Getting the best pet portraits

Pets are family members – energetic, bouncy members of the family who often cannot sit still and turn into a big blur on the camera. However, pets can make some of the best family shots although their inability to keep still can make them really tricky to photograph. Photography of pets is a mix of different types of photography, including sports and child photography combined – still you do not need to be an expert in each (or even a professional photographer) to learn how to take better pictures of your beloved pets with some tips on pet photography.

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Use treats and toys

The most difficult part of animal photography is that pets do not understand the instruction to hold still. Some favourite treats and toys can go a long way in getting the pet to stay put or look in a certain direction, however. A dog that has been trained to sit and stay, in particular, will be much easier to work with, especially if there’s a treat in it for him! Food bribes can work with other creatures as well because even an untrained pet will often look toward the smell where the treat is. Don’t forget to make them look amazing too with Designer Dog Collars from


They say never work with children or animals but all you need is a little patience. When taking pictures of your own pet, it often pays to always have the camera on standby and waiting. Do not attempt to force a pet to keep still and pick the timing well, for example not when you’ve just got home and he’s excited to see you or if he’s just woken up and is trying to stretch his legs. Wait for a quieter time.

Know your pet

When taking portraits, having a good knowledge of the subject you are photographing is very helpful – and the same applies for portraits of your pet. What will entice your pet to sit still or even strike a pose? What unusual habit can you catch on camera? Do you want to catch a furry underbelly or a more serious image of your pet?

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Unless you are already familiar with studio portrait lighting, the best pictures are often the ones that are taken just outside the doors and windows. Natural lighting is the best and simplest to work with for a beginner to pet photography. When heading outside, seek shade to prevent awkward shadow. On a cloudy day, soft, light shade is everywhere. If you can’t go out for any reason, take the shot next to a large window for good natural lighting.

Shoot from their eye level, not your own

Images are all about the eyes – even when the subject is not a human. Although there are some exceptions, getting to the eye level of the animal will create a more personalized pet portrait because it brings out their unique personality and creates an intimate experience. Shooting from your own eye level makes pets will look smaller and it makes it more difficult to see the special look in their eyes.

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