7 DIY Pet Photography Tips for Stress-Free Fur Baby Photo Shoots

Fur babies surely are another form of love here on Earth. Their bubbly and playful presence just makes any gloomy day bright and any bright day even brighter. If you are a fur parent, you definitely want to give all the hugs, kisses and love you can give to your dearest fair-haired sweeties! You appreciate them in every way, and it comforts you to see them at home after a tiring day. Whenever you’re thinking of a uniquely awesome way to showcase or celebrate the life of your dear pets, think of having a fun pet photo shoot with cool pet photography!   

Photography is one of the best things ever because it enables us to capture moments that are precious, smiles that are genuine and times that cannot be taken back. Being the art that it is, photography is very flexible that anything and anyone can be a subject in front of the camera. Your cute fur babies are not exempted! Pet photography is among the most adorable of types of photography.

Many fur parents take their pets to photo studios or work with a small creative agency for professional pet photography. Of course, the outputs are outstandingly pretty and irresistible, just like the furry darlings. Expert pet photographers know the twists and turns, so you can count on them without question! On the other hand, if you want to, you can also do the pet photo shoot by yourself. Comparably, it’s cheaper than hiring pros, but it could certainly be more challenging too, especially if your pets are hyperactive or inactive. Things could be unpredictable!

Now, regardless of whether you need photos of your pets for your social media feeds, for remembrance, for pet competitions, for your individual family portraits or for fun, this list is here to help you! Check out these 7 DIY pet photography tips for stress-free fur baby photo shoots.

1 – Schedule your pet photo shoots depending on the vibe you’re aiming for

Pet Photography Tips - Schedule your pet photo shoots depending on the vibe you’re aiming for.

Not just time but timing is also gold. Timing can make or break your pet photography plans. Remember that.

Because subjects have to be ready and to be in the mood, you should schedule your pet photo shoots depending on the vibe you are aiming for. That is the best way to ensure that your pet will cooperate with you, will respond as you expect and will enjoy their personal photo shoot.

For peaceful and quiet portrait-style pet photography, you must have your fur baby moving gently or staying still, which could be its uncommon state because it is usually zestful. To achieve that, do the photo shoot when your sweetheart is getting sleepy or has just gotten out of slumber. On the other hand, for flamboyant and dynamic pet images, hold the photo shoot when they are zippy and full of energy! You can also boost their enthusiasm by playing or running with them before the shoot itself. You may do that as long as you do not get tired too much as well. 

2 – Choose a location they love!

Pet Photography Tips - Choose a location they love!

Pet photography is focused on the dear fur buddies, but the backdrops give bigger meaning, brighter colors and more life to it. In addition, the mood and vigor of the pets can also be affected by the venue of the shoot. Because of that, choose a location that your pets love.

They are familiar and used to being in that place, and they actually adore it, so they will be comfortable to stay in it and move around. Gradually, their natural personalities and characters will come out without hesitation and fear. It could be a grassy backyard, a rocky park, a muddy field or a sandy playground. Wherever it could be, as long as your pets like it, pretty sure, they won’t give you a hard time capturing their photos!

3 – Use fast shutter speed, and move fast

Pet Photography Tips - Use fast shutter speed, and move fast.

The number one reason why pet photography is hard and exhausting is the fast and frisky movements of the animals. To help yourself, use fast shutter speed. Make sure you totally know how to use your camera for the photo shoot, so that you can run this feature. Some cameras already have a pre-arranged Pet Mode function, which you just have to activate yourself, and it will automatically be ready for use. Nonetheless, sometimes, even the Pet Mode button will have a daunting time taking sharply defined photos when pets are extremely excited and spirited. 

Of course, move fast to catch the movements and moments of your lovely pets, from the littlest to the biggest motions. Be prepared to get sweaty and somewhat tired as you observe, follow and catch the looks and poses of your pet dogs or cats. They can be unpredictable, so you have to be on standby.

4 – Give them yummy treats, and reward them with the same

Pet Photography Tips - Give them yummy treats, and reward them with the same

An obvious “trick” or technique to make your fur sweeties participate obediently in your pet photography plans is to give them yummy treats. They will most likely be in the right mood if you give them the right food!

It’s like bribing them to behave nicely and to understand that you have a photo shoot to do with them! Meanwhile, if you know fully well that they instantly smile and that their faces immediately light up at the sight of their favorite goodies, then don’t think twice about using that key to bring out their best giggles for their best shots!

After the photo shoot, don’t forget to also reward them with tasty treats because they did great, and they gave you no headache! With that kindness, expect them to participate the next time you invite them again for their own photo shoot!

5 – Shoot from different angles

Shoot from different angles

Don’t stay in one place. Shoot from different angles. Showcase their physical features from various perspectives. This gives you a great amount of assortment and creativity. Take closeups! Snap a lot of photos! It could be a little hard to choose the best ones with countless files after the photo shoot, but that’s better than bringing home blurred and out-of-focus photos and so much better than ending up with nothing.

6 – Concentrate on the eyes.

Concentrate on the eyes.

Your beautiful pets are beautiful in so many ways. Any part of them could emphasize that, in terms of physical attributes, but among all, concentrate on the eyes.

Just like they are for humans, the eyes of animals communicate and convey messages. They express emotions – all kinds of emotions! If you want your images to deliver emotional communication, focus on the eyes of your pets when taking their photos. Make them clear and sharp. Anyone who will look at those photos will feel what your pets are feeling. There will be a connection, and that’s one of the most powerful things about good pet photography.

7 – Have the best lighting: natural light

Have the best lighting: natural light

Last but surely not the least, have the best lighting, which is natural light. You can use artificial light, and there are multiple ways to use it artistically, but natural light will always be superior. Natural light stresses the naturalness of everything, from the subject to the surroundings.

What’s more, pets can become irritated by certain forms or levels of artificial lighting, and if your pet can relate to that, then you will not have a successful pet photography. Even worse, you might bring harm to your fur baby.

Natural light is healthy, and it spotlights rawness, which is one of the most impressive elements of pet photography that many photographers and pet owners love! 


Although working with an excellent creative agency or with a photo studio for pet photography is peerless, many prefer doing it themselves due to various reasons. Reasons may include affordability, time restrictions, specific pet conditions and pets’ behavior around strangers. DIY pet photo shoots are also awesomely good! They allow you to personally take snaps of your beloved fur babies’ beams, personalities and splendid moments!

Yet then again, pet photography is not as easy as it sounds. It presents tons of struggles to pet owners, especially when the pets are so sprightly and energetic, running around and not staying in one place. Meanwhile, when pets are too listless, dull and not cooperative, it’s also hard to shoot photos in a lively manner as desired.

These and many more burdens can be prevented and also overcome with the help of the tips mentioned above. Focus on the convenience, delight and fun of your pet and of yourself too. Don’t forget to enjoy the photo shoot as well because it’s another way of bonding with your cherished fur pets.



Nicole Ann Pore is a writer, an events host and a voice over artist. Quality and well-researched writing is her worthwhile avenue to enlighten and delight others about things that matter. She is a daytime writer for Orion Creative, a digital agency and design studio in Sydney, building greater possibilities for brands and businesses of all sorts. Nicole graduated Cum Laude from De La Salle University Manila, Philippines with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts.

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