A Few Pet Photo Tips

Posted on by Wess Foreman

A few tips on taking dog or cat photos (works for kids too, go figure), as well as a shameless plug at the end:

1) best to get the camera down to their level or bring the "animals" up to the camera level, with the help of a platform of some kind (chair or table . . .). The reason: shooting on the same level as the subject is more natural looking (much more natural than that "deer-in-the-headlights", top-down angle that we've all shot from from time to time because we were just too lazy to move).

2) best to "fill the frame" with the subject matter - this one is true as a general photography tip. If you take in an entire yard, for instance, wanting to simply capture a shot of your precious pet, he or she gets lost in the background. Better to zoom in, or move in, to a point where most of the picture frame consists of Fido's smiling profile.

3) best to avoid using the on-camera flash if possible - move the "animal" outside or near a big window if it's too dark inside. The on-camera flash looks unnatural, creates a halo-like shadow around the subject, promotes red-eye, and tends to blast away details in the face. (interesting side note: if shooting in direct sunlight, it's usually better to use a flash as it will help fill in any shadows created by the top-down sunlight - though some point-and-shoot cameras might not fire the flash in that situation)

4) Try to catch your pet off-guard. Usually when a dog sees the camera come out, he drops his head and ears as if to be friendly/submissive toward the camera - this might not be the best pose for your loved one. Always pay attention to how the subject looks (sounds obvious, but you never know)

5) take plenty of photos to choose from (doesn't hurt, especially with a digital camera), plus the more photos you take the more familiar and natural your pet becomes toward the camera.

6) coincidentally, I paint portraits from photos (amazing coincidence, no?), and I highly recommend commissioning one today! If you plan to do so, I can always use an extra photo or two to give me a better idea of what they look like from different angles.

Pet Pricing:
14×11″ - $200
24×18″ - $350
30×24″ - $500
40×30″ - $1000
(same price for two pets :-)

Examples and Portrait Pricing and more info available here:

Hope at least part of this was helpful! (and Happy Easter!)

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