Monday, February 18, 2013

Tips and Tricks When Photographing Your Pets

("Oreo" a professional pet portrait model for this article)
Pet photography is becoming more popular than ever!

Pets play a big part in many households so it's no surprise that pet photography is more popular than ever.  All pet owners love their pets and share a lot of happiness with them.

Pet photography is one of most the interesting types of photography. Photographing your pet can be a fun experience, but it is not always easy to capture your pet’s true adorable personality.

You should keep few things in mind while taking snaps your animal:


Take your time and enjoy the session, try different approaches, angles and compositions.  Just because you own a camera, it does not mean you know how to take great portraits.  There are a lot more attributes to making a great photograph happen behind the lens, so shoot a lot you will have time to worry about the results later.

(Miss Katiya - photo courtesy of her owner who 
wishes to remain un-named  from embarrassment)

If you can’t quite get a good photo after experimenting with your camera, then I strongly suggest you hire a professional photographer.  Most studio rates are very reasonable for pets.  This way you will have added insurance that you wont't embarrass your pet and yourself with poor quality self made portraits such as this photo of a cat named "Miss Katiya".

Use Natural Light

If possible always use natural light when taking your pet in picture. Avoid flash, as flash burst can, not only cause red-eye, but also frighten the animal. Instead try to go outside or, if it is not possible, in a room well lit by a large window.

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 very expressive. So make sure to focus on your pet’s eyes and keep the tack sharp

Give them some thing to play with

Pets simply cannot resist running around, much to the disappointment of anyone hoping to photograph them. Luckily its not very hard to capture their attention either. A string tied to something at one end is enough to make the kitten curious as can be. Why not give it something like this to hold its attention while you shoot some photographs? A little help from a friend would always make things simpler for you as a pet photographer. If you are photographing a puppy, a ball would be the right prop in most cases.


Photographing pets is a lot like photographing kids. Their emotions are never fake and you just can’t have them pose when they don’t want to! A photographer needs to be quite the psychologist when photographing pets, along with a lot of patience at times. When photographing someone else’s pets, it is definitely a great help to have the owner around as he or she talks to the pets, making them comfortable and encouraging them to play. Why not get a few images of the pets with their owners as well?

Go to Them

It is very important that you pet feels comfortable and at ease, so instead of forcing him to come to you go to him. Most important is to 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 HIS eye level or below.

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 of a playful type show him in action performing his favorite trick.

Go Macro

Put on that long lens and fill the frame with your pet’s face and fur, close up shots often make beautiful animal portrait.

Photo Gear

It is good to shoot with a moderate zoom lens when shooting pets or even children for that matter. You don’t want to get so close to the animals so as to make them very conscious of your presence. Pets have the habit of making sudden dart-like movements! 

Schedule a Pet Portrait Session

Professional pet portraits are typically worth every dime you invest, due to the experience and equipment a studio offers.  If you are longing for a formal pet portrait shot, try to schedule the photo session when you’re animal is somewhat sleepy or has just woke up it will be much easier to keep him still then. If you want a more dynamic shot then pick up a time when your pet is energetic. 


My name is Sherri Russell, and besides being the editor of She's So Fly Outdoor News, I shoot Lifestyle and Modern Portrait Photography "with an artistic edge". 

Lifestyle photography is more modern and breaks the chains of traditional photography. It portrays real-life situations in a controlled setting.

More and more, people are choosing lifestyle photography over traditional portrait and studio shots. It portrays people in their element, and sessions are often done outside at interesting locations.

So if you’re up for a totally different type of photography experience, something totally cool, then I am your photographer. 

Discover 5 GOOD reasons why you should choose a professional photographer Photography by Sherri Russell


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