Pet Photography

5 Quick Tricks for Beginners

Nearly half of the world’s households have a pet of some sort. If you’re one of those people who loves to snuggle up with your cat or go for walk with man’s best friend, then read these 5 quick tricks to improve your pet photography.

1. Make it Personal

Firstly for pet photography, choose a location that evokes a strong memory for you and your pet. For example, you might have a place that you take your dog all the time. It will mean a lot in the future to you, or your client, as you look back over the portraits.

pet photography lady walking dog 1
pet photography girl crouched with dog sat on lead 1
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2. Best Pet Camera Settings

Secondly, we’d recommend shooting your pet photography in Shutter Priority (S/Tv) mode to give you scope to quickly change settings depending upon the pet’s reaction.

If they are quite active, then stop any motion blur happening by using a fast shutter speed i.e. 1/400th.

3. Capturing the Action

Thirdly, action shots in pet photography are not easy to capture at high speed, but you can use a focus mode that is available on all modern DSLRs called “Continuous/AF-C” (on a Nikon) or “AI Servo” (on a Canon).

This mode is used for tracking moving subjects and it is a must for shooting wildlife. Continuous mode will automatically readjust the focus if you or your pet moves.

pet photography blog dog action shot 1
pet photography blog dog action shot 2

4. Best Angle for Pets

Fourthly, one common mistake made by budding pet photographers is that they photograph their pet from a human height.

This rarely works well. Photos of cats and dogs taken on their own level tend to have more impact and show the animal’s personality better, from the perspective of an equal.

5. Create a Mini World

Finally, if you are feeling very creative with your pet photography, then take some time to build a little scene or setting for your hamster, mouse or rat.

To overlook the cage bars, you can design an outdoor backdrop from card, so it looks like blue sky and flowery fields and place it inside the cage. Add some natural elements like sticks, leaves and foliage to create the impression of them being in the wild.

pet photography cat and dog lying down together
pet photography hamster in field eating


If you want to find out more about photographing pets, then visit iPhotography and join our incredible and comprehensive Wildlife Course. We’ve got modules covering all creatures huge and tiny to give you more great ideas and tips like these for capturing ‘puurfect pawtraits’!

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