Photographing your furry friend may look easy but it can be a little tricky… To help you capture your furry companion we’ve put together a few tips to highlight your pet and get the perfect shot!
Photos by Jess Bell | GTA Photography Grad (Photography Business)
1) Capture them in their Element
It’s important to make your pet comfortable and feel at ease when photographing them. If you’re trying to force a scenario it’s not going to work out and you’ll see that in your photos.
You want to refrain from using flash so that you don’t frighten them. Good lighting is everything, especially with pets! Try to set up their favourite bed or blanket by a large window in order to capture them in a soft light.
Photos by Michelle Fernandes & Michelle Kim | GTA Photography Grads
2) Eliminate distractions!
Remove distractions from your scene by removing any clutter around your pet. Simplicity is important when you are trying to capture an intimate moment indoors.
If you’re new to photography, or your pet is new to your home, take photos of them while they are sleeping so you have more time to experiment with your camera settings.
“Rico” by Megan Schijven
3) Fast Shutter Speeds!
If they’re a little more rambunctious, or simply in a playful mood, move the shoot outside! Get them playing with a ball and doing what they love. To freeze their action, use the fastest shutter speed possible! When you’re outdoors during the day, you should be able to set your shutter to 1/1000 or faster which could be really helpful for really fast moving pets!
Photos by Jess Bell
4) Eyes hold the most expression
You can tell a lot about a dog simply by looking into their eyes! Keep your camera focussed on their eyes and you’ll definitely find a great shot. Getting down to their level will help highlight their character and create more intimacy between you and your furry friend!
Don’t be shy to get up close, you may even get a lick or two while you’re there!
TIP: Get a blurred background by framing your shot as close as you want to with the subject and use a wider aperture (we recommend f/2.8 or wider!)
Photo by NorthWest Mommy
5) Get creative & change your angles!
Mix up your framing and capture your pet through a different angle. Try to get into their fast-paced world by experimenting with a wide-angle lens. You might even get a little distortion like the photo below that was captured on a Canon 16-35 mm f/2.8 lens with a shutter 1/1600 sec.
Props and costumes are also available for many pets! Dress them up and head out to your closest park!
“Ball of Fun” by Missy Maher | GTA Photography Grad
6) Provide motivation! (and treats)
Make sure you communicate with your pet during your shoot! Compliments often motivate your pet and if you’re shaving trouble, there’s nothing a piece of their favourite treat won’t solve. No dogs we know has said No dog that we know of has said no to bacon flavoured treats, we’ve only heard “ruff”!
Photo by @Boogietheaussiemix
7) Keep your photos crisp – Less contrast doesn’t mean less detail!
Our pets generally have a lot of hair and we need to make sure it looks great! The detail in your pet’s photo can look harsh with too much contrast, causing their hair look clumpy and greasy in the photo. Too much contrast could cause you to lose detail in the hair as well and it won’t look as fluffy in the photos. Without enough contrast, you’ll notice that your pet’s hair doesn’t look as clear and crisp as it can be.