Pet Photography Tips
Updated: Oct 8
With the up coming winter holidays, it would be a great time to work on your photography skills. Here are some tips on capturing that great shot of your pet.
Desensitize to Equipment
Photography equipment can potentially be scary to your pet...There's light flashing, weird noises, large stands just to name a few. If your pet is cautious toward the equipment you need to desensitize your pet to the equipment.
To do this, encourage your pet to investigate the equipment. No fast movements, sounds or light. If your pet is still having problems after a few sessions, feed your pet at a distance from the equipment and over time slowly more their bowl closer and close to the equipment.
To desensitize them from the noise (at a distance), make the noise and feed your pet a treat, physically praise your pet or toss a toy. If need be there are puppy sound apps that have a camera shutter as a sound. Start with the volume low and work your way up. Keep practicing this.
Let your Pet Shine
Show off your pet's personality. Take natural shots of the pet just being themselves. If they are active try some shots of them jumping or playing. If they are a couch potato try some on their bed.
Focus on what makes your pet unique...Do they have extra toes? A curly tail? Revered fur?
Teaching your pet some cute tricks can make your photos more entertaining. Some eye catching tricks include paw, jump, catch, sit pretty, holding an object, etc.
Adding props such as chairs, and blankets or dressing your pet up can help put the photo together if your pet doesn't know any tricks.
Trainer Tip: If you have a high strung dog and you want to pose your dog, you may want to exercise them before hand to help tire them out some. If you want an action shot, do it before any exercise or play.
Keep your background in mind. Pick a background where your dog stands out. A dark colored pet will not stand out on a brown leather couch. Always make sure your location is safe for the pet. When outside, keep a collar and leash on and use editing software to edit it out.
Be patient. Remember you are working with animals. They are unpredictable. Don't be afraid to enlist help. Use a squeaker toy, toss a treats, or use sounds the dog will react to. Change your position (ie: above the dog, eye level, long distance, up close etc) while working on the same pose. Give yourself a good variety. The more you take, the better chance you will get the perfect shot. Make sure your camera is fully change. Bring an extra battery if you plan on being out a while or in the cold.
Kathlyn Lawrence of All Jazzed Up Pet Services LLC is a Certified Professional Trainer (CPT) with years of experience training dogs and working with animals. For more information on our Pet Services please visit our website.