6 Tips for Taking Paw-fessional Photos of your Pets

You can never have too many photos of your pets. Their cute little faces are just waiting to have their pictures taken. It’s not always easy to get a nice shot though.

Besides the fact that they rarely sit still, getting the right angle (and opened eye – amiright?) can be really tricky!

It takes many years for photographers to master taking the perfect pet photographs. Thankfully, there are little tips and tricks that can help you achieve the perfect pet shot.

Here are six of our favourites.

1. Move slowly and talk calmly

We don’t know about the animals that you own, but the ones we know are fun, excitable and never sit still. They also don’t necessarily listen to our carefully phrased and articulated commands.

A sure way to make it even more difficult to capture the perfect shot of your pet is to continuously bark commands at them and move really fast.

When you’re taking photos of your furry friend, communicate in soft, calming tones and use hand signals that you know they will understand. This is always going to be the best way to engage them.

Moving slowly is also really important. Keeping your pets calm and relaxed is essential to getting the shot you want. You know how excited your dog gets when they see you move and think they get to go for a walk. Quick movements during your shoot will also ensure that kind of excitement for your pet. When you’re shifting positions, move slowly and make minimal eye contact.

The less you command and rush around during the shoot, the greater it’s going to turn out.

2. Treats, treats, treats, treats, treats!

We don’t know about you, but we probably wouldn’t voluntarily participate in a photo shoot. So, while your pet doesn’t have much choice when it comes to sitting in front of your camera or phone for a picture, the least you can do is reward them for their troubles.

Be prepared with your pet’s favourite treats. Use them to maintain their comfort and their willingness to stay in place for you. You can also use the treats to help get their attention.

And if you’re feeling very adventurous, why not try tossing your treat in the air for your pet to catch. If you’ve got your camera at the ready, you’re sure to capture some pretty cool shots!  

3. Get down on their level

For animals, eye contact is everything. It’s a great way to build trust and communicate with your pet. Getting down on their level and being in their world helps with that trust building too.

It also gives a whole new perspective to your photos. Taking the photo from up above your pet highlights a very human perspective in the shot. But by kneeling down to your pet’s level, you see the world through their eyes. This not only shows their perspective, it builds greater emotion and a sense of intimacy within the photo.

4. Play time, then shoot!

Here’s our pre-photo shoot tip: Take your pet for a run around, throw a ball or have a play before you settle for the photo shoot. This can have one of two affects.

Your pet will either be so tired that they will settle enough – still and in the same position, for you to capture the perfect shot. Or they will be puffing and panting, and you can take advantage of their goofy facial expressions to really capture their personality!

5. Use burst mode

Whether you’re using your camera or your mobile phone, take advantage of the burst mode or continuous shooting.

Depending on the shots you’re trying to capture, you might need to try and get more of an action shot. By taking advantage of these camera settings you can relax a little more and trust that as your pet is playing, flying, hopping or running, you’re going to get a cool action shot.

6. Have some fun, but know your limits

The most important thing is to have fun with it. The perfect photos of your pets are the ones that truly capture their personality.

If you have a well-behaved and patient pet, why not have some fun putting some costumes (hats, glasses, doggy outfits) on, to see what you can capture.

But make sure that you don’t push your pet too far. Don’t expect them to cooperate if they’re feeling uncomfortable.

Now you’re armed and ready to start photographing. So, what are you waiting for?

Do you have a beautiful shot of your pet printed with Snapfish? Make sure you share a photo with us using #snapfishAUNZ


Thanks to this good boy, George and his human for spending the day with us on this shoot.

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