Pet Photography

Photo by Daniele Venançoni

Photo by Daniele Venançoni


By Daniele Venançoni

Making pictures of our pets can become a challenge. These companions are usually extremely curious and restless, distracted with everything around you and, therefore, we can hardly capture the animals as we would like at the time of the click. Thus, here are some tips that can be very useful and applied to any kind of pet.

First, observe your pet’s behaviour and check what time it is quieter. If, for example, we know it is busy close to mealtime or walks, certainly, this will not be a good time to photograph it.
After discovering the best time, get ready to make pictures in their natural environment, i.e. where the animal is accustomed to stay most of the time. You can use some tricks to make the most ornate place and therefore more beautiful, like putting a smooth and neutral colour cloth behind the animal, or some nearby accessories, such as vases with flowers or decorative garden objects.

If the photo shoots are performed outdoors in direct sunlight, avoid the midday hours. In fact, natural light allows the most beautiful photographs, but in this specific time, the sun’s rays cause stronger shadows, taking the smoothness of the image. Choose the early morning or late afternoon.
Start with letting the puppy get used to the camera. It is likely to want to know what this object is, so let him get used to the sounds and flashes. A very common mistake made by those who want to shoot a pet, is to do it standing up, positioned higher than the animal itself. Remember that a good photograph in this case must be made at eye level. To do this, lean or kneel if necessary. Photographs taken from a higher position usually give the impression that the animal’s head is disproportionate to the body, diminishing the beauty of the object. This tip even applies to pictures of children.

Because pets have a vitality and energy that seem to have no end, set your camera to the “Pet Mode” or “Sport Mode”. This way you can keep animals focused even when it is in motion, avoiding blurry images, as this configuration is able to freeze the images at the time of shooting. If possible, avoid using flash as it can make the eyes of the animal red in the photo. If you require its use, try to create more distance to the object.
Beautiful pictures are related to poses that favour the model. Therefore, make test photos of the animal in different positions. Some are better sitting, others lying or standing. Click several times and make your evaluation!

Finally, the most important thing is that all these tips should be followed up with a lot of patience. Remember that, unlike humans, animals do not know how to do poses or waiting to be photographed, so be respectful of the time and the limit of each. If the fun activity turns to be stressful, take a break of about 30 minutes, relax and start again. With love, care and patience, you will surely get beautiful photos!