7 Tricks to Taking Pet Portraits

Our pets hold a special place in our hearts. Therefore, they should hold a special place in our homes as well. When attempting to photograph your pet, there are a couple of challenges involved, such as getting your pet to cooperate or capturing a unique composition. Here are 7 tricks for capturing our furry friends personality behind your camera lens.

  1. Use natural light whenever possible.

Pay attention to how light reacts with your furry subjects. If possible, try to shoot in natural light and without a flash. This can be achieved when shooting by windows, doorways or in outdoor settings. This ensures that you have a good deal of natural lighting on your subjects. Refraining from flash and additive lighting can allow you to move quickly and react instantly to your pet.

Close up of a camera taking a shot of a mother cat with her cute little kitten standing outdoors.
Close up of a camera taking a shot of a mother cat with her cute little kitten standing outdoors.
  1. Get on their level

The best angles of your pets can be obtained from getting at their eye level by lying on the ground or floor.  An alternative to lying on the floor is to move them onto an elevated surface such as a couch or chair so that they are at your level. This angle can create an interesting juxtaposition in your photographs.

  1. Set up a unique setting

To get some fun and different shots, put your pet somewhere unexpected or in a unique place where you typically wouldn’t expect to find them. Try photographing them on a table, in a sink, in a basket or in the kitchen. Seeing something out of its element can add impact to your image. Keep in mind that the scene you choose to shoot is safe for your pet of course!

  1. Take lots of pictures

It may be difficult to get your critter to cooperate and sit still. In order to get that perfect shot, you may need to take an excess amount of pictures. You may find yourself shooting 10-20 pictures or more of one scene and that is okay! It’s better to have more and delete the not-so-great images than to not have enough. With today’s digital technology you can share as many photos of your furry companion as your heart desires. Whether you display them on social media or even in your home on digital picture frames, there is no limit to the amount of photos you choose to take.

  1. Capture people with your pets

Having your loved ones pose with your furry friends can create sweet and endearing images. Photograph your kids or family members with your pets. To depict emotional photographs, have them embrace or lean in towards your pets to show more of a connection. Don’t forget to capture lots of un-staged pictures also to ensure you capture the candid moments as well.

  1. Use fun props

When shooting animal photography, have some fun and add unique costumes or accessories to add a pop of color or some contrast in your images. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box! A fun hat or toy can add some personality to your photos.

  1. Treat your pets

Above all else, make sure the photo shoot is a fun experience for both you and your pets. Treat them to lots of treats, toys and belly rubs in between takes. A happy critter makes for a happy picture! If you find that your pet is being uncooperative and not into taking pictures, call it quits and try again another time. The most important part of your pet portraits should be to capture delightful memories of your furry companions.

Most importantly, try to look beyond the obvious and capture your beloved pet in a different way. With just a little effort and creativity, natural and fun photographs of your pets can be obtained and cherished for years to come.

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