Preparing Pets for a Photo Portrait

We all love our pets dearly and, as such, we often treat them as if they are part of our extended family. Much as we like to get photos taken of everyone now and then, so we do the same thing where our pets are concerned. In fact, their photos take pride of place amongst our most prized possessions and people often feel closer to their pets when the kids have already flown the nest, so to speak. To this end then, getting them ready for their professionally taken photographs needs a little preparation.

Before the photo shoot

Decide on where the photos are to be taken. If the animal is more comfortable in its own surroundings, the garden is a great place to help them to relax. Some pets will feel more comfortable indoors but the lighting will be a little more complicated and this could also make them nervous.


Ensure the pet is thoroughly washed and brushed (if appropriate) before the shoot takes place. If the pet needs its hair or fur trimmed, get this done some days in advance so that it gets over the trauma. A nervous pet will take bad photos so the idea is to make it comfortable at all times.

Have toys at the ready

Make sure the pet is fed and watered before the shoot takes place. Also take them for their toilet run if necessary so that they are completely at ease when the shoot is about to take place. Have some tasty treats and toys to give them to keep them happy as well and to reward them when they are doing the right thing.

What to wear

If the owner or family members are to be in the shot too, ensure that everyone wears plain and matching or toning colours so that the pet is the focus of the whole thing. If the pet has light fur or hair, wear darker but neutral colours to show him off to good effect. Likewise, if he has dark hair or fur, try lighter shades to give him a good backdrop. White is not really a good colour since this can make it difficult for the photographer to get the colour balance right. Rather, wear muted tones to enhance the pet.


If necessary, pose with the pet several times before the shoot day so that the animal gets used to it. Discuss with the photographer what shots are needed and take his advice on how best to get that kind of photo. If the pet is to be photographed alone, sit and calmly keep it occupied until the photographer is ready and then swiftly step back so that he can get his best shot.


Not all pets are comfortable in studio surroundings since they are in unfamiliar territory. Try to get the shots done in surroundings that help the pet to relax so that the photographer’s duties are made that much easier. Above all, never panic because pets pick up on this and will act nervy or edgy. This is not really the photograph that anyone wants for sure.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *