Step 1 - HOW TO: Take a good Pet Photo

Tips for taking a Great Pet Photo


It doesn’t matter if you use your cell phone or a traditional camera, get comfortable with it by taking photos, play with the settings and take more photos. Find the settings and things you like and keep taking photos.

Camera settings: - fast shutter speed, continuous focus, and burst mode.

Many pets have a hard time sitting still, use a fast shutter speed. On smartphones, look for a “Pet”, “Portrait” or a “sports” setting, this will shoot with a fast shutter speed. Turning the burst mode on will take a sequence of fast shots to up the odds of getting a perfectly-timed shot. Prevent soft images by using continuous autofocus mode, not single. For traditional cameras set your shutter priority mode or manual mode and use a shutter speed of at least 1/250 if possible, and even faster for action shots of a game of fetch. 

Google “how to use pet portrait mode on YOUR MODEL phone”

example: "How to use pet portrait mode on iPhone 11"

  1. Launch your camera app. 
  2. Swipe to Portrait Mode. 
  3. Position your pet where your iPhone can detect their whole face.
  4. Point your camera to your pet.
  5. The lighting effects will then appear at the bottom of your camera’s viewfinder. 
  6. Tap the shutter to capture.
  7. The result will be a photo with an artificial depth. A perfect portrait of your doggo or cat!



For pets (and most subjects) natural lighting is best. Take your pet outside to photograph or to a large room inside preferably with a window letting in natural light.

Approaching your pet with a camera:

Some pets may already be accustomed to their photo taken, others not so much. The more comfortable you already are with your camera the less your pet will be scared of it. Some things to consider:

  • Turn OFF shutter sounds if your pet is jumpy
  • Get on their level, try different perspectives
  • Go to them slowly & be patient
  • Grab their attention: Use treats or whistles
  • Get action shots during playtime and portrait shots when they are getting tired
  • Focus on the eyes
  • Use simple backgrounds
  • Try to capture their personality, you know them best!
  • Reward your pet for being a good photo subject, no matter how the photos turn out


  • Breath and relax, this is another skill that gets more comfortable with practice. 
  • Have fun, it might take a session or two, you will find some comfort in taking better pet photos
  • If your hands are shaky, resulting in blurry photos, try using a tripod

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