Pet Photography : A Complete Guide To Tips, Poses and Ideas

14 Great Pet Photography Tips For Better Pictures

Pet Photography

What is Pet Photography?

Being in the photography industry comes with a lot of perks. A professional gets to meet new people, visiting different yet exotic locations, try our different foods (food photography) and experience countless other things. The best part about this profession is that it is not just limited to one genre. There are different types of photography genres for a professional to choose from and Pet Photography is one of those genres.

pet photography

As the name suggests, pet photography is capturing the photos of domestic animals. Unlike wildlife photography which is about capturing animals in their natural habitat, pet photography is about capturing domestic animals inside home, lawn or somewhere outdoors. There’s a popular belief that pet photography is easy, which is far from the truth. Pet photography can be challenging and put the photographer out of the comfort zone. Animals are unpredictable and they aren’t familiar with photoshoots. This puts the skills of photographers to test.

What is the significance of Pet Photography?

Pet owners around the world are constantly looking for good pet photography services to get their pooch captured. The reasons can vary anywhere from social media updates to keep the memories of their pet alive. In fact, the pet photography industry is on the rise and the demand for dog photographers or cat photographers is increasing by the day in the market.

pet photography

The best part about being a pet photographer is that you get to meet so many different pets on a regular basis that you love going to work every day. So, if you are a pet photographer or aiming to be one then here are some tips you can follow to click the best pet photographs.


Tips To Master Pet Photography


1. Do Research on Animal

pet photography, spyne

There’s a difference between dog photography and cat photography because both of those animals are different from one another. So, do research about the nature of the animals and ways to calm them down. If you already know how to do that, you can talk to the owner first about the habits of the pet, the things that the pet finds annoying or what the pet loves most. 

2. Never Rush

dog photography

Pet photography is about patience. Don’t rush the photoshoot or force poses onto the animal. Start out by getting to know the pet. Play with it for some time and give the animal the chance to get comfortable in your presence. Once you have built a bond with the pet, you can initiate the photoshoot.

3. Experimenting is the Key

dog photography,

Google best pet photos or something related and you will find so many photos of animals in different poses. This way you can get some ideas for pet photography poses. Also, you can search Pinterest for pose ideas for pet photography. Experiment with different poses until you capture the best.

Also Read10 Ultimate Tips & Trick For Mastering Wildlife Photography

4. Capture the expressions

Capture expressions, pet photography

Pet Photoshoot

To make your pictures stand out and look more captivating, aim towards capturing the expressions of the animals. Now, this can be hard at the beginning when the pet is evidently showing disinterest in you. But that can change if you keep the surroundings interactive for the animal. Distract the pets with toys or food so that they don’t have just one expression on their faces.

5. Pick a theme

Pet Photoshoot

Pet photography becomes easy when you have a theme. Yes, you can try out different themes for the pet photoshoot. You can go with festival themes or keep it abstract. A theme gives you an agenda, making the work a bit easy for you. The best part is that you can try out different themes and make a calendar too. Pet photo calendars are rather famous among pet owners.

6. Outdoor over indoor

outdoor vs indoor, pet photography

Pet photography, when done in natural light, results in magical photos. So, rather than setting up artificial light and studio, you can choose to do the photoshoot where there’s ample sunlight. Firstly, it automatically puts the animals in their comfort zone and secondly, the artificial light won’t annoy the animal. Also, you can experiment with different locations while shooting outdoors which is not necessarily possible in an indoor setup.

7. Don’t forget to give a treat

pet photography

Photographing pets can be exhausting for both the photographers and the pets. Moreover, the attention span of animals is low if they aren’t interested in something. So, if you want to be done with your photoshoot faster and want the pet to cooperate, give them treats from time to time. Giving them treats makes them feel rewarded. This appreciates good behaviour in animals.

Also Read10 Ultimate Tips & Trick For Mastering Wildlife Photography

8. Don’t be intimidating

Don't be intimidating, Pet photography

Now, this is one of the things that one has to keep in mind all the time while dealing with animals. Your body language should be welcoming and not scary. Here are some examples of body movements that animals find intimidating – Sudden movements, loud talk, standing over the animal’s head, pushing the animal, approaching the animal from the back and touching the animal when it’s angry or defensive.

9. Capture pets in action

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In order to capture the best pet photos, click while the animal is in action. A pet photograph instantly becomes appealing when the animal is playing around. So, to capture a pet in action, engage it in some activity like fetching the ball, or tug of war. Photos of pets in action are a hit on the internet.

10. Be Calm and Composed

Pet photoshoot

This is a great tip as most of you would know that pets pick up your energy, and if you are anxious or stress, then your pet will also be anxious.

11. Take care of the mess

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Pets are known for making a mess out of any given situation. Hence to take the perfect shot, first, you need to clean all the clutter that the pet has created. But no need to clean out everything, you can keep the props.

12. Have an Outdoor Shoot

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The best way to capture pets happiness is by bringing them outside. They really enjoy the wind and the open fields.

13. Be Quick

dog photography, pet photoshoot

Most of the time, pets are restless and not at all calm. Hence to match their energy you need to be quick so that you can take some really good shots of them.

14. Choose a Good Lighting Spot

dog photography, pet photoshoot

Artificial or Natural, you need to choose the best lighting for your pet photographer. The reason for this is simple, pets do not hold the same position for a long time and we need to click their picture with fasted shutter speeds. And that is only possible if the lighting conditions are in favour.

Here Are Some Really Adorable Pet Photography Poses and Ideas

1.The More The Marrier

dog photography, Pet Photography

2. The Snuggle

dog photography, pet photography

3.The Sleepy Head

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4. The One With Nature

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5. The One Looking Up

Pet Photoshoot

6. The One With The Shades

Pet Photography

7. The Close Up

Pet Photoshoot

Camera Equipment Required For Pet Photography



Pet Photoshoot


Pet Photoshoot

Camera Cleaning Kit

Pet Photoshoot

Extra Batteries and Memory Cards

Pet Photoshoot


Pet Photoshoot


Pet Photoshoot

ND Filters

Pet Photoshoot, Pet Photography


Which Is The Best Lens for Per Photography?

Two of the most used pet photography lenses are:

24-70mm f2. 8

Pet Photoshoot

70-200mm f2. 8

Pet Photoshoot

What are the best camera settings for pet photography?

Pet Photoshoot

Pet Photography always looks the best when it is done with shallow depth of fields. Hence use the camera with aperture priority mode. And using a wider aperture will also give you the ability to use faster shutter speeds


How do you become a pet photographer?

If you have decided to become a pet photographer then you must be thinking, “where to start from?” 

Well, pet photography is all about knowing the key things that will help you capture the sole beauty of the pet and bringing out something new and creative in the photo. So, in order to become a pet photographer, you can do a few things. 

1. Volunteer

In order to gain experience and learn how to do pet photography is by starting out by volunteering for pet owners. A lot of pet owners look for photography of their pets and also many shelters look for volunteer photographers. So, you can start out there. 

2. Click your own pet

If you own a pet then you can always start by capturing it. Click different creative pictures and add them to your portfolio to show your skills as a pet photographer.

3. Internship

You can also intern with pet photographers who are in the profession for their living. It is an amazing way to gain exposure. 

4. Contact clubs

There are many animal clubs where pet owners gather. You can contact them in order to promote your services and earn a little something from it. This can give a kickstart to your career. 


Is pet photography a profitable business?

Yes, pet photography is indeed a profitable business choice. There are plenty of pet owners out there who want to get the best pictures of their pets. Also, many private institutions and shelters look for photographers for hire who can photograph their pets. There are plenty of opportunities out there that you can explore being a pet photographer. 


Do pet photography requires a photographer to get a business license?

The answer depends from place to place. Even though a lot of places don’t require a pet photographer to get a business license. But in order to follow the jurisdiction of certain places and authenticate your profession, getting a professional license might be something that you can do. So, yes you can get a license but no, it’s not necessary all the time. 



Keep the things mentioned above, in mind and you will be able to master the art of pet photography. This photography type is no different from any other photography when it comes to the struggle, the lighting setup, or the use of other equipment. The only thing is, during pet photography you have to be a bit open towards the behaviour and actions of the pet that you are about to capture.

Written By - Ramnish on 20 Sep, 2019