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6 Pet Photography Tips for Beginners

Pet Photography Tips

5 Top Pet Photography Tips

It’s no secret that I LOVE my dog, Huxley.  He features prominently on my Instagram account.  Right after we adopted him, my husband deployed and then a few months later, my youngest kiddo started school.  As you can imagine, Huxley became my baby and I know I’m not the only one whose pet has a special place in their heart. 

Pets are often found in the background of images that document our lives, but I think they deserve to be front and center!

So, how can you go about photographing your pet in a way that incorporates them into the story of your lives while also showcasing their own personality?

Here are a few practical tips when photographing pets:

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Tip #1. Capture the Unique in Your Pet

Look for your pet’s unique (and lovable) characteristics!

Does your pet have one floppy ear?  A big grin?  Nothing showcases a pets personality like documenting the things that make them unique!

Hint: If your pet’s unique characteristic puts a big grin on your face, chances are, that’s something worthy of a picture.

Pet portrait tips

Professional pet photography tips

Pet Photography Tips

Tip #2. Photograph Down Low

Get down on the pet’s level. 

Similar to photographing children, you gain an entirely new perspective when you try to see the world the way your pet does.

Bonus Tip: Lay on the floor with your pet until they relax and THEN take a picture.  They in turn will be much more relaxed.

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Tip #3. Use Treats

Bribe your pet with food!  

Nothing gets my dog’s attention like a yummy treat.  It’s a sure fire way to get eye contact and good behavior.  You don’t need anything special – most dogs will work for a piece of their regular dry kibble.

dog photography tips

pet dog photography

Tip #4. Capture what Your Pet Loves

Catch your pet in the act of __________ (fill in the blank).

Is your dog a couch potato?  Does your cat like to lay around in the sun?  Do you have a puppy whose goal in life is to chew up all your shoes?  Are laser lights on the wall your feline’s best friend? 

Photograph your pet doing what THEY love to do!

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how to take a good photo of your dog

Tip #5. Include the Kids

Get your kids in the picture with your pets! 

What better way to incorporate your pet into your storytelling than to capture the relationship between your kids and their beloved pet?  Be a fly on the wall so you don’t interrupt their bonding moment and snap away. 

Bonus Tip: Set your camera to silent mode – its a great way to photograph an authentic moment and your kiddos are none the wiser.

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Great pet photos

Pet photographs

Tip #6. Patience

Last, but cerainly not least – be patient.  Getting a great shot of a pet maky take some time and practice, but the more you shoot, the more likely you are to get a GREAT SHOT!

Pet photography


The sad truth is that our furry friends don’t experience the same kind of longevity we do.  The average lifespan for dogs is just 10-13 years.  Cats can live a little longer, but even their lives are only a small percentage of our time here on earth.

I know that for our family, my kids love to look back on pictures of our first dog, Winston.  Sadly, he passed away a few years ago but he was an important part of our life for over a decade.  In fact, he predated our children and until his passing, they didn’t know a time without him. 

I think that photographing our pets is an integral part of documenting not only their lives but the life of the entire family.  Someday, YOUR pet may be gone, so make sure to capture the part they played in your family’s life.  You will cherish those moments forever!

Additional Reading:  How to Edit Pet Photos in Lightroom

Do you have any questions or comments about our Tips for Photographing Pets?  Leave us a comment below – we would love to hear from you!  And PLEASE SHARE this post using the social sharing buttons (We really appreciate it)!

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