Taking photos of your own pets – Ten Tips

Photographing pets can be tricky, but I’ve put together a few simple tips to help capture those special moments. I focus mainly on dogs because so far that has been my main model supply. Cats would definitely need their own segment. Other varieties I will update you on as I come across them !

Rottweiler puppy running

Tip Number One – get down low and see things from your pets’ perspective. While this could mean getting a bit down and dirty it makes for some cute images (and some extra cuddles and kisses).

Tip Number Two – follows on from number one actually – vary the shooting angle. Get creative and active. It’s also great exercise!Black and white dog on path

Tip Number Three – Get their attention – with treats, toys and funny noises. Works quite well with dogs – cats, not so much.

Tip Number Four – avoid using flash. It causes ‘green eye’ not a good look unless you’re going for the creepy effect. Make use of natural light as much as possible. If indoors try and use good available light from a window.

Bull Mastiff sitting on rock

Tip Number Five – compose your subject off centre for a change. Makes for a more balanced and eye pleasing image. Be sure that the subject has a space to ‘look into’.

Tip Number Six – consider the background – busy backgrounds detract from the subject. Getting down low also helps with this as it often cuts out distracting objects on the horizon.

Fox Terrier portrait

Tip Number Seven – focus on the eyes. Getting those eyes sharp and clear nails it every time.

Tip Number Eight – get in close. Eyes, ears, noses and paws – all make for interesting and often cute shots.

Rottweiler puppy close up

Tip Number Nine – Relax !! Our pets are very intuitive and easily pick up when we are anxious and trying too hard. Have fun!

Black and white dog running

Tip Number Ten – if your dog is constantly one the move, use a fast shutter speed. On a smart phone this could mean using the Sport setting on the camera. 

Bonus tip Number Eleven – Pay Your Model. Plenty of tasty treats or even  a game of fetch the ball or tug the rope. Make it fun for both of you and it will pay off with lots of awesome photographic memories.

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