Pet photography – how hard can it be ?

We all love taking photos of our pets, and these can provide entertaining images to scroll through on our phones as well as a handy record of our treasured animal’s life. But the truth is that your own snaps probably won’t be quite the same as a professional photo shoot.

In reality, the quality of everyday snaps is unlikely to rival that of professionally shot pet portraits; for example, they may be slightly blurred, have a distracting background or be poorly lit. What’s more, you may not ever find the time to print them out.

An experienced photographer considers lighting, colours, composition and even the facial expression of your beloved canine or feline friend, to create high-quality images you’ll treasure. And while digital snaps you take yourself are all too easily deleted or otherwise lost, with a proper pet portrait you have something you’ll want to hang on the wall for keeps.


How to prepare your pet for a photo session

The experience should be a fun and hassle-free one for your pet and for you. Here are a few tips that will help you prepare your best friend to go in front of the camera so that you both enjoy the occasion with minimal stress.

  • Talk to your photographer about your pet’s temperament, especially if they are shy or over-energetic, or have any other characteristics which could make a photo session challenging.
  • Do a bit of pre-shoot pet pampering. That potentially includes a visit to the groomer a week or two before the photography session and a bath on the day. You don’t want to take your four-legged friend for a muddy walk just before they pose for their picture. For the same reason, if possible, carry your animal from the car to the studio on the day.


If your pet wears a collar or you are using any other props at the shoot, it’s worth making sure these are spick and span as well.


  • A quick walk on a dry day, however, with a brush-up afterwards could be a good idea, especially if your dog is super-energetic. That way, they’ll be exercised and relaxed as the camera shutter starts to click. But don’t wear your dog out too much – the personality and energy of your canine friend still need to shine through.


  • Pre-shoot training. Don’t get us wrong – your pet isn’t entering an obedience contest. But it seriously helps your photographer if pet portrait subjects are trained to sit, stay and lie down when required. You shouldn’t need any help from anyone else to do this – a few simple commands should be more than enough.

  • Bribery can work! If your pet is especially motivated by food, take their favourite treats to the photography shoot. Equally, a familiar toy can provide comfort in an unusual situation and offer a distraction at the same time.


  • Stage your own dress rehearsal. You may well be able to save a bit of time with a rehearsal ahead of the shoot. Try setting up a digital camera or remote-enabled camera phone to take photos and practise the commands you want your pet to be able to follow.


I specialise in taking pet portraits and have shot (in the photographic sense of course!) rabbits, horses, dogs and cats. I am also the proud owner of two jackadoodles myself, my much loved ‘office managers’ Mungo and Tilly.

Whether you want a classic studio set-up, a beach, garden or woodland background, I can help. I’ll travel across Fife or Perthshire (or further afield, although understandably, I need to charge more for longer distances) to photograph your beloved pet – or you can come to visit me in my studio. Typically, a session lasts around 40 minutes, with prices starting from just £50.

Do get in touch today to book your session – and I’ll gladly answer any questions you may have at the same time.  Or buy a voucher for a pawfect present !