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Pet Photography – How to Take a Great Shot of Your Pet

Petmate Academy

January 24, 2017


In the age of cell phone selfies, Instagram pictures, and social media, amateur photography is more prevalent than ever. As a pet parent, you’ve probably taken several candid photos of your precious furry friend and shared them with family and friends. Well, wouldn’t it be great to amaze your loved ones with professional quality photos that YOU – yes, you – captured with your digital camera, cell phone, tablet or another electronic device?

With a teachable, positive attitude and a few basic guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to showcasing your beloved pet to all the world! Let’s get started:


If you’re looking for an action shot, for example, it’s best to capture the photo early in the day before you and your pup hit the trail for a long hike.

“Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.” – George Eastman

Turn off the Flash

What do you mean – no flash!  That’s right. Leave the flash for indoor settings. Getting a good shot of your dog is best done with natural sunlight. Typically, if you shoot in the early morning, evening or in the shade of a bright day, your photos will turn out the way you’d like them to. If you’re shooting indoors, you’ll likely need the flash. In this circumstance, try to shoot the photo slightly upward so that the flash bounces off the ceiling and not off your pet.


“It’s all in how you arrange the thing… the careful balance of the design is the motion.” – Andrew Wyeth


Move Like Your Pet

No, you don’t need to get down on all fours and wag your tail; what we mean here is the best photos of your pet will come from down on their level. So, scrunch down to where your pup is and snap away!

Let Your Pet Adjust to the Camera

Your dog, for example, will likely want to sniff the camera you just brought out, and you should let him get to know it before you start your shoot. Once he’s adjusted to the camera, you’re ready to begin.

“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.” – Georgia O’Keeffe


What’s in the background?

Pet Photography

This is an important question, as you want your pet to stand out. Beaches, grassy fields, and dense tree lines are great backgrounds to consider when planning your pet’s photo shoot; just be sure you don’t have, say, a tree branch seemingly sprouting from your pet’s behind. Also, color is an important thing to consider. For example, avoid black backgrounds if you have a black dog, brown backgrounds if you have a brown dog, etc. As a best practice, have your dog at least a dozen feet in front of the background you’ve chosen.


Now, let the party begin! Yes, what dog wouldn’t love the enticing aroma of treats at arms’ reach during a photo shoot? Have plenty on hand during your photo shoot. Need we say more?

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”

– Scott Adams


Be Creative and Take Lots of Pictures!

Let those creative juices flow! Remember, the more photos you take, the better chance you’ll have of producing a winner. Again, get close up to your dog so that he takes up the whole picture. Move around to snap all sorts of different angles, tell your pup he is doing a great job to excite them; the energy will transfer into the photos. It’s likely that the more spontaneous you are, the better your photos will come out!



The creative geniuses at provided inspiration for these photography best practices. For more information on pet photography, check out the below link:

  1. How To Take The Best Pictures Of Your Dog

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