11 Tips To Shoot The Perfect Pet Photo

Pets are members of the family — squirmy, energetic, over-eager members of the family that often can’t sit still and turn into a massive blur on camera.

Pets make some of the most stunning family photos, but, frankly, the same nuances that allow them to wiggle their way into our hearts also makes them difficult to photograph.

Pet photography is a mix of portrait photography, sports photography and child photography all rolled into one.

But you don’t have to become an expert on each one (or become a professional pet photographer) to learn how to take better images of pets with a few pet photography tips

Here are a few pet photography tips to capture more fur and less blur:

1. Remember to Use Camera Shortcut

How many times have you seen your pet do something SO adorable, But by the time you’ve unlocked your phone and swiped your way to the Camera app, the moment’s over.

I can’t count how many time this has happened to me.

The reality is:

You never know when your dog is going to do something funny or cute.
Unlike humans, Who we can ask to sit and smile, with our pets, we are completely at the mercy of “being at the right place, at the right time.” 

iPhone Users, Next time, Try this:

A Quick Shortcut to the Camera on iPhones is to swipe the clock on the main screen or on in the notification center to the left

Capturing the perfect pet picture

2. Turn Off The Flash

Do you have photos of your pet with “green” “yellow” or even "red" eyes?

Most of us do at some point:

That eyes occur when your camera flash is aimed directly at your dog’s eyes.
They are the pet equivalent of red-eye in humans.

Turn off your flash and use natural lighting as much as possible.

3. Shoot from their eye level, not your own.

If you look at the majority of the pet photos online, you will probably find that they have been taken at chest height of a standing adult, It's also known as "Overhead shot".


when we want to take a picture of our dog, we pull out our phone and start shooting, Most of the time we will be standing, or sitting because that’s most convenient.

Here's the problem:

If we always stand or sit, to take photos of our furry friends, it inevitably means we are looking down on them.

We may get some good photos that way, but to take a “great” photo of your pet, Get down to their level, and shoot the world how they see it.

Your photos will automatically get more interesting and intriguing as you show the world from your pet's perspective.

The Solution:

Take Photos at the Animal’s Level whether it’s a large dog or a small kitten, taking photographs from the animal’s level can give the photo a better sense of perspective.

You also have a better opportunity of capturing the fine details of the animal – hair, whiskers, eyes – when you shoot from the pet’s point of view

Taking pictures of pet from different angles

4. Use Natural Light

If possible always use natural light when you're taking a picture of your pet.

Avoid flash, as flash burst can, not only cause red-eye, but also frighten the animal.

Instead, Try to go outside, If it is not possible, try shooting in a well-lit room.

Perfect Pet Photo Natural Light

5. Keep the Eyes Sharp

Having sharp eyes is important in any kind of portraits photography.
As they say, “Eyes are the Window to the Soul” and pets eye can be extremely expressive,

Make sure to focus on your pet’s eyes and keep the tack sharp

Sharp Eyes cat picture

6. Surprise Them

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

Fortunately, there's an easy trick:

Let your pet play quietly and, once you have everything ready, let someone call for him or whistle.

This will surprise him and caught his attention and you will have a few seconds to capture him in a nice and alert posture

Alerted Cat looking into the camera

7. Be Patient

Be patient with your camera, be patient with your pet, and be patient with your skill level.

All new hobbies take time to learn. If you're frustrated, your furbaby will pick up on that energy and will inevitably feel less comfortable in front of the camera.

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.

8. Know What Motivates Your Pet!

Can’t seem to get your pet's attention? Find out what motivates him before you start shooting.

Call its name, Make noises and sounds they respond to, and talk to them to get them to look at the camera (if that is what you want).

You can also use treats or toys! Dogs will almost always look right at the treat.

If you have an assistant, even better! Have them hold the treat where you’d like the dog to look.

Don’t forget to reward your pup for being a good model!

Attention and motivation with dogs

9. Get your pet to smile!

A lot of people struggling to get their pet to smile when shooting pictures, All you need to do is get your pet a little active!

Some Ideas:

  • Take your pet for a quick run
  • Have a quick 5-minute play session.
  • Tug on a toy with them.
  • Have them chase you around your living room

An active pup is a happy pup and will likely flash you a huge smile after settling down. 

Active dog is a smiling dog

10. Clean The Lens

This one may seem a little obvious, but let's admit it, We're all guilty of forgetting this simple tip.

Your iPhone lives in your Bag, Pocket, Car, And with your dog! If it’s anything like mine, It’s probably covered in a light dusting of dog hair, And seen some evidence of a few doggie kisses.

It only takes a few seconds to clean.

Your photos will thank you!

Cleaning iphone camera lens

11. Be Safe Last, but certainly not least:

Be safe! Don’t let your photo shoot turn into a nightmare.
If you’re outside, Be sure your pet is protected from traffic, Aggressive dogs, And anything else that could pose a threat.

If possible, Bring along a friend to help.

Pet photography is one of the most fun and rewarding types of photography.
If you love animals, it's a great way to be around them.
Here's another great resource to read on 
pet photography.

At the very least, Keep your dog leashed and out of harm's way!



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