What’s Wrong With This Pet Photo?

Published Date: September 19th, 2006
Category: General

Whether its a dog photo, cat or horse photo, here are some handy photography tips you can use to make sure you get great pet pictures developed from your digital photo printing service! The first thing to consider is LIGHTING.

Outdoor lighting is the best, ideally on an overcast day. Why overcast? Because if you shoot in bright sunlight, you will get harsh shadows and if your camera isn’t set properly – washed out areas! Especially if your pet’s coat has light colors like beige, light tan, light grey etc.

If you can’t get your pet outside, try and take your photo next to a large window where you have plenty of light coming in. Try to have the light at your back or side as you face your pet.

A pet always listens better with food around. Hold your treat up next to the camera and just move it leading your pet’s eyes so you get the facial angle you’re looking for. Shoot three-quarter views as well as full facials when possible. You’ll have more variety to choose from. No treats handy? Try using a toy to guide your pet’s gaze.

But how do you get those wonderful expressions?


Pets always have quizzical looks whenever they hear unusual sounds. Tell your pet dog the word “walk” or “outside” and the ears prop up… give an uncharacteristic human growl or chirp and the head cocks to the side or the eyes brighten. Don’t be shy to get silly with your pet. It can really bring out their personality!

Is your pet stubborn? Consider getting some helping hands to hold your pet while you take your photo. Don’t worry, you can send it off to the Pet Photo Artist, who can remove any background afterwards (& turn it into a fabulous pet portrait…cheap!)

Don’t plan to shoot photos of your pet unless you are in a mood to be patient. You’ll want to be relaxed and not give your pet any signals that would stress or make them anxious.


The best place to be when taking your pet photo, is at the level your pet’s head is at.

Got a small chihuaha? Get down to the ground and do your shooting there. If you’re a horse lover but shorter than your horse, stand tall to get that photo.

Head shots are always beautiful as portraits, but there’s nothing wrong with full body shots, as well. When shooting facial photos, try to use a zoom lens if possible, and take plenty of close up shots. Lighting and equipment aside, professional photographers always get that one great shot because they shoot so many! And with digital cameras, you don’t have to worry about expensive film costs!

Cameras can also distract some animals. If you cannot get your pet’s attention, try having someone else (at you back) to divert their attention and keep them engaged.

To get some insider info on what’s wrong with so many pet photos, check out the collection of before & after shots at The Pet Photo Artist. Click through the enlarged images and the side notes to see what you can do to get fantastic shots of your pet!

If you’re interested in using the Pet Photo Artist to have your pet photos re-created into a masterpiece, make sure you send the highest resolution image you have. You can tell if an image is big enough to send if the file size of your jpeg digital image is somewhere between 600k and 2mb. (2mb being larger)

Larger images give more pixels to work with so that you get the very best pet portrait possible!

Good luck!

Noah Salzman

(Stay tuned… I’ll tell you how to get your dog to smile!!!)


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