How To Take Better Portraits Of Your Pets

Free Photography Bundle: PS actions, LR presets, photo overlays, & print templates! Get it here.


Anyone who uses the internet knows pet photos rule the digital world. Just try to login into Facebook without being presented at least one adorable dog or cat photo. No complaints, though, our fuzzy companions often prove to be irresistibly photogenic. With that in mind, if you want to take more than just a quick snapshot of your pets, you might have to put in a little more effort than just whipping out your phone and snapping a quick shot.
JakePet photography can be challenging at times, but it sure is a fun project to engage in! Luckily, you can use the tips we’ll outline below to take your pet photos to the next level and bring your four-legged friend one step closer to internet fame and adoration.

Put Away That Flash!

If you’ve ever had your portrait taken only to be blinded by a bright flash, you can understand how unenjoyable it can make the experience. Humans understand just what’s happening and why the flash is required. Your pets, however, just won’t get it. In fact, it can be quite terrifying for them. The last thing you want to do is scare your pet. Not only will it make them nervous, it will most likely cause them to run in the opposite direction of you and your camera. Not exactly a good thing when you’re trying to take their portrait. Rather, learn how to use natural light to capture your pet photos. Bring in reflectors if you need to, but avoid using a flash at all costs! IMG_2185

Burst Mode Is Your Friend

Sure, your dog may be your best friend, but when you’re trying to photograph him, burst mode is a close second. As you know, pets tend to move about a lot–and often very quickly. Even the most well-behaved pets can have moments of over excitement, making it tough to get the perfect posed shot. That’s where burst mode is going to prove useful. Using it, you’ll be able to fire away, getting a lot of shots in a short period of time. You can cull the not so great shots once you import them into Lightroom or your editing software of choice.

Shoot At Eye Level

Try lowering your shooting perspective so you’re shooting at eye level with them. Go ahead and sit or kneel down on the floor and start snapping. By doing so, this will help you capture their personality and capture shots of their unique facial expressions that can often be difficult to photograph from above.
Smudge : Riding Solo

Speaking Of Eyes…

One last thing before we send you off to capture some cute pet photos of your own, there’s one really important thing we should cover. Make sure their eyes are in sharp focus. Just like when you’re photographing people, the eyes can make or break a photo.

Many professional portrait photographers will tell you, if the eyes aren’t in focus, you don’t really have a useable photo. This is true of pet and animal photography as well! So, if there’s only one thing you take away from this article, it should be this point. Now get out there and start shooting–don’t forget to share your pet photos with us in the comments below!

Free Photography Bundle: PS actions, LR presets, photo overlays, & print templates! Get it here.

Published Wednesday, December 6th, 2017 Pin It

Free Photography Bundle!

Our Free Photography Bundle includes $180 worth of Photoshop actions, Lightroom presets, photo overlays, and print templates. Use our products for free with your own photos!

Get the Bundle

About the Author: Tiffany Mueller

Tiffany Mueller

Tiffany Mueller is an adventure and fine art photographer based in Hawaii. When she's not climbing volcanoes or swimming with sharks, you could probably find her relaxing in a hammock with a book somewhere near the ocean.