Taking Great Photos of Your Pet

We all think we have the cutest pet in the world … and we’re all right! They are so darn adorable that we are constantly photographing them. Often, as subjects though, our pets can be a little (ahem) difficult to work with. So how do you get the perfect picture of your pet?

Last year, we adopted out more than 14,000 homeless pets and horses at the Dumb Friends League. Each pet gets a picture and bio, so that means we take A LOT of pictures of pets. So whether you’re looking for a frameable image or to make your pet Insta-famous, here are some tips and tricks to get that perfect portrait of your furry family member:

Use Natural Light: When photographing a dog, take him outside. If the weather is no good or you are taking pictures of a cat, set up near a window. The natural light will help eyes look brighter and you’ll be able to better see all of your pet’s adorable facial features!

Minimize Distractions: Don’t try taking pictures of your pet if there are too many people, other pets or other distractions around. Try photographing your pet in an area where he is relaxed and content, especially if you are trying to get more than one pet in the picture. Is there anything cuter than snapping a pic of your pets snuggling?

Get Down: Get on your pet’s level. It’s less intimidating and you have a better chance of getting a head on shot.

Burst Mode: Pets move. A lot. Use burst or continuous shooting mode on your camera, so you can snap multiple pictures very quickly and hopefully, capture the perfect shot.

Attention Please: Get your pet’s attention prior to and while you take the photo. For dogs, make a weird, high pitched sound or have someone hold a squeaky toy or treat right above the camera. For cats, the noise can work, but could startle them, so try lightly touching them on the head with a pen or your finger, then holding it right above the camera as you take the picture.

No Flash: Make sure you keep the flash off. Not only could it startle the pet, make him close his eyes, create shadows or make his eyes appear to glow.

Candid Camera: Rather than posing your pets, try snapping candid photos. These show the most personality.

Patience is a Virtue: Yes, even with all of these wonderful tips, sometimes our pets just aren’t interested in participating. Be patient. Take a break for a little bit, then try again.

We hope you have fun photographing your photogenic felines and captivating canines! And if you ever want to get inspired by looking at photos of adorable adoptable pets (or you want to adopt a pet), visit our website or check us out on Instagram.