business so that you can finally live the life of YOUR design?

Welcome to your one-stop-shop for practical photography business tips, actionable strategies, detailed case studies, interviews with industry leaders, and everything else you need to make more money with your photography.

My tools of the trade

Curious to know what's in my bag?

I have an entire page dedicated to all the things I can't live without for my business – both gear and other items. Things you likely won't be able to live without too!

I believe

All animals should sleep on the bed. Except MAYBE THE horses. 

Speaking of horses, they are more addictive than any drug.

looking into the eyes of an animal reveals a piece of our soul.

Photography is magic by entangling emotion with color and light.

Travel is the secret ingredient to appreciating the little things.

Fruit has no business coming anywhere close to chocolate.

A chocolate martini is always a good idea – but never 3.

Life is meant to be lived, and it's even better with a furry friend, or several.

The best artwork is both personal and stylish.

Come hang out with me

Join the academy and we can get to know each other better.

Get in touch!

I'd love to hear from you!  

Please use this form if you need to get in touch with me or the Hair of the Dog team.

If you want to reach out directly by email, you can reach us at [email protected].

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