Pets Photography: а Short How To

Puppy hiding in a paper bag

Sometimes taking pictures of your best friend in animal world is not easy. Here are a few simple tips on pets photography to help you get the most of your photo session. These rules can be used by beginners and starting pros and are easily applied to any kind of camera.

Cat playing lying A Few Simple Rules of any Pet Photo Shoot
1) If you shoot indoors and there is not enough light, raise camera ISO. Say “No” to the built-in flash: it often scares animals.
2) If you shoot outside let your pet off the leash. In most cases it just spoils photos.
3) Do not shoot too close to your pet’s muzzle unless you are going to take an image with distorted proportions of its face and body.

Turn the Photographing of Your Pet Into a Funny Game

An animal looks especially attractive when it is excited and keeps a lively playful mood. To stir up your pets use their favourite toys and treats. Ask somebody (your friend or family member) for help: e.g. to play with your pet or tease it while you are taking photos.

A small kitten playing with a toy A dog who wants cookies

A small kitten hiding in grass A dachshund  playing with a toy


Pets Always Hint What Photos to Take: Watch Them

Watch your pets’ habits: many of them are cute and deserve to be photographed. For example, such funny habits as peeping through the fence holes, chewing enormously big sticks or playing hide-and-seek. We are sure you have your own list of funny and crazy things your pets did and do.

A dog looking through a fence hole A kitten climbing on its owners head A dog chewing a huge stick

A dog who spoiled a sofa

A cat hiding in newspaper A dog trying to catch soup bubbles


Taking Photos of Pets in Motion: Use Continuous Shooting Mode

If you want to take photos while your pet is running or jumping, shoot in the action (sports) mode. Do not forget to switch from single shooting mode to continuous shooting.This will help you get more photos and at least few of them will surely be the shots that you want.

Dachshunds running A dachshund jumping out of water

A dog catching a ball


Don’t be a Lazy Pet Photographer: Try Different Angles

1) Shooting at the eye level is probably the basics of animals photography. Never shoot from the level of your height: kneel down or even lie with your elbows on the floor and take photos from the eye level of your pet.

Kitten licking its pads A polecat dreaming

A big white dog sitting and looking at you A big dog running with a stick A big dog running

2) If it’s possible, try taking a few photos from below. You can get interesting results.

Kitten sitting on a tree A dog dreaming

3) If you want to accentuate how tender and elegant your pet moves, looks and behaves, try shooting a little bit from above and make sure that the animal’s chin is slightly raised.

Cute dachshund looking at you Dog standing in soup bubbles

Dog with blue eyes look at you


The Last Tip for Pet Photographers: Keep the Focus on Eyes

Diffused eyes look bad in many images. Try to focus on eyes unless you want to emphasise something else on purpose.

Focus is on the nose                                              Focus is on the eyes

Beagle lying Beagle sitting

A curious dog smells photographer's lenses width=

As you can see on the photo above, sometimes distortion and nose-focused angle let you take funny photos =)

2 thoughts on “Pets Photography: а Short How To”

  1. Senior Dog Rescue is a non profit organization in the northwest which rescues older dogs, check out our website.

    I’m creating a banner to use at our adoption days and local events. I love the photo of the brown dog carrying the big stick and would like to use it as the focus for this banner.
    It speaks so well of the love for life that dogs project and why we benefit from their company.

    I would need a large file, the banner will 4′ x 8′. I’m donating the banner, all proceeds always go to the dogs. If I can use the photo or purchase the use please let me know.

    Senior Dog Rescue of Oregon
    Dawn Lynch

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