How to Get the Perfect Pet Pictures

//How to Get the Perfect Pet Pictures

Perfecting Pet Photo Shoots

If you think your puppy has what it takes to become the next Instagram star, follow these simple guidelines to get that perfect puppy photo.

Puppy Photo


Get on Their Level

Puppies see the world differently, so it’s important to capture that when going in for the photo. Whether that’s setting up a tripod low to the ground or lying on the floor for that perfect puppy picture, make sure the camera is on their level. You’ll get a better photo without too much negative space and a really great depth of field: The focus will be on your pup’s cute face rather than the background.

Don’t Force It

Puppies are like toddlers: If they don’t want to do something, they won’t do it. Pet photography can be tricky this way, and viewers can tell if the puppy is uncomfortable. You want to get pictures of your puppy doing things he enjoys, not forcing him into a position just for the sake of photography.

Make the Lighting Work

Just like with human photo shoots, getting the lighting to work for your pet photo shoot is essential. You want the lighting to mesh up well with your pet portrait, so be careful to avoid whitewashing the subject or not getting enough exposure. If you are wanting to achieve a comfortable puppy portrait, opt for soft or natural light. Be sure to make the light work for you.

Puppy Photo


Don’t Be Afraid of Action Shots

Some of the best pet photography includes catching the puppy in action. Don’t be afraid to use different settings that can get that perfect freeze frame if you are not confident in your manual shooting just yet. Many DSLRs have amazing pre-programmed settings that can catch your pup’s face as they’re going for the tennis ball.

Location, Location, Location

Pet photography doesn’t have to take place in a studio or your living room. There are many great locations that make the perfect backdrops for your puppy portrait. Try taking your dog to a local park, beach, or café to add some extra personality to your work. Plus, the natural light that outdoor locations provides gives a nice glow to your pet portrait, which leads to less editing for you.

Posing or Natural?

Keep in mind that puppies have a very short attention span, so they may not always sit pretty for their photo. Be prepared to take a lot of pictures (much more than you will actually need), be patient, and opt for some candid shots in between photo shoots. If you really need the pet to sit down for the photo, make use of their favorite treats or squeaky toys. Always be ready to snap that perfect puppy photo when they aren’t paying attention.


All in all, it is important to remember that pets may not always react the way that you want them to. Pet photography takes patience and a sense of humor. Most of the time, your favorite pet portraits may wind up being the ones you never intended to take!

By |2017-01-18T00:49:08-08:00January 18th, 2017|Categories: How-to Tips|4 Comments

About the Author:

Caleb is a freelance photographer residing in sunny Los Angeles. When he's not taking pictures of his dogs, he can be found scouring SoCal for the best graffiti and hiking trails to photograph.