5 Top TipsTaking a Photo for a Pet portrait

5 Top TipsTaking a Photo for a Pet portrait

Today is our cockapoo's (Dave) 3rd Birthday.  So I thought I would write todays blog post with some top tips for taking a photograph of your loving pet ready for a pet portrait. Please note I am not a photographer but these are my tips that I have learnt along the way.

Before I start with these tips, I want to say this doesn't apply to those of you who have sadly lost their beloved pet.  I have painted memorial pet portraits and they are a beautiful way to capture their gorgeous personalities as a forever keepsake and I will always do my very best to work with what photos you do already have.  So, please don't let this put you off asking for a pet portrait thinking your photos aren't good enough.

5 Top Tips

1.  Take the photo outdoors and on a light but overcast day.  

The reason is the natural light is going to capture your pets colouring the best.  Indoors it is darker and if you have the lights on then you will have the colour from the lights inside affecting your photo

2. Take the photo as your pets eye level.

I didn't know this in the beginning of my art career, my first ever portrait was of my own kitten Tommy and I actually still love the painting, but my art teacher taught me something and they were right.  So, I'm going to share with you too.  If you take the photo from where you are standing looking down on your pet then if you look closely you will notice that their body will look really small compared to their head.  If that's the look you're going for then by all means go ahead as like a say I love my paining of Tommy but as a general rule it is better to get one crouching down to their level.

kitten pet portrait

brown cockapoo

3. Hold a treat in front of your camera and ask them to stay

(or give your command to stay) and they will sit there eagerly waiting looking right at your camera until you have your picture.


4. If you're planning a surprise gift for someone and you're stalking their Facebook page frantically screenshoting their pet photos.  

STOP... this isn't going to work as the resolution will be really poor from a screenshot.  I personally like to be able to zoom right up close to the pet's eyes as that is where the character is for me.  When you give us a screenshot then the photo goes really pixelated the more you zoom in.  So, find another way to get your photos from their friends and family. Even ask them to take a photo when they next go round to visit.  I actually had one customer who waited until they were out taking their daughter in law's dog for a walk, then got plenty of pics with my tips above.

5. Take your time getting the right photo.

It will be worth the wait I promise.

Leana x

P.s Let me know if these tips helped you and if you'd like any more just let me know.

You can shop my pet portraits here


Back to blog