How to take the perfect pet photo

Author picture Pawshake

Adding a cute selection of pet photos to your Pawshake profile is a surefire way of increasing its popularity. We love animal photos and snap as many pets as possible (take a look at our Wall of Paws  ... can you spot your pet in their midst?) But taking good photos of your cat or dog can be tricky: pets are not natural born posers ... So how can you learn to take captivating pet photos? Follow our mini Pawshake photography course and you'll be snapping the perfect pet photos in next to no time!

1) Consider your animal's personality
Some dogs are gentle giants, others are small and playful. Consider what makes your pet unique and focus on these qualities. Photograph a rabbit that likes to play outside, hopping around in the grass for example, or a cat that enjoys snoozing for hours on end, in a cosy cat basket. Don't 'push' your pet into unnatural situations and let his true personality shine.

2) Ensure a relaxed atmosphere
Getting an animal to pose in a studio is no mean feat, and your pet probably won't enjoy it. In fact, he'll be more likely to relax and be at his best in a more familiar environment: at home, in the garden or perhaps at the beach for example. Make sure the photo shoot is fun: play with your pet between photos, enjoy plenty of interaction and take occasional breaks.

3) Get the lighting right
For the most beautiful light, it's best to photograph your pet during the day and preferably outside. Avoid using a flash as this frightens most animals. In addition to light, think about the surroundings. What else would you like to capture in the shot? Do the surroundings match the atmosphere that you wish to portray? An adventurous dog against the backdrop of a beautiful beach makes for an extremely captivating image!

4) Find the perfect angle
It's best to kneel when photographing animals. Photos taken from a low camera angle guarantee optimal results and make your pet seem larger. Focus on the eyes and you'll capture your pet's charisma: his personality is reflected in his gaze. If your pet is nice and relaxed you'll be able to get up close and personal. Experiment with different angles: try a close-up portrait or an action shot taken from the side for example. Each and every angle creates a different effect.

5) And ... action!
Allow your pet to be his charming self, rather than making him pose for the camera. You can best 'catch' animals on the move using a fast shutter speed or your camera's sports mode. Encourage plenty of action with a selection of toys and treats. Most importantly: Harness the animal's natural spontaneity. If your dog suddenly does something funny (because he's such a quirky little character!), then try to capture it on film. Perhaps the photo shoot won't turn out quite as you'd imagined, but you'll soon see that this makes for the cutest and most entertaining photos.

What are your favourite pictures of your pet? Share them on Instagram with the hashtag #PawshakePaws and we'll potentially publish one on our page!