Taking pet photos - Top 3 tips

How many times have you struggled to get a great photo of your beloved dog, cat or other small animal?

To take a great pet portrait all you need is a lot of patience, some understanding, and a little thought.  Practice only makes it a whole lot better.


I often get asked "Simon, how did you take that photo, it's amazing, you must have a great camera!" - well yes I do have a great camera but that's got very little to do with how great the photos come out.  There's no secret formula to stunning pet photography, or special equipment required - at least for the every day stuff.  All you need is patience and a little understanding about your pets world. 

I would normally include lots of photos in my posts to illustrate my points but actually, I would love for you to try these tips for yourself and email me with the end results - with your permission I'd like to add some of your shots to this post later on. Why? Because it works and I want to dispel the myth that the camera is what makes the shots. 

Tip 1: Find a place where your pet feels comfortable

This could be somewhere your dog loves to run, or even sleep.  Or a comfy pillow your cat feels right at home snoozing on. For Horses this would be their favourite field or the stable, anywhere they feel safe and free to act naturally. 

Tip 2: Wait for the right moment

This is the part where patience is your best asset.  Your pet will most likely want to do his or her own thing until they are good and ready to look cute for you.  By now you'll already know the routine. There's a spot picked out where you pet feels at home, and it's just a matter of time before everything comes together. Wait it out. If you let your pet come in their own time they'll reward you with the best photos.  
Try to time this for a time when the light is great too so you can avoid using those nasty flashes.  Cats with red eye are not cute! 

For dogs, pretty much any time is a good time but wait for the dogs walk if you want action shots, or shortly after when your dog is ready for a nap,  that's your chance for a great sleepy dog photograph.  

Tip 3: Get down to your pets eye line

By getting down to the ground or up to where your pets eyes are you will be taking a wonderful photo from within your pets world. Nothing makes a better connection than eye contact.  So don't be afraid to get a little mucky and get right down there to get that shot. Or if you have one of those tilting screens on your camera, you can avoid the dirt!

Give these top 3 tips a try and send your best pet photo's to me on simon@diffusephoto.com or check out my facebook page for a chance to earn a professional pet portrait in Preston