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How to Take Great Photos of Your Pets

Photo of a puppy staring into a camera sitting on a couch.

Every pet owner on the planet loves to get a good photo of their four-legged comrade. However, it’s not always the easiest task. They like to move and look away just about every chance they get. And forget about taking photos of them at night with glowing eyes!

If you’ve been struggling to get the perfect shot of your furry friend, then you’ve come to the right place. Let’s take a look at some of the tips to get the best pictures of your pet.


Why Photos of Your Pet are Important

Capturing photos of your pet is definitely something you want to invest in. Not only do these photographs become cherished memories, but when your pet is no longer here, it can be something you can look back on and smile about. These photographs can capture their personality and take you back to a certain time in their life that you’ll never want to forget. We definitely encourage getting great photos of your pets, and we have a few tips for just how to do it!

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Use a Decent Camera

Most of us use our phones today for photos, especially when we’re out and about. Phone cameras have improved so much over the years that a newer phone (from the past 1-3 years) will give you some nice photos that can be printed if you’d like. Older phones may not give you print-quality images. 

Play with a few of the settings on the phone to see if there’s one that might take a better shot of your pet, such as “Portrait” mode or “Night” mode depending on where you are and the time of day.

Let Your Dog Check it Out

A camera or phone is a pretty weird object when you think about it. If you’re trying to get a good picture of your pet, take a moment to let him or her take a look at it before trying to capture the photo. Curiosity can keep animals distracted, so if you let your pet have a good sniff and see, then they will likely lose interest after a while. 

Positive Reinforcement

Motivation, positive reinforcement, bribery – call it what you whatever you like when it comes to getting your pet to pay attention to you when you’re trying to take a photo. Get out his favorite treats or toy as a reward for sitting for just a moment as you capture a cute picture of him. 

Consider Being in the Photograph

Sometimes, pets do best with their owner nearby. A great picture idea is capturing the beauty of your relationship. Have a friend snap the shot or even put your camera on a timer. Even phone camera’s offer a timer if you can find a good spot to set it down that gives you a good angle.

Don’t Ignore the Background

To get a truly good picture of your pet, don’t forget to be mindful of the background. Outside pictures are always a great idea because your pet will enjoy being outdoors, and you don’t have to worry about kids’ toys, laundry or other every day household items on the floor near the dog. 

Get on Their Level

This is true of pets and kids… try to get down to their level when you take the photo. This is especially true for smaller breeds of pets. Getting down on the ground to take a photo will help capture your pet in its own element, looking more natural than looking up at you. 

Avoid Using a Flash

When possible, try to not use the flash on your camera. Animal eyes are reflective in bright light. That creates the dreaded red-eye that you see in photos. Try to be sure you have enough light in the area when you take the photo. Or, some phones and cameras, will adjust the way the photo is taken in dim light or at night. Be sure you have your settings moved to that if there isn’t a lot of great light.

Know Your Pet

Some pets are more interested in having their picture taken than others. If you know your pet is more on the shy side, then consider the types of pictures you can get of them (such as sleeping, cuddling, or playing their favorite games). Knowing your pet's personality can help you best prepare for how to get a good photo of them. 

Keep it Simple

Sometimes, pet owners are tempted to add in a lot of props like outfits or hats. While these photos can be really cute, they can also be distracting for the dog. Unless your pet is used to these items, try to avoid including them in your photo. They’re likely to spend more time trying to take their hat off than looking at you for a cute pic.

Take a LOT of Photos in One Session

Be prepared to take several photos to get just a couple of decent shots. If you have a “burst” option on your phone or camera that takes a rapid set of pictures you can hopefully find one or two at just the right moment. If you have an iPhone and you use the Live setting on the camera you may be able to find a different pose than the one that your camera chose that you like better.

And in some cases, you might just have to try again later if it’s not working out right now. 

Editing is Your Friend

If you got too much background, or maybe the photo was a little too dark you can use some basic editing on your phone to fix that. And, there are a lot of options to remove the glowing red-eye that pets commonly get if you use a flash. 

Make it a priority to get some great shots of your pet today! These pictures are surely going to bring a smile to your face today and many days into the future.

Dog Training in Tucson at Central Pet Arizona