Pet photography: 7 tips to improve your pictures

Author picture Jessica  - updated: 16/11/2018

Taking a good pet photo for your Instagram or Pawshake profile gallery isn’t easy. Cats and dogs are mobile models that don’t always perform on command. Nevertheless, pet photography can be a really enjoyable hobby! And a few small tricks can significantly enhance the quality of your snaps. Our 7 tips for photographing pets will soon have you producing perfect pics!

1: Mood and personality

Photos are essentially pictorial stories. So, consider the narrative that you wish to convey. What type of your personality does your pet have? Is he or she extremely playful or super laid back? Choose a context that accurately reflects your pet’s character. A photo of your canine companion eagerly anticipating a treat gives a completely different impression than one in which they are playing with a favourite ball. If you’re planning to take an action shot, then choose the time of day when your pet is naturally active - in the evening for cats and during the day (and especially during a walk!) for dogs. That way you’re making the most of your pet’s natural rhythm.

Also decide whether to include any people in the photo. A snapshot of your dog playing with you radiates a huge amount of warmth and is guaranteed to be a hit on your Pawshake profile!

2: Setting

Regardless of whether you’re taking an indoor or outdoor shot: examine your pet’s surroundings. Remove any clutter for a 'clean' and professional result. After all, your pet is meant to be the focus, not your stray slippers :-)

Drop to your pet’s level and experiment with light, angle, focus and setting.

3: Light

A photo that’s too dark won't look as good as a bright, clean shot. So, select the correct exposure and preferably take your photos in daylight. Using a flash is distracting for your furry friend and typically results in an overexposed/mirrored effect that gives their fur an unnatural colour. So, if you’re photographing inside, throw open the curtains and make sure that your pet is basking in natural light. 

4: On the same level

The best results are achieved by kneeling and photographing your pet from his or her own level. Snapping a dog from above can make them look a bit sad and submissive. In contrast, a photo taken from the ground will lend your pooch a more striking appearance.

5: Movement

The biggest issue with photographing pets is that they move, causing blurry shots. These days many cameras boast a 'sports mode' for sharp action shots. If you’re using a manual camera, then opt for a faster shutter speed. You will, however, require plenty of light for this type of setting. Your camera’s 'continuous focus' or AF-C mode will ensure a consistent focus on your subject, even when it’s moving.

Using a smartphone? Then activate the 'burst' setting and your camera will take numerous photos in rapid succession, greatly increasing the chance of a nice sharp image.

6: Composition

Focus your lens on your pet’s eyes for the most captivating effect. Play with the composition: take 'portrait photos' of your pet’s lovely face, as well as some partial and full body snaps. And try experimenting with various angles: from above and to the side. Play with light and consider what to incorporate into the background and what to avoid. 

7: Make it fun for you and your four-legged friend

Taking the perfect snap requires a lot of patience. Therefore, having fun helps! A spontaneous photo of a relaxed and happy pet that’s clearly having a ball will always be captivating. So, play your pet’s favourite games, reward them with a treat and take loads of photos. You can then select the best of the bunch.

Proud of your sensational snaps? Then why not upload them to your Pawshake profile? Pet sitters can add photos to their gallery, and pet owners to their profile. The better your photos, the more attractive your profile and the greater the number of enquiries! Searching for a pet sitter for your beloved pet? Flattering pics of your pet invariably result in a quicker match and a successful meet & greet.

Of course, you can also share your finest photos on your Instagram page. Already following Pawshake?  Then tag your photos #Pawshakenz and we’ll share the cream of the crop with our community.

Happy snapping!