How to take a good photo of your pet

by PDSA | 28 February #Lifestyle

Pets are adorable but it can be a complete nightmare trying to take a good photo of them. It’s not an impossible task, though, and there are some things that might make it easier.

Everyone likes to have a good picture of their pet but our pets aren’t always the most cooperative. You’d think they’d know by now that we need this to show everyone else how cute they are.

If you’re looking to get a nice snap of your pet, we’ve laid out some tips to help you. We’re not professional photographers though, so for anything more advanced we’d recommend more research!


Think about lighting

Yup, we’re going right in with lighting. Wherever your pet is, you want your source of light to be your side of the camera not right behind them. If you take a photo of your pet say, in front of a window with light coming in from behind them, you might find they end up looking very dark and almost silhouetted. Try to make sure that you are the same side as the light so it lights up your pet’s lovely face.


Skip the flash

We’ve all had that friend who takes a photo and forgets to tell you the flash is on. It’s not a nice experience. Generally pets are even more sensitive to this than we are, so a bright flash out of nowhere would a) be super annoying and hurt their eyes, and b) might spook them and cause them to run away. The complete opposite to what you want them to do.


Wait until they’re sleeping

Let’s face it, if you have a pet who’s always on the go, taking a photo of them awake can be difficult. You might find it a lot easier to take a photo of them while they’re asleep. Remember to take the picture from their level (rather than taking it with you standing up and them lying in their bed). Try not to disturb them and make sure the shutter sound is turned off so they don’t get woken up by an annoying click!


Use treats

Sometimes treats can be the best way to get your dog to pose nicely! This can be especially good if your dog knows commands like ‘sit’ and ‘wait’. You can even get holders to attach to your phone that hold a treat above the camera so your pet looks right at it. Obviously, don’t overdo it and remember to take treats into account when you feed your pet their daily meals. Don’t make your pet do this for too long though – just one photo should be enough so they don’t get bored or start to look uncomfortable.


Use burst mode

Most phones and cameras will have an option to use burst mode, which means they take a few photos in one click of the camera, one after the other. This is good for fidgety pets who don’t stay still, or if you’re trying to get an action shot of your pet. You can go through all the photos your phone took afterwards and pick out the best (least-blurry) one.


Catch them just being themselves

Sometimes, you might find that your pet ends up in the perfect pose naturally. Yes, this will require a little patience and good timing, but a lot of phone cameras can be accessed quite easily from the lock screen so being prepared shouldn’t be too much of a problem!


Get down on their level

The best way to take a photo of your pet is to make sure the camera is on their level – just like you would with a person. Having the camera at their eye level is ideal if you can manage it. If you have a particularly big camera, your pet may need a little time to get used to it first.


Keep sessions short

Our pets definitely get bored easily! Try to keep photo sessions as short as possible and stop if your pet loses interest or look uncomfortable (you can read more about dog body language and rabbit body language on our website). It’s important to keep it short and fun for your pet so they don’t mind the occasional photo session!


Don’t dress them up

To take a really nice photo of your pet, you need them to be happy, relaxed and comfortable. Putting clothes on pets can be quite restrictive, stop them from doing things they would do naturally and just generally make them upset. It’s best to avoid dressing your pet up for a photo as they might see it as a negative experience.


Keep it fun

Make sure you keep it fun for your pet so they enjoy having a picture taken. Playing with them before and after (or even during if you’ve mastered taking photos one-handed) is a great way to make sure they’re having fun. Remember to give them lots of praise if they pose well for you and look at the camera when you want them to. Don’t get frustrated if you can’t take the perfect shot first time – just try again next time!

Share this article on:  PDSA | 28 February


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