9 Tips for Better Pet Photos

Meet the Artist…Jackie Jacobson


Woof • Meow • Smile

Pets hold that special place in our hearts and families.

We enjoy having their pictures framed on our desk or wall!

However taking pictures of your best friend is not always easy.

Pets, unlike humans, do not understand what we are trying to do and won’t just pose for the camera!

Here are 9 tips that will help you get the most from your photo session

1. Use Natural Light

If possible always use natural light when taking your pets picture. Avoid flash, as the flash burst not only causes red-eye, but also frightens the animal.

Instead…try to go outside or take the pictures in a room well lit by a large window.

2. Keep the Eyes Sharp

Having sharp eyes is important in any kind of portrait photography.

“Eyes are the Window to the Soul” and pets eyes can be very expressive. So make sure to focus on your pet’s eyes.

3. Go to Them

It is very important that your pet feels comfortable and at ease, so instead of forcing him to come to you go to him.

Get down to his level. We all know how a dog looks when viewed from above…this is the way we always see them. Show us the way they see world!

Sit on the floor or lie on your belly and remember to shoot from HER eye level or below.

4. Give Value to their Character

You know your pet better than anyone else, and a successful picture is one that conveys the character of its subject.

If you have a lazy cat show him yawning

If your animal is playful, try to capture that.

5. Go Telephoto

Put on that long lens or switch to telephoto.

Fill the frame with your pet’s face and fur. Close up shots often make beautiful animal portraits.

6. Surprise Them

One of the most difficult things is to have your pet hold still.

An easy trick is to let him play quietly and, once you have everything ready, let someone call for him or whistle. This will surprise him, grab his attention and you will have a few seconds to capture him in a nice and alert pose.

7. Schedule your Session

If you are longing for a formal pet portrait shot, try to schedule the photo session when you’re animal is somewhat sleepy.  It will be much easier to keep him still then.

If you want a more dynamic shot then pick a time when your pet is energetic.

8. Be Patient

Pet photography requires a lot of patience. No matter how excited your furry friend is, if you are patient enough, he will end up by relaxing and you will have the opportunity to get a decent shot.

9. Experiment

Take your time and enjoy the session, try different approaches, angles and compositions. Shoot a lot (I mean alot)

You will have plenty of time to worry about the results later.