How to Take Expressive Photos of Pets

Whether it belongs to you or to a client, there are ways you can gracefully capture an animal's true nature. Here are tips on how to do that.
Free Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets by MCP™

How to Take Expressive Photos of Pets

Most people need a significant amount of guidance during photo shoots. Without it, they feel awkward and out of place. Animals, on the other hand, don’t feel self-conscious. Their never ending enthusiasm and curiosity resemble the purity of children: unadulterated and unfiltered joy.

The oblivious nature of animals may become a troubling obstacle if you’re used to giving clear instructions and being listened to. It may also serve as a blessing, since a lack of insecurities attracts honesty and spontaneity. Either way, you can take heartwarming and expressive photos of pets. Whether it belongs to you or to a client, there are ways you can gracefully capture an animal’s true nature. Here are tips on how to do that.

Photo of cat on bed

Use Accessories

A pet’s beloved accessory will not only complement its features, but give you interesting elements to work with. Since there’s an abundance of unique pet accessories out there, your results can be hilarious, adorable, or simply eye-catching. Remember to make sure that your subject feels at home. If you’re not sure, ask your clients if their pet looks happy. Discomfort will make any animal look miserable, even if you don’t notice it at first.

picture of pug in blanket

Be a Part of the Picture

If the pet is yours, pose with them! They’ll feel calmer and safer in your presence, giving you more time to take sharp photographs. If the pet belongs to your client, encourage them to pose with their companion. This will make it easier for you to capture sweet interactions and document a comfortable, familial atmosphere.

photo of dog and his owner

Photograph Your Pet in Its Favorite Place

Whether it’s their bed or a local park, an animal will feel refreshed in their favorite location. Since cats are both photogenic and talented at sleeping, taking photos of them in their beds will result in interesting shots. Dogs, on the other hand, may feel more at home outdoors, so try to photograph them as they run, play, and interact with their surroundings. As long as they’re comfortable, you’ll have many opportunities to take photographs you’re proud of.

photo of dog at lake

Use Treats and Toys

It’s easy to lose your energy in the presence of a tireless pet. To avoid both creative and physical exhaustion, catch your subject’s attention with a treat or a toy that they love. This method will calm them down for a few precious moments. It will also give you time to photograph them up close and keep their eyes in focus.

jumping cat photo

Know When to Call Your Pet

A highly important tip to remember is this: don’t use the same sounds or phrases repeatedly, as your subject will start to ignore you. Only call or whistle when you and your camera are ready. If you’re taking photos in a studio, remember not to call the animal’s name to avoid making them run toward you. As obvious as this may sound, many people forget this during their shoots!

german shepherd picture

Take Photos Up Close and Far Away

A variety of interesting photos will inevitably satisfy your clients. In addition to focusing on your subject’s eyes, pay attention to movements, toys, funny expressions, and surroundings. Your clients will cherish detailed photos of their pet, but they’ll also appreciate wider shots of themselves interacting with their best friend.

photo of cat lying on bed

Your animal photo shoots can be as smooth and as fun as your client shoots. Whether a pet is yours or your client’s, you can easily get to know them within minutes and photograph their unique personality. As long as everyone feels comfortable and safe, your photographs are guaranteed to be a success.

Most importantly, treat the day of your shoot as an irreplaceable time in your clients’ lives, and make it unforgettable through your work.

photo of girl with cat photo of dog with stick


Free Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets by MCP™
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How to Take Expressive Photos of Pets