Do It for the Gram: How to Get the Perfect Pet Photo Every Time

If there’s one thing that everyone knows about pet owners, it’s that they go the extra mile for their fur babies. Some show their affection by looking for new ways to jazz up meals for a picky eater, some throw a feast complete with their pet’s very own cake to mark a special day, while others make an Instagram page and help their pets reach social media superstar status.  

If you are reading this, chances are you are guilty of the third one (or did you get all three?) You are a social media savvy pet owner, and we can’t blame you—you have a star material pooch or feline on your hands and it’s definitely ready for its closeup.

Without further ado, here is our guide to get the perfect Instagram photo of your pet. Scroll through our tips and tricks below and let’s get started!

Prep your pet for the camera 

No one knows your pet better than you do. What we mean is: you’ve seen your furry friend at its best and at its worst, goo around the eyes and all. Don’t stress, we’ve got the grooming department down pat. With the help of a Fetch bath, your pet can sport bright, lustrous hair both on and off camera.  

It also helps to brush up on some commands before the shoot. Stick with the basics like “sit,” “down,” and “stand.” Get your pet used to “stay” or “wait” as one of the most difficult aspects of pet photography is keeping your pet still. As with anything you teach your pet, the more practice they get, the better the results. 

Lighting is key

Ideally, you’ll want to shoot in natural light, especially if you have a pet that gets skittish around a flash. When photographing with natural light indoors, opt for a room with adequate natural light. Take photos of your pet near a sunny window if possible. 

If you’re taking things outdoors, it’s important to avoid direct sunlight. Schedule your shoot during the “golden hour,” shortly after sunrise or just before sunset, which creates a warm color temperature that is softer and more flattering than the harsh midday sun. 

Add visual interest 

While a simple background is always en vogue, a patch of grass or a funky piece of fabric makes the perfect backdrop for creating more striking photos. Take into account your pet’s coat color, too. For example, if your pet has a white coat, don’t have them pose in front of a completely white wall! Use a light or dark solid piece of fabric to contrast your pet’s coat and show off their fabulous fur. 

Now’s the time to turn to their wardrobe. A ruffled bandana, a Hawaiian shirt, and even a full on costume are all great options—choose one that lets your pet’s personality shine through! Keep in mind that their safety should come first. Supervise your pet while the prop is in play and put it away when you're done. Additionally, don't be afraid to put on a collar and leash for safety, you can always photoshop them off during editing. 

Lure with treats and toys

You can begin the shoot by asking your pet to sit, stay, lay down, or shake. All you need are some treats on hand to encourage them to look your way as you take several shots.

Want your pet to look like it's smiling in the shot? Have them take a quick run or play with them for a bit. Once your dog is panting, whip out your camera to catch that smile in action. Be sure to reward your pet later for a job well done. 

Final tips and tricks

When you’re snagging some photos, don't just take one or two. You want plenty of options to choose from. To achieve this, utilize the continuous burst mode to capture multiple images in a short amount of time. Don’t worry about repetitive shots, you can just sort through them later and delete any flops.  

Capturing great pet photos takes a lot of time and patience. Have fun with it! As great as the photos turn out, the moments you spend with your furry companion are the ones you’ll treasure forever. 



  • How to Prepare for Your Pet Photoshoot 

  • How to Prepare Your Dog for a Photography Session 

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