iStock_000071973855_LargeIt’s easier than ever to take great pictures these days. Not only can we take professional quality photos on our smartphones, but top-of-the-line cameras once limited to professionals are now affordable and remarkably easy for a novice to use.

Whether you’re an iPhone-wielding amateur or a seasoned picture-taking veteran, you have most likely snapped a few shots of your beloved dog, cat, chinchilla, or lutino cockatiel. Maybe you share your photos on social media, or would like to. Maybe you’d like a nice print or two to frame and hang in your home, or maybe you just want a few pet photos on your phone to glance at when you need a pick-me-up at work.

OVRS has put together a list of tips, straight from the pros, for making the most out of your pet photography sessions, regardless of what you end up doing with the final results.

Find The Right Setting

The right environment is key to getting some good shots of your pet. It’s important to choose a location where your pet will feel relaxed and comfortable, thus allowing his or her unique personality to fully emerge.

Use Natural Light

If possible, try to photograph your subject outdoors or near a well-lit window. As a general rule, it’s best to avoid using a flash as it can spook your pet and/or create that “red eyed” look.

Keep The Eyes Sharp

“The eyes are the windows to the soul” as the saying goes, and this couldn’t be truer than with pets. Capture the depth and tenderness in your pet’s heart by striving to keep the eyes in focus.

Get Down To Their Level

Putting your pet at ease is one of the most important elements to a successful pet photo shoot. Instead of calling your pet to you or trying to make him or her “sit” and “stay”, go to your pet. Give the photos a “pet perspective” by getting down on your belly or sit at your pet’s eye level.

Put People In The Picture

Since you are most likely going to be utilizing these pet photography tips to get the most out of your photo sessions with the family pet, we recommend including human loved ones in some of your shots. People not only add context to the photo but images of family and friends interacting with your pet will make the pictures all the more meaningful as you look back on them throughout the years.

Don’t Forget To Play!

Playing with your pet during a photoshoot allows your pet’s personality to come out in pictures and can bring about opportunities for wonderful spontaneous shots. Think of your frisky tabby batting at a dangling string, paw outstretched, or your curious beagle rooting around in the flower bed in search of the ball you just threw.

A Final Thought

Have you discovered you have a knack for taking purrfect pet pictures? Consider offering your photography talents to local shelters and animal rescue organizations. Great photos can help pets get adopted faster, and many organizations welcome help from amateur photographers. Call around to see if you can get involved!