9 Ways to Get Better Photos of Your Pets
Updated: Jul 7
How many times a day do you catch your pet doing something funny or just being adorable? For many pet owners, taking photos of their pet quickly becomes a hobby. But how can you get the perfect shot if your pet doesn’t sit still for the camera? If you want to take your pet photography game to the next level, there are some tips and tricks you can use. From finding the right angle to figuring out what makes your pet pose, keep reading for the top tips to take better photos of your pets.
1. Capture the Right Pose Dogs and cats are among the top subjects for pet photography, but it can be almost impossible to get your pet to sit still for a photo. If your pet is really energetic or simply does its own thing, you can use the element of surprise to get a good shot. Try letting your pet be their natural, rambunctious self instead of forcing them to sit still for long periods of time. When you want to take the photo, give a short command or loud whistle to get your dog or cat’s attention. Chances are, they will be so focused on your surprise command, they will stay still for a few extra seconds. 2. Take Extra Photos and Videos If you’re planning a photoshoot with your pet, be prepared to take a lot of pictures. The most adorable moments with dogs and cats are often unexpected, so the more photos you take, the better your chance of capturing these memories. Depending on your device, you may be able to take a video of your pet and capture photos from the video footage. This can save you from missing that perfect shot! 3. Choose the Right Treats You know your pet better than anyone else, which means you know what will motivate them. When planning a photography session with your dog or cat, be sure to have the right treats on hand. For some pets, this may not be an edible treat at all. Having their favorite toys handy can also help capture their focus. 4. Try Lower Angles Taking photos of your pet from above won’t produce the results you want. Instead of shooting from your own eye level, get down on the same level as your pet. This simple technique can turn everyday candid shots into beautiful pet portraits. Practice sitting on the floor with your pet, crouching down, or kneeling to get the right shot. 5. Pick Your Background
With any type of photography, the background of your image makes a big difference. Pet photography is no different. Most pet owners use their smartphones to capture special moments with their dog or cat in selfie mode. While you can certainly produce fun images this way, a more traditional point-and-shoot camera allows extra control over the background. The busier the background, the more it will take the focus away from your pet. Try to find simple backgrounds, like sunsets, grass, walls in solid colors, or nature scenes. Color is also key. If your background is similar in color to your pet, they could easily get lost in the photo. Contrasting colors can help make your dog or cat stand out in the image. 6. Focus on the Eyes Your pet’s eyes can tell a whole story, especially if they sometimes feel more like a person than an animal. Focusing your photo on your dog or cat’s eyes can help bring the image into focus. If you have sharpening settings on your camera or smartphone, adjust them until your pet’s eyes practically sparkle on the screen. It might take several tries, but work on getting your pet to look at the camera. Whether you hold up their favorite treat, play with their favorite toy, or call their name, there are many ways to draw their attention. An emotional connection is created when your pet looks at the camera, making your photos even more special. 7. Get Up Close Macro images are very popular when it comes to pet photography. Close-ups of your dog or cat show off their beautiful fur, expressive eyes, and unique personality. Thankfully, you don’t have to put your camera or phone in your pet’s face to capture these images. If you’re using a digital camera, try a macro lens to focus up close. If you are working with your phone, try different levels of zoom to get a crisp, close-up image. 8. Pick the Right Time For many pet owners, photo sessions happen on the fly. We see our pet doing something cute or funny and we reach for our phone to capture the moment. In many cases, the resulting images are not as great as real life. Scheduling a pet photoshoot or setting aside a specific time to take photos of your pet can make all the difference. Consider your pet’s regular routine when deciding when to take photos. They likely won’t sit still if it’s time for dinner, but they may be easier to work with if they’re a little sleepy. Keep your goal for the photoshoot in mind and choose a time according to your pet’s schedule. 9. Be Yourself Those moments with your pet that you love so much usually come from being natural. Dogs and cats are very in tune with routine and their environment, so major changes to their surroundings or activities can cause changes in their behavior. You can capture some stunning photos with a special photoshoot backdrop or surrounded by beautiful scenery, but you may have more luck at home. Act as natural as possible to get some of the best photos of your pet. It may be a good idea to enlist the help of a friend or family member to take photos while you play with your dog or cat. Your pet will respond better to your cues than they will a staged photoshoot that feels unfamiliar.