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How to capture the perfect photo of your pet

By Amy Wright | Jan 17, 2018

Pets hold a special place in our hearts, so it comes as no surprise that you want to capture the perfect shot of your furry friend to cherish, share or let it shine in your home as a photo print. However, it can sometimes be a little challenging for your pet to sit still long enough to snap that beautiful shot. Here are some tips and tricks that will help you capture that perfect photo of your pet because let's face it, your pet deserves to be the centre of attention.

Attention Seeker

If you want your pet to look at the camera during the photo shoot, make sure to have some treats or a squeaky toy handy! You can hold the treat or toy in one hand beside the camera to keep their attention long enough to capture that perfect moment. If you want your pet to look excited or happy you can use that high pitch tone of voice, we all hate to admit we do to capture their attention. Don’t forget to reward your furry friend with a treat for all their hard modeling work.


Lights, camera, action

Pets aren’t the greatest at staying still, which is why a shutter speed of 1/400s or faster is recommended when using your camera, but only if you’re outdoors. The faster the shutter speed, the better the shot, but with a faster shutter speed, the lens tends to catch less light, therefore the picture will tend to be darker. When using a fast shutter speed, natural lighting is recommended to get that beautiful portrait you’re aiming for.

If you don't have a digital camera with shutter speed option, your phone will do the job as well! A good trick is to take live photos, that way the image records what happens 1.5 seconds before and after you take a picture. So, if your pet moves a bit as soon as you snapped the shot, chances are you can go back in time and still have that perfect shot captured.


No flash photography, please

There are several reasons why flash should be avoided when photographing your pets, including red-eye and harsh lighting. Most importantly, when it comes to pets, the flash can scare them and make them nervous, jumpy or unsettled. Using a flash will more often than not cause eye distortion, especially in pets and, let’s be honest, there is nothing worse than creepy glowing eyes ruining the perfect moment.



Natural lighting is your best friend when trying to take the perfect photo of your pet. Taking photos outside in the morning or evening, avoiding direct sunlight will create the perfect photo to showcase in your home on a canvas or framed print. Believe it or not, overcast days are optimal for photoshoots since they still provide natural lighting without the harsh brightness from direct sunlight which allows you to avoid exposure issues and shadows.



Getting on different levels and shooting from different angles will create more creative shots. Taking photos from above, below, in front and from behind will highlight your pet in all their glory.

Getting down to the same level as your pet will capture an interesting perspective and you can even blur the background for a more dramatic effect. Lying on the ground will also steady the camera and the use of a tripod won’t be necessary. Your pet will love seeing you at their level and might even give you some new poses and some sweet kisses.


As much as we’d like, our pets don’t speak human or understand what exactly we’re trying to do, so patience and a pocketful of treats can go a long way. Now that you are armed with some great tips and tricks to capture the perfect photo of your pet, get out there and have them strike a pose. But most of all, don't forget the most important rule to pet photography; have fun!

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