Tips for Photographing Pets

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Our pets play a big part in our lives, so it’s no surprise that pet photography has really taken off. While a professional session will yield some beautiful, dramatic shots, you too can use your creativity to capture some striking photographs as well.



Animals pick up on emotions very easily so if you’re stressed, they’re stressed too. Signs of an anxious animal include flattened ears and concerned eyes, which don’t translate into nice images. Take a deep breath and just have fun!
Eyes + Expressions
Just as with humans, our pets eyes are the most expressive part of them. If you want really engaging photos, get the focus on the eyes and their facial expressions. A squeaky-toy, held by you, can get a pet to look at you with priceless expressions faster than you might think.

Or lack of. If you’re aiming for professional-looking images, you’ve first got to look at your surroundings. Are dirty dishes, a pile of shoes or a garbage can in the background? Is your pet sitting in a sandy or grassless patch of lawn? If the items in the background don’t serve a purpose, either remove them or move to a different location.


On Their Level
Shoots looking down at your pet can be certainly be cute. As with any situation though, seeing the world “at their level” makes for more engaging portraits. Get all the way down to the ground if that’s what it takes to be eye-level with them. 


Best Light
Good light is the essence of all photography. After all, photography is the capture of reflected light. Bright, yet diffused natural light is best. As in, next to a window or under a tree.



We all need some form of motivation. For pets, their favorite treat or toy will usually do the trick.


Calm Down

Repeatedly saying commands in a loud voice will quickly confuse your pet. You want them to feel as if they’re making the decisions, so say commands once and softly. And avoid over-saying their name: the more you say it, the less they hear it.


Slow Down

Along with using a calm voice, is using slow movements. If you quickly jump up or shift positions, your pet will likely do the same. If you’re moving, their coming with you! If you do need to move, don’t make eye contact – this lets the pet know you are not referring to them with your movements.


Now go have some fun photographing your furbaby!


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