How to Take Awesome Photographs of Your Pet

Talented photographer Jonathan got in touch to tell me all about his pet portrait services and I asked if he could provide my readers with some top tips for your own photography. You can also see some examples of his brilliant shots below, I think he captures the dog’s personalities perfectly. 

Like so many dog owners I love to record the enjoyment I get from spending time with them.  In my case I took that a bit further, and used my existing professional photographic skills to turn my hand to providing an award winning, fine art pet portraiture service to clients.

Whilst sharing some of my imagery, I thought it would be a great opportunity to give a little bit of guidance on how you can take the best shots of your pets. You don’t need to spend £1000s on equipment.  You can take great images with your smart phone or your point and shoot.  The following tips should help you, whatever your camera….

Location – where is your dog is happiest, it could be at home or in the park.  A happy dog will always look better in your shots.  I photograph clients’ pets in both my studio and out on location too.

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Time of the day and light – a good shot needs to work with the best light available.  Good light is found in the morning or late afternoon, so avoid harsh mid-day sun if you can.  Use shade to cut down on the glare and avoid light coloured fur being blown out.

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Backgrounds – place your pet in a spot where it stands out.  Use backgrounds to create texture in your photographs.  Our eyes should always be drawn to your dog and not other elements in the frame – try and see this before you click the shutter.

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Framing – just like when you take a photograph of a human, it’s the eyes that are the most important element.  Use your camera’s focus to ensure that the eyes are always sharp.  Leave breathing space in the framing around the dog to avoid it looking cluttered.

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Viewpoint – We all like shots of the dog looking up soulfully into the lens.  But how about getting down low and on the dogs level too?  You might need to roll around in the dirt, but you get great shots that way.  Focus on details like their nose or their paws too.

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Get their attention – bright eyes and perked up ears and perhaps a head tilt all look great in your shots.  Use trigger words or noises to make them look up and concentrate on you and the camera.

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Make it fun – lastly it should be fun for both you and your pets.  So keep the session short and sweet, the treats coming and other elements to keep their interest.

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If you would like me to photograph your pets, I mainly cover the North West, but am always happy to travel too.  Just contact me on email: jonathan@jonathanyearsley.co.uk or via my website http://www.jonathanyearsley.co.uk

Thank you to Jonathan for the fantastic tips. I love photographing Lupo as you know, check out some photographs we took of him here.

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