Tips for Photographing Pets


Outdoors: When taking a series of pet photos, consider going outdoors. This will not only allow you to use more natural light, but it will also place your pet in an environment that he will be able to roam free. As a result, you will be able to capture outstanding shots of your four-legged friend chasing birds or climbing trees.

Indoors: When shooting indoors, allow as much natural light in as possible. Open windows and doors to flood the room with light. If the scene is still too dark, turn on strategically placed lamps to fill-in dark areas. Then, try to place your pet in an area of the room that features the best combination of sunlight and artificial light. Experiment with Angles The best place to be when taking your pet photo is at the level your pet's head is at.


When you are taking photos of your pets, it is important that you are at least at the animal’s eye level, or below. This gives the picture the sense of being from the pet’s viewpoint. You can achieve this by elevating your pet to a higher position, like the staircase, or furniture. Or, you can lie on your stomach to achieve the same results. You need to zoom in as close as possible, while still capturing the entire body of your subject.

Although professional pet photographers use expensive high quality cameras it is not necessary to use one to get a great shot. Composition background and contrast make up much of a good photo. A digital camera of average quality will usually have a sufficient zoom which is plenty to print your resulting photos to A4 page size. Photograph your pets in natural lighting to eliminate red-eye. By natural lighting, you can be either inside or outside. The best time to take photos is in the early morning or late afternoon avoiding the middle of the day when the light conditions are harsh.

Be careful with the background and what’s going on behind the dog. You can always be creative and change the background but for natural looking photos it’s best to try and capture the right look from the start. Take into account the size and coloring of your dog and look for things that might cause a big distraction. You want the dog to be the main focus.

Try to take as many good, clear photographs as possible in a number of different poses, but mostly in the pose that you would like the finished portrait to look. If possible, take several close-up shots of the pet’s face, with the face filling the frame, showing details of the eyes, fur, whiskers etc.