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10 Pet Photo Tips From You

Written By Bianca Bouwmeeser Neumann On 3 May 2021

In February 2016 we ran a Facebook photo competition with a pet theme, see who won here. You showed us what pet photo tips work best when tackling the tricky task of photographing your animals.natural light pet photography

Image credit: Elmarie Whelan pic of goofy friendly Boela. Caitlin Michelle Eccles, cat Lia. Tarryn Lawson, dog Layla.

Tip 1: Use natural light

Use the available natural light indoors and out to capture a natural looking portrait with a great atmosphere. The image of Boela was an unplanned ‘out-take’ which ended up being Elmarie’s favourite shot. With pets, you can’t always plan the outcome of the shoot so go with the flow.

Image credit: Esthe Pretorius, Amber and Chivas.Lorraine Schwartz, Vicky in the fountain.Tanya Lerm, hiking with Rocky.

Tip 2: Take them where they are most comfortable

Pets are similar to children when it comes to photographing them, they like to be where they are most comfortable. Take them on a hike, for a swim, walk or car ride and capture them when they’re distracted.

Image credit: Candy Cook and cuddly Bailey. Lotter with Mr Boaz Hercule on the beach. Liza-Michelle Labuschagne and Toby’s selfie.

Tip 3: Include the humans

We have a special bond with our pets, capture this on camera whilst taking selfies, enjoying an outing together or just napping on the couch together.

Image credit: Veruschka Colyn, Skilla on the beach. Nick Bornman, Rusty the Abyssinian during sunset Oyster Bay. Jacinda Joy Turner, little Kassidy-Rae and dog Honey-Boo.

Tip 4: Use nature as a backdrop

Pets love to be outdoors and nature can make a wonderful backdrop for any type of pet, big or small. The sunset backdrop of Rusty the Abyssinian taken at Oyster Bay resulted in an unusual pet portrait. The garden backdrop of little Kassidy-Rae with precious Honey-Boo created a perfect backdrop for their garden cuddle.

Image credit: Sally Mackay’s pic of Dakota and Tazer. Giselle Slabbert’s Tantino on the beach. Alicia Terblanche’s Nairobi running.

Tip 5: Get them moving

Action shots are always a winner for pets, not only does it capture them unawares but they’re usually happy when they’re active so it gives you a chance to get them looking chuffed.

Image credit: Lindsey Fogarty’s pic of Mr Fluff wholoves to watch TV and rules the house. Theona Viljoen Hilder’s Chicco. Alexandra Price’s Paint Me A Panda.

Tip 6: Always have your camera or phone handy

Classic portraits showing their whole face can be difficult to take, try treats if they’re close by, or a longer lens if they’re moving towards you from a distance. It’s helpful to have someone help you with these shots, with you interacting with the animal and someone else capturing their expressions.

Image credit: Coerien Groenewald’s Scar. Selona Govender’s Zeus. Christa Valentine’s Max.

Tip 7: You’ll never get tired of smiles

These may not be the images you choose to frame or print in large format but they’re sure to be your favourites for years to come. A smiling pet image is a must for your collection!

Image credit: Chad Lanser’s Ruby and Jesse snug as a bug. Rashika Harrypursad Harduth’s African Grey, Zazoo. Michelle Niewenhuizen Lotze’s talented Chloe.

Tip 8: Pets Got Talent?

Don’t forget to take pictures of that unique talent or behaviour that your pet has, this is all part of capturing on camera the personality and character of your pet. Video is useful for capturing talents and fun moments.

Image credit: Michelle Natasha Mc Donald’s day dreamer Deigo. Kim Green’s Marshall. Azariya Subhan’s cute Buddy and Roxy pups.

Tip 9: Sleepy head

Pets move around a lot. Often the only time you can catch a photo frame of them is when they’re tired, or even sleeping. This is especially true of puppies! Sleepy head photos are beautiful and often make great portraits if they’re against a plain coloured blanket (this may be the time to let them on the bed!).

Natasha Van Rheede Van Oudtshoor’s diva Mischa. Jesse Coutts with poker hustler, Django.Jp Amy Warneke’s pic of Gizmo who loves to dress up.

Tip 10: Use props

Some of you love to photograph your pets in a theme or story style. You’ll be amazed how simple this can be to set up in your own garden or during a human party! A simple bow-tie addition works wonders.

Fran Diesel photographed these images on a late afternoon walk at Grotto beach near Hermanus, a perfect example of how we can bring our relationships with our pets into our homes with some pet photo tips.

 Enjoy photographing your pets! Share the results with us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram and turn your images into works of art to hang at home or in the office with these pet photo tips.  Read how Rebecca and others did just that.

All image copyrights remain with each PrintWild client. Pet images sourced from PrintWild’s Facebook page, Feb Photo Competition and Fran’s image has been used with permission on our blog.