Bringing Out the Personality of Your Pets in Pet Photography

A lovely photo of a happy an inquisitive dog from our portfolio

A lovely photo of a happy an inquisitive dog from our portfolio

There is a common saying in the photography world that one should not try and photograph children or pets because you cannot control whether they stay still or not and this makes for a difficult time for both, photographers and paying customers.

Pets have gradually made their way into family portraits, with those who own pets now not even think about leaving out their pets out of a family photo as they are seen as a cherished part of the family. But keeping them still enough to bring out the personality of pets is a huge problem which usually takes a while to get right as the pets tend to come up to the camera lens and try lick it, or worse, bite it or push it across the room.

So, how can photographers bring out the personality of the pets they are photographing?

Introductory Actions

If a photographer is taking photos of a stranger’s pet then it is crucial that before they point a camera in a dog or cat’s face, the pets gets familiar with the photographer’s physique, scent and voice. If they cannot pick this up, particularly dogs, then the photographer faces an arduous couple of hours trying to get even a moderately good photo, if any at all, of the pet.

It has been proven that photographers who form a good bond with their subject generally tend to get good photos. The ideal way to make a pet comfortable in the photographer’s presence is to give them treats, stroke them, call their name often and play with them for a few minutes. This shows them that the photographer is not a threat, especially when he/she is holding a device (the camera) that looks menacing, but instead is rather a friendly soul. This basic introduction to the pet should make for good photos as the pet is relaxed and therefore can display their personality for the photographer.

Be Ready At All Times

Though it has already been established, it is important to remember that pets are spontaneous and have a mind of their own. This means that the photographer must have a fully charged camera and then be quick on their feet in order to catch their subject’s movements.


Caroline Trotter with her dog Mungo – proving pets and people make great photos!

Caroline Trotter with her dog Mungo – proving pets and people make great photos!

The most stunning photos of pets are taken when the photographer physically gets down to their level. The best way to bring forth the personality of your subject in a photo is by filling the frame with as much of them as possible using either a telephoto lens or getting close up to the pet, depending on what type of photograph you want to take. This ensures that the main attraction in the photo is the pet, therefore bringing out their personality automatically.

But at the same time, photos taken afar of pets are equally spectacular as it shows the pets whole body as well as the surrounding the photographer thinks best suits the pet for the photo. This is usually done to see an animal in their natural habit which therefore shows the pet’s natural personality.

Caroline Trotter Photography

Caroline Trotter has been photographing for over 30 years and only 8 years ago began pursuing her passion full time. She is primarily a noted wedding photographer based in Fife but takes photos of weddings in Edinburgh, Fife, St. Andrews, and throughout Scotland and sometimes even beyond. But when she is not busy snapping weddings, she is busy photographing the other joys of life: family and pets. She is also a highly recommended commercial photographer whose client list includes many respected businesses throughout Scotland.

To get a full sense of what services Caroline Trotters offers, please see her website,

If you would like to discuss any photography needs or are interested in one of the courses she provides, then do not hesitate to contact her via email at or alternatively speak to her on 07933 510243.