How to Take Great Photos of Your Dog or Cat

by Héloïse Ferrie

Have you scrolled endlessly through your Instagram feed and fell on amazing pictures of people’s pets and wondered how they did it? Taking a good picture is a skill, taking a good picture of your pet is even a cooler one. Worry not, here are all the tips on how to take a good picture of you dog or cat coming from one of our content creator!

Your phone will do

Taking a good picture doesn’t always require fancy equipment. You can take an amazing photo with your phone like you could take a terrible one with an expensive camera… Now of course if you already have photography equipment, you’re more than welcome to use it; but for most of you who’d just like to take a good snapshot during a walk in the park, what truly matters is to make sure that your phone is on the right settings:

  • If you have the live photo option on your camera, deactivate it, as it has a tendency to lower the quality.
  • Do not use your flash, or you’ll end up with a picture of your pet blinking.
  • Have you tried holding your phone upside down? The perspective is usually better this way!
  • Make sure the Smart HDR feature is on.
  • If you know how to use Portrait Mode, always adjust the depth, if you’re unsure, prioritise normal mode.
  • Always check that your phone lens is clean!
A cat with an OverGlam jumper posing on a library

Back to basics

Now that your phone is ready for the shooting, let’s check all the basics of photography, which trust us, will make all the difference…

Let’s start with the framing. Framing is important as it will help define what your photo focuses on. If you want to take a cute portrait of your dog, then its face should be at the centre, taking most of the screen. If you’re trying to get an action shot, take a bit of distance from the subject (and make sure to be using burst mode to get the best of it!) Make sure that your frame matches what matters.

Clutter is your enemy! Now we want your pet to be the only thing that shines in the photos, so check that nothing in the background is creating any unwanted attention. The clearer, the better! And if you still want a bit of decoration in the background, make sure everything adds value to the picture, and highlights your pet.

Whether you are shooting outdoors or indoors, the most important thing is natural light. Try to shoot outdoors, and when indoors, prefer days where the sun is out, it will make all the difference! Phone cameras are good under any weather, but they become great when the sky is cloud free. Shooting with natural light will bring warmth to your photos.

A cat with an OverGlam collar posing on a grey background

Get your model comfortable

Your camera’s ready, let’s do the same for your pet. Now, shooting with a sleeping pet is the easiest as you know you’ll have the time to get the perfect shot, but if you want to get a photo of them awake, here are the few rules you’ll need to follow:

  • Make sure your cat or dog is in a good mood, calm or playful. Start shooting in a space they feel comfortable in, so they get familiar with the process.
  • Always carry their favourite treats or toys to ensure getting their attention at anytime, and try to place those close to the camera so it seems like your pet is looking at you, making the photo more personal.
  • This one isn’t mandatory but will make the shooting so much easier for you: teach them the basic tricks, such as sit, giving the paw, or lie down. This will take your photos to another level!
  • Talking about level, one of the most important rules of photography is to level up with your subject. Avoid shooting standing up while your dog is sitting on the ground. By putting yourself at your pet’s level the picture will become much more interesting.

And of course, remember to give them a treat every time you’re please with a shot, after all, it’s a tough life to be a model!