Photography Tips & Tricks: Pets | Northern VA Family Photographer

Continuing our Photography Tips & Tricks for our clients and friends, we want to discuss our pets! Yes, we may be a family photographer near Purcellville, VA, but we know just how much humans love their pets. So, let’s talk pet photography!

When is the last time you took a great picture of Fido? (We are using a dog name but it isn’t to demean cats or their indentured servants a/k/a humans!) You don’t need to bring Fido into our studio, but it’s really worth taking a nice photo of your beloved four-legged friends!

Here are some tips on photographing your pet:

Natural light

It’s much easier for you, and less frightening for your pet, if you use natural light as much as possible. There won’t be a flash to startle the dog/cat/lizard/pot-bellied pig (you get the idea!) and it will be much easier if you don’t have to fiddle with a flash!

Focus on their eyes

With human subjects, we suggest you focus in on their face and, especially, their eyes. You should be able to see light reflected in their eyes. If you can’t see the reflection, there’s not enough light. Focus in on your pet’s eyes!

Get down to their level

Just as with human photos you’ll find on any photography websites, you want to get down to their eye level or below. Get down on the floor at Fido’s level.


Just as we work hard to capture your family’s personality in our portrait work, you should do the same for your four-legged friend. You know them better than anyone. Documenting what they typically do or like is a great way to capture their portrait. Do they have a favorite spot on the couch or armchair? Shoot them there.

Come in close

People often make the mistake of shooting their pet from a distance and not zooming in. Some of the best pet pictures involve their face – after all, the eyes are the window to the soul. Zoom in close!

Candid shots

Unless your pet is exceptionally well-trained, it will be difficult to get him to strike a pose for more than a few seconds, if at all. Make sure you’re ready to take the shot before you actually try to take it!


Use your patience, dear human; these are animals after all, descended from the wild!

Snap away

Just like with humans, you’ll likely need to take a lot of pictures in order to get a few great shots. Snap away and be prepared to do more than one “pet session”!

We’re always happy to have you include your beloved furry friend in your next family portrait whether or not yours have worked out. It can take years of experience (and a large dose of patience) to photograph children and pets. Luckily, as a family photographer near Purcellville, VA, we have both and we love both children and pets!

Other posts in this series:
Photography Tips & Tricks: Lighting tips for family snapshots
Photography Tips & Tricks: Get natural smiles from your kids!
Photography Tips & Tricks: Underwater Pictures


Family Photographer

Ever After Portraits is comprised of Mindy Belcher and Joriana Belcher Anderson, a mother-daughter portrait photography team located near Purcellville, VA in Northern Virginia. We specialize in timeless and emotive fine art family portraits.
Family means everything and capturing those precious moments to preserve forever will mean family heirlooms for you to share for years to come.

Mindy & Joriana – Contact Us!
Professional Photographer