Dog portraits and pet photography isn’t always easy but with these pet photoshoot tips you’ll have beautiful poses and portraits.
A lot of people don’t know that there is really a niche for a pet photography business just for those four-legged loved ones. Do you enjoy capturing pets? These amazing creatures have such fun personalities allowing you to capture some funny pet portraits. Plus their capture the qualities that make photographing them important. What can help to make this important job easier? Here’s some pet photography tips and advice on the best camera for dog photography!
1. Pet Photography Business: As a business owner, you always want to look your best. BUT wearing your nice clothes for pet portraits isn’t always a great idea. You obviously want to look presentable but you also need to be in clothes that can be slobbered on. You will probably get animal hair and grass on them also. Wear tennis shoes or something comfortable and easy to get around in.
2. Professional Pet Photography – Be professional in your business. Make sure your clients are taken care of. Have a small bowl and bottle of water for the dogs. You can use an old water bottle and refill it if you want. Dogs don’t need bottled water but being prepared to help them stay hydrated and not overheated is important. Having a few treats in your pocket can also go a long way. It’s great if the client brings these things but being prepared or having extra won’t hurt. Make sure to ask for permission before giving anything to an animal. You might have a picky client or the pet could have some sort of allergies.
3. Dog Portrait Locations: Double check that your session location is pet friendly.
4. Prepare your clients. Before each session send your client an email with a few tips that you want them to know.
5. Helpful: What to bring (leash, favorite toys, treats, water). Playing with pup before session to help burn off extra energy, not feeding them right before, bathing/cleaning up, etc. As we know how our pets like to move –> 8 Tips to Photograph Pets on the Move
6. Let the dust settle. If you’re in an area that can be dusty with animals running around, wait until dust settles or walk away from the area to change your lens. You’d hate to get dust/dirt in your camera.
7. Pet Photoshoot Picture List. I don’t have a list of things that I must shoot, but there are characteristics that I know I want to get for each session. Each animal is different and every pet owner loves that. Adding diversity by having close ups of features and special items gives you an added perspective and helps to define your style. Sitting down to list special characteristics that you’ve loved about your own pet will help you think of nontraditional shots to get.
- Any special marking (freckles, dots, etc)
- A crooked/floppy ear
- Yes I said it. Take a picture of the paw. Top and bottom. I promise your client will love it.
- Profiles and silhouettes
- Sitting while looking different ways
- Include the rest of the family or owners. Even if they don’t really want to, they will enjoy it in the end. Yet I’ve had plenty of family photo sessions and engagement sessions want to include their family pet.
8. Don’t forget to get down on the animals level! You want pictures from multiple perspectives!
Best Camera for Dog Photography
Along with these tips, the right camera and lenses that are really helpful. Here’s what I make sure is in my bag!
- Canon 5dMark ii
- 50mm lens
- 85mm lens
- 35mm lens
- 24-70mm lens
- Black Rapid strap for camera
- Shootsac Lens Bag
- Bag in car with pet items (water, bowl, treats, extra leash)
- Noise maker. Something that squeaks or whistles to get attention when needed.
Pet photography is so much fun and something that can be easily added into your business. The easy part is not many dogs ask you to Photoshop their blemishes or waistline.