You consider your pet as part of the family. Whenever your family is going somewhere, you always make sure that your pet is there with you, complete with his treats and other necessities. And now that all of your family portraits are hanging on your home wall, you think it’s also apt that your pet will have a space there as well. You want your visitors to know how important your pet is and a spot on your wall is the perfect way to show just that. For you to achieve that goal, you need to be accustomed to pet photography and here are some power tips on how you can do it successfully:

1) Be patient: Regardless of how long you have your pet, there will be instances when they’ll be stubborn. When you instruct them to stay, they could end up playing and jumping around. When this happens during the shoot, make sure to keep your cool. Don’t expect that your pet will immediately adapt to the photo session set-up.

2) Keep the eyes sharp: The maxim which states the “eyes are the window to the soul” is still true in the context of pet photography. Pets can be very expressive through their eyes so work your very best in order to focus on these. Your pet’s eyes can show many emotions – whether they’re happy or sad, and even when they’re in love. This can be very tough to take a photo of but since you’re the pet owner, you’re the best person to know what works for your pet.

3) Clean the area: Before setting up your camera and gear, always clean the area where you’re planning to have the photo session. If you have a clean area, it’ll be easier for your audience to focus their attention on your pet in the picture rather than looking on the clutter around. A clean area will also minimize the risk of your pet being distracted during the shoot.

4) Be flexible and stretch first: If you’ve done some research on how pet photographers do their job, you’d know that they’d have to twist and turn just to take a decent photo. And now that you’re doing it on your own, expect that you’ll do the same – you’d be crawling, bending and crouching just to get the shot. And you should be ready for it. Prepare for these by doing your own stretches and exercises before the shoot.

5) Go to them: It can be difficult to tell your pet to come to you. It can be very time-consuming and draining on your part especially when they don’t follow instruction. Instead of forcing them to do it, go to them instead. It’s important that your pet feels at ease and comfortable during the shoot and this is one way of doing it. And while you’re at it, make sure that you get down on their level. Depending on the size of your pet, shoot from  eye level or below, never above.

6) Go where the light is best: Light is crucial in any kind of photography; this can make or break the output of your photos. To guarantee that your pet photos can only have the best effect, go where the light is best. If there’s a part in your home where there’s a huge glass window, make sure your shoot is in this area and schedule the shoot during the daytime.

7) Prepare your pet’s treats: Everyone likes to work when they’re motivated – and the same goes for your pets. When your pet did what you instructed them to do, reward them with their favorite treats. This will serve as their motivation to be at their best during the entire duration of the shoot.

If you think you’re still having a hard time doing pet photography, don’t fret, it does take time.

In Conclusion

Doing pet photography can become challenging especially if you’re doing it for the first time. Unlike working with human beings as your models, pets can be distracted easily, and they can have their own unconventional ways of expressing themselves. But that doesn’t imply that pet photography is impossible to do at all. Take note of the power tips from 312elements.com presented in this article, gradually practice these with your pets and for sure, you’ll be able to take the perfect shot with your furry friends in no time at all! Good Luck!   

Michael Schacht

Michael Schacht is a portrait photographer and photography educator based in Chicago Illinois. As owner/operator of 312elements.com Headshot Photography located in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood, Michael overseas the day to day operations and has had the opportunity to photograph thousands of corporate professionals over the last decade. Through his direction, attention to detail, and people skills, he’s helped these clients to craft a narrative around their personal brand. It’s his belief that the headshot is the modern dad business card and that a better headshot is essential for a better career. Michael, his wife Meghan and his two daughters reside in Tinley Park Illinois where he is a community leader and active participant in the local business sector. Michael studied business at Ball State university and photography with world renown headshot photographer, Peter Hurley. It was Hurley that trained Michael in the art of human expression. Michael is now a Headshot Crew certified Mentor and active member of the Headshot Crew community where he was named one of the top 20 headshot photographers in the world.