5 Tips for Improving Pet Photography

We’ve all seen a photo of somebody’s pet on social media that is just amazing. Then wished we had a photo of our own pet like that to hand in our house. 

We display pictures of those we love because those reminders bring a warmth to our home. We also can use our photography skills to make a heart-warming gift for someone we love.

While you won’t be able to go out and be a professional photographer by just reading this article, these tips, if practiced, really can help you get that amazing shot you want.

Jump to the quick tips

DIY Pet Photography

You could set up a pet portrait session with a professional, but there is the one thing you have that will always be an advantage over any professional. You know your pet. 

Knowing the personality and character of your pet gives you an advantage of snapping that shot that perfectly captures them. So, with these easy to apply tips you can get those professional looking shots on your own.

By doing the photos yourself you can save from 60%-80% compared to a standard pet photo session. That’s even if you have to rent the gear!

If you already own the gear and lenses, you need then there may be virtually no cost at all. To check to see if you have the right lens specs here’s a quick reference guide for what makes the best lens for Pet Portraiture.

70mm – 200mm f/2.8 or Larger Telephoto Zooms & Primes


Depending on the demeanor of your pet it may be challenging to get them to stay still for a staged shot. So you may consider getting some candid shots of your pets doing what they love, playing with their toys or maybe running around the yard. I’m assuming we’re not talking about a fish here.

If the animal you’re photographing is not yours then you’ll want to spend some time getting to know the animal. Try to get a feel for how the animal reacts to different stimuli and if you can ask lots of questions of the owner.

Make sure you know their favorite treat too!

Personality of the animal is a huge factor in the best type of lens to use, although you can always work with what you have. If you’re planning on candid shots a good Zoom lens will help you quickly frame a shot as you react to the moment. While a Prime is generally going to give you a sharper image if you’re able to slow down a bit and move into the position you need to.

Either way, you’ll want to make sure you have a good autofocus. You probably won’t have a lot of time to dial in with a manual focus.

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