creative pet photography tips for taking photos of your dogs and cats

5 Fun Pet Photography Tips for Creative Dog and Cat Portraits

We love our pets as part of our family and capturing their crazy antics and sweet moments is a great way to display their unique cuteness. I’ve gathered some fun pet photography tips and ideas for showing off their special personalities.

Family Portraits

Our pets are part of our family, so when you’re taking family photos, be sure to include your favorite furry friend.

Take a portrait of your children with their pet

Grab Their Favorite Toys

It’s not easy getting our pets to pose, so pick up their favorite toy and let them play. Then grab some candid shots. You can try throwing a ball or whatever they like to play with, and get some action shots. With dogs and cats, it helps to get down to their eye level. Lay on your stomach, sit on the floor, or crouch down. You’ll get a much better perspective and show your viewers how your dog sees the world.

Capture photo of your dog playing with his or her favorite toys

Go on Location

“Location” could be as close as your backyard, or it could be a park or the beach. If your dog likes water, throw a ball or stick in the water and get him to fetch it. You can get some interesting shots of him as he’s coming out of the water. Bonus points if you can capture him shaking off the water.

one of my favorite pet photography tips is to try an action portrait in water

Show Your Pet Doing What He Loves Best

Is your dog a couch potato? Try for a photo of him lounging in his favorite position. Do your kittens play together? Let them play to their hearts’ content while you snap away and capture their character.

portrait of kittens playing

Try Macro

Macro photos of your pet can be amazing. These days you can take macro shots on cell phones, or if you have a DSLR use a macro lens or telephoto lens. Move in for a closeup and fill the frame with that adorable furry face.

another great pet photography tip is to try a macro portrait of your dog or cat

A Few Technical Pet Photography Tips

Take Your Pet Photos in Natural Light

We’ve all seen weird green, yellow, or blue eye colors that can result when we take pet photos with flash. And the flash will likely scare your pet. So what’s the solution? Natural light. Either near a large window if you’re inside, or better yet, take your pet photos outside. If possible, pick a cloudy day for soft, diffused light.

Focus on the Eyes

If your dog is like mine, you feel like you can see into his soul when you look into his eyes. Sharp eyes are so important in pet photography, so be sure to focus on your pet’s eyes. If your camera has AF for animals, try it out. The AF will focus on your pet’s eyes and you should get tack-sharp shots.

Be sure to focus on your pet's eyes for a tack sharp photo

Be Patient

Like photographing children, taking pictures of our pets can require a lot of patience. Give them time to relax and calm down. Offer her treats. If you want photos of your pet in a mellow state, try taking your pics later in the day when your furry friend is tired out. Or for active photos, try early in the day. You know your pet’s moods and activity levels best.

Don’t Forget the Treats

Have plenty of treats on hand and reward your fur kid as you shoot your photos. You’ll be rewarded in return with some memorable photos.

Fun Things to Do With Your Pet Portraits

Once you’ve taken some great pet photos, don’t leave them on your cellphone or in your camera. Show them off! I like to make canvas prints at an online site like, Mixbook or Shutterfly.

Canvas print dog portrait

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