How to Photograph Your Pet

Pet Photos Can be Challenging

A good photo is one of the most important things to help a dog, cat, or other animal get adopted. Seth Casteel is world famous for his images of Underwater Dogs, but in the world of animal shelters he’s just as famous for his images that help shelter dogs and cats look their very best.

At the website One Picture Saves A Life, Seth Casteel has generously donated his time and expertise to show people the best way to take photos of pets.

The Wallowa County Humane Society needs pet photographers.  If you have a digital camera and a little extra time on your hands, we can always use some extra help!

8 easy tips that will make any dog or cat a shining star

  • Keep clutter out of the way.  Take a few minutes to clear a space so that all the focus is on the animal.  That includes standing as far away from the animal as you can, while still maintaining control of the dog or cat’s position.
  • If you need to hold a dog or cat, place a solid-colored blanket or cloth over your hand and arm.  When you hold the pet, place its paws over the blanket.  Now the focus will be on the pet, not on you.
  • If you need to use a leash, hold the leash up and away from the dog.  This will make it much easier to “erase” the leash from a photo.
  • Get close and at eye-level, or just above eye-level.
  • Take the image outdoors, in a shady area.  Indoor images often cause green “demon eyes” in dogs.  Just like with people, the eyes are very important in animal portraits!
  • For indoor photos, try to have the light coming from behind where you are standing, instead of behind the dog or cat.
  • Be aware of the background behind the pet.  A white cat with a white wall for a background makes it hard to see the details.
  • Play with your pet and see if you can get it to relax.  A slightly panting dog can make for a photo where the dog appears to be smiling!  A cat will be more relaxed and willing to sit for a photo session.

Some examples of very good photos:

Private F3 web Exemplar photo Blossom Josie small Evee small Smiling black lab adopted Rowdy new web