11 Tips For Photographing Pets

Have you been struggling to get a good photograph of your pet, or don’t know where to start?

You are not alone. Many people struggle taking photographs of their cats and dogs.

Inspired by the fact that my mother can’t take a good picture of her dogs to save her life, I decided it was time to outline a few simple tips to taking good photographs of your pet.

1. Use Natural Light

When it comes to pets, using natural light can be very important. You want to avoid using camera flash because it can distract or frighten an animal. Flash can also cause red-eye (and since the eyes are considered widows to the soul, we want to be able to see those beauties!).

Natural light from a window is always an option if you can’t go outside.
The bright sun can be harsh on the eyes, which is another great reason to photograph when the sun is behind the clouds (or low in the sky).

It can also be helpful to photograph your pet when it is overcast outside because the clouds work as a diffuser so you are not taking photos in direct sunlight which can be harsh.

2. Turn camera noise off

If you have a silent shooting mode, use it. Like camera flash, sounds may scare or confuse your pet causing them to become distracted.

3. Think about Context

When choosing a location to photograph your pet you should choose a place where your pet will be comfortable and at ease. Is there a place that your pet really loves to be? Choosing a place that means a lot to both you and your pet will make the image more memorable.

4. Show their Character

When photographing your pet consider their personality. You know your pet better than anyone else, and a successful picture gives the viewer a glimpse      into who they are. If you have a lazy pet show them yawning or sleeping.

5. Go to Them

It is important for your pet to feel comfortable and at ease, so instead of trying to get your cat or dog to come to you go to them. Your pet may not understand what is going on and forcing them to come to you can create a very stressful situation for them.

6. Get down on your pet’s level

We all know what a cat and dog look like viewed from above because this is the way we always look at them. What does life look like from their level? Sit on the floor or lie down, get to their eye-level.

7. Change your perspective

Change the perspective of your camera to take photos from both above and below, in front and behind. Taking pictures from different angles will give you the opportunity to get more interesting images.

8. Surprise them or be playful.

One of the most difficult things is getting your pet to hold still. Try letting them play as they naturally would and once you have your camera ready, call their name, whistle or make a funny noise. This can surprise them and catch their attention long enough to capture a great photo.

9. Have a helper

Ask someone for help. It can be much easier to have somebody who can run with your pet or make noise with a toy to make your pet look at the camera.

10. Be Patient

Pet photography requires a lot of patience. If you are patient enough, your pet will end up relaxing and you will have the opportunity to get a fantastic image. Don’t plan to shoot for too long, as it could lead it disappointment and frustration for both you and your pet. Go with the flow.

11. Reward them

When trying to take a photograph of my dog bailey’s face, I find that using an incentive like a treat is very useful in getting her attention.

Questions or comments? Post in the comments!

Share you successful pictures in the comments!


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