you have the opportunity, it's best to
take some pet photos with the needs of a
portrait specially in mind. For some
pets, a beautiful photograph capturing
their best qualities is very easy, while
for others it is frustratingly elusive.
Many choose a professional pet
photography studio for this reason, and
while this can be a good solution, with a
little preparation and plenty of patience
you should still be able to achieve
similar results yourself. After all...who
else knows your pet better?
all, remember to have fun and don't be in a
rush. Patience is most definitely a virtue
when it comes to photographing pets! Be ready
to click away and take plenty of shots. Here
are a few simple yet effective tips I've
found can give the best results...
best possible lighting is achieved
outside in natural
light. Try to do this even if your
pet is an indoor only pet - though of
course safety comes first and this
may not always be possible. Having
your pet close to a large window,
with plenty of natural light coming
from behind or slightly to the side
of you as you face your pet, is the
next best option.
direct sunlight, as it can alter
natural colouring and increase the
contrast between shadow and light,
hiding some features. A bright but
overcast day is perfect.
use a flash, as this can cause
red-eye and distort the true
colouring & shading of your pet.
An exception to this is if your pet
has a black coat, in which case a
flash or bright sunlight can actually
bring out shading and texture which
may be lost in photos taken under
other lighting conditions.
your pet on their level. Don't have
them looking up at you unless this is
how you wish the portrait to appear.
Don't make them come to you. Instead,
go to where they are most comfortable
and see the world from their point of
view. Sit on the grass, lie on the
floor, whatever it takes. This is
especially important for full body
shots, which look best from the side
rather than above.
plenty of facial photographs with a
zoom lense if possible, and have
their face fill the frame while still
in sharp focus. Try taking some
three-quarter views as well as from
the front, as a slightly angled pose
can sometimes make a beautiful
your pet will not sit still, have
someone hold them in position. If
these pictures are solely for the
portrait, then hands and arms in the
frame do not matter and are easily
removed as long as they do not cover
your pet as comfortable and at ease
as possible. Cameras can be
distracting for some animals, so if
you cannot get your pet to behave
normally, try having someone else
present to divert their attention and
keep them engaged.
the most characteristic expression
& pose of your pet. If they are
generally happy, try to catch them
doing their version of a smile.
good idea is to have favourite treats
or toys at the ready. Hold them up
near the camera to catch (and
hopefully hold) interest in the right
direction. Most importantly, don't be
afraid to be silly. Try making funny
and unusual noises or movements to
get their attention.
Please note that the quality of my portrait will be
dependent on your photographs. If they are
blurred or your pet is a small spot in the
background, I'll have less to work with and
the final portrait will be part guesswork,
which means it won't be as much a
representation of your pet as it should be.
All text & images on this site are © Sarah
Theophilus - Please respect copyright.