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How To Take Better Pictures Of Your Pets

Dog posing to the camera

We all have someone we would happily celebrate every day, whether it be our partners, children, or even that house plant we water religiously twice a day. They are a part of us. Like a jigsaw piece, without their connection we would never be complete. But outweighing all of these is something we value above all else – something that isn’t just a piece of the jigsaw, but is at the very centre: our pets.

Alright, maybe that was a little over the top. Our partners and children are perhaps a little more important than our pet hamster, but they top the hell out of the house plant. 

That being said, there is something undeniably special about our pets. It’s hard to explain, but during their short time with us, they leave an indelible mark that remains with us forever. They are a constant companion. Never able to talk to us but never needing to have to. In short, they are a sparkle in our lives which never goes out, even after they are gone. 

So how can we keep that sparkle as light as possible after the inevitable happens? The easy answer is to ensure you are taking photographs. Taking the time to capture your pet in the moment can be a great way to remember them and recapture those memories. After all, these pictures aren’t just going to be placed in social media – or even forgotten in the cloud. The best ones can be collected together in a Google photo book or a collection of your best Instagram photos. 

But first, you’ve got to master the hard part – actually getting the pictures in the first place. In fact, pets are notoriously difficult to pin down for a quick picture. They don’t quite understand that they need to look at the camera, and saying cheese means frustratingly little to them. No, taking pictures of your pet can be a bit more complicated than that. But it is doable. So long as you remain patient. Here are a few ways you can take that perfect snap.

Get Them Familiar with The Camera

For starters, I’m going to narrow this down. There are, of course, many pets out there in the big wide world, but covering all of them would be better suited for a great American novel rather than a quick blog post. So, let’s just stick to cats and dogs. If you’ve got a lizard or a tortoise, then I’m sorry, but taking pictures of them shouldn’t be too difficult, especially when they spend most of the day standing still and staring at you anyway. 

So, if you have a cat or a dog, then letting them get familiar with the camera can be a useful method when it comes to taking the snap. Dogs like to sniff everything, so let your pet have a smell, take a few pictures around them, and then wait for them to be relaxed and natural. Make sure to lower the camera from your face, too. Your cat or a dog will be used to looking into your eyes when you speak to them, so placing your camera just below the eye line will allow them to have that connection. If you find the right position, then when you look back at the picture, it will look as if your pet is looking right at the lens.

Keep It Professional

When you scroll through your Facebook, Instagram or Google Photos, the chances are you will find a ton of well-staged, professional looking pictures of you, your friends, or your family. Your pets rarely get the same treatment. Sure, you may have some nice photographs of them, but the majority are either a dazed blur as they play, a picture of them sleeping in a funny way, or their disgruntled face as a friend of yours picks them up and plants a kiss on their cheek. 

It doesn’t have to be this way. If you have a dog, for instance, then it is easy enough to take them on a walk and get a perfectly good, staged photograph. Make sure the background is relatively minimalist. Take them to a sandy beach or a deep green woodland, make sure the colour of their coat does not clash with their surroundings, and get them to sit with a slight distance to the scene behind them. That way, your pet is the main centre of attention, and you will be left with a photograph that lets them stand out.

Don’t Be Afraid to Be Spontaneous

Of course, not all photographs of our pets have to be neatly staged and thought out. Sometimes, the best pictures can come in a moment of spontaneity. If your pet is out in the backyard, then go out with them, sit down on the lawn, and simply start snapping. Make sure to get down to their eye level, however. This will give you a great perspective of the world as they see it. Also, if you place your camera on continuous mode, the chances are you can find a great picture amongst a myriad of not-so-great ones. Ensure that you turn off the flash, and don’t be afraid to let your pet fill up the lens. It can be fun to get that perfectly staged snap, but sometimes the most natural ways of taking a picture can turn out to be the best. 

Whatever you choose to do, the most important thing is that you are capturing those moments. In years to come, you will truly appreciate the old pictures and memories. They are a part of you, after all. Your best friend. The centre of your puzzle. So, get out there, get snapping, and perhaps bring a little treat to say thank you when you get that perfect picture.


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