Pet Photography

July 10, 2016

In case you missed our recent FREE Lunchtime Seminar presented by Shannon Plummer of Wet Nose Photos, she has kindly offered 7 key tips for pet photography so you too can capture your pet's true personality and get the best results!

Keep it calm.

Go into the shoot with a calm energy. Animals sense your energy and if you are frustrated, nervous or downright impatient they will pick up on that energy and that’s not the kind of look you want in your images. This is especially true for cats who are naturally more suspicious.


Keep it natural.

Go outside to take advantage of the gorgeous natural light. If the light is harsh, such as in the middle of the day, stick to shady areas to keep your highlights and shadows from being too exaggerated. This will help to keep detail in those areas. Avoid flash at all costs, you can tell immediately when flash has been used and it’s usually not pretty if it’s not done perfectly. NEVER use flash directly on the pet. Not only will they not appreciate it and probably not want to model for you ever again, you’ll end up with those awful coloured reflections in the eyes {the animal equivalent of red-eye in humans} – Yuck! If you have to shoot indoors then find the lightest spot and try to have the pet facing the light source such as a window so their eyes contain interesting light and reflections and are not just dark holes.



My best tool and yours too! If the pet is food motivated then some cheese or fresh chicken will work wonders and you will have the full attention of your model! Maybe the pet is more into toys or praise. Work with their interests to create the best outcome. I always have a squeaky attached to my camera. When used at just the right moment it can give some great ‘Happy Ears’ and ‘Head Tilts’ for that winning shot!


Get Down Low.

To get up close and personal you need to get down to your models level. The majority of my shoot time is spent laying on my tummy {or franticly running after the model capturing action shots, each time reminding me how much I need to work out!}. Don’t be afraid to get down and dirty – the results are the reward, and believe me, they are worth it!


Keep your eye on the prize.

You need to be ready for anything and that means keeping eye to viewfinder ready and waiting. I promise you, as soon as you lower the camera something cute will happen. Don’t miss your chance because you’ve lost patience. Step it up and separate yourself from the ‘pack’ by working that little bit harder or longer and you’ll be thankful you did. Take lots of photos, they won’t all be amazing, but it’s better to have a few throw away shots than miss the shot altogether.


Enjoy yourself.

This is meant to be fun! It’s important to make it fun for the pet, and it will show in the images. There’s nothing worse than a photo where the pet is clearly sad, terrified or simply confused. You want happy, you want joyful, you want fun! That means you have to make it all of those things for the pet! It’s not rocket science.



Ahh yes, you’ve heard it a million times, but that’s because its true! Get out there and practice, practice, practice.


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