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  • Hello There Pet Photographer!

    Hello and welcome to the Beautiful Beasties Pet Photographer Resources website one-stop-shop for pet photographers! If you have stumbled upon this site looking for pet photography tips & techniques, tips on pet photography business & pet photography marketing, blog posts with shooting tips, information on gear, ideas for how to start a pet photography business, or even just want to network with your fellow colleagues, you have come to the right place. Whether you have a passion for photographing animals as a hobby or are a serious full time professional, you will find this to be the website you need for all things pet photography on the web.

    The very best pet photography resources are here: from books to workshops to consulting, blog posts for pet photographers, interviews with pros, templates, classes and more, all from leading industry professionals. We hand pick every item on the website and ensure it is of the highest quality.

    Feel free to browse the pages, starting with the items below or the menu links above, and if you can't find what you are looking for, try out the search box in the upper right.

    We sincerely welcome you to the Beautiful Beasties and hope you find what you are looking for!

Pet Photography Tips & Techniques

Top Ten Pet Photography Tips & Techniques, from the book Beautiful Beasties, A Creative Guide to Modern Pet Photography, by Jamie Pflughoeft, published by Wiley Publishing. (Please contact Wiley Publishing for re-publishing rights to the text and photos):

1. Have fun with it!

Make it a game. Be upbeat. Bring out the toys, participate in an activity your pet finds fun. For cats this may be a game involving tinfoil balls or a feather toy, for dogs this may be a squeaky toy. For horses, rodents and other pets, this is whatever puts them in the best mood–whatever their ‘favorite’ thing is.

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2. Get on their level

Scoot, crouch, bend, scuffle, lay, twist, roll- whatever you need to to do get down and create photographs on the pet’s level. Wear dirty clothes. No pet photographer ever worse expensive jeans and sneakers to a photo shoot.

Animals experience the world on a different plane than we do, and being able to create photographs captured on their level makes them more emotional, more engaging, and more connected, to the person that views the images.

Olivea & Alex 34

3. Pay your model

You wouldn’t expect a human model to work for you without payment right? So why should you expect an animal to work without getting paid? Figure out what’s the most appreciate item for payment. A toy, a treat, an old rag, a carrot- whatever it takes to keep them engaged and motivated.

 

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4. Pay attention to backgrounds

Nothing can ruin a perfectly good photo better than ugly, cluttered backgrounds. Nobody needs to see that old garden hose, or your dirty sock on the floor, in an otherwise beautiful photo of Rupert the cat.

Spend a few minutes before your photo session eyeballing the scene behind the animal. A few quick pickups of distracting ‘junk’ can mean you never having to say “Oh man, I wish that ____ wasn’t in the photo” again, or spending unnecessary time in Photoshop or Lightroom. (Unless of course the offending object is something like a house or someone else’s car, in which case–just move the animal).

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5. Focus on expressions

Forget technical skill. Any pet owner will respond to an expressive, ‘aww-inducing,’ ‘laugh-inspiring’ photo over a technically perfect yet emotionally lacking photo any day of the week.

Capture a pet in the moment where it is expressing the essence of its personality, showing you it’s true colors (whatever those may happen to be!), and the owner of the pet will forgive all manner of exposure, composition and other issues. All they really want is to say “You got him, you really got him!”.

If you hear “squeals”, “oohs,” or “ohhhs” coming from the pet’s owner upon seeing your images, you know you’ve done something right.

Henri & Lola 13

For more tips, please see our blog, our education page, and our products page!

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