Q: How can I get a great photo?

A: Above all, remember to have fun and take your time. Patience is most definitely a virtue when it comes to photographing pets! Be ready to click away and take plenty of shots. Here are a few simple yet effective tips that can give you the results you want:


- The best possible lighting is achieved outside in natural light. Try to do this even if your pet is an indoor only pet - though of course safety comes first and this may not always be possible. If you do choose to shoot indoors, have your pet close to a large window, so your back is to the window. Straight on or slightly to the side of you as you face your pet is the next best option.

- Avoid direct sunlight, as it can alter natural coloring and increase the contrast between shadow and light, hiding some features.  A bright, but overcast day is perfect.

- Don't use a flash, as this can cause red-eye and distort the true coloring & shading of your pet. An exception to this is if your pet has a black coat, in which case a flash or bright sunlight can actually bring out shading and textures, which may be lost in photos taken under other lighting conditions.


- Photograph your pet on their level. Don't have them looking up at you unless this is how you wish the portrait to appear. Don't make them come to you. Instead, go to where they are most comfortable and see the world from their point of view.

- Take plenty of facial photographs with a zoom lens, if possible. Try taking some three-quarter views as well as from the front, as a slight angles pose can sometimes make a beautiful portrait photograph.

- If your pet will not sit still, have someone hold them in position. If these pictures are solely for the portrait, then hands and arms in the frame do not matter and are easily removed as long as they do not cover important markings or body parts.


- Keep your pet as comfortable and at ease as possible. Cameras can be distracting for some animals, so if you cannot get your pet to behave normally, try having someone else divert their attention and keep them engaged.

- Capture the most characteristic expression & pose of your pet. If they are generally happy, try to catch them doing their version of a smile.

- A good idea is to have favorite treats or toys available. Hold them up near the camera to catch (and hopefully hold) their interest in the right direction. Most importantly, don't be afraid to be silly. Try making funny and unusual noises or movements to get their attention.