Five simple tips for taking pet pictures that will sell.

Anyone can point a camera at their pet and take a snapshot, but if you want an image that will get accepted here at Dreamstime and will sell well, you need to put in a little more effort. Here are a few simple rules to help get you started.

1. Get down to their eye level. Simple, you've probably heard it before, it really makes a world of difference.

2. Patience Patience Patience! It really takes time, some of my best selling pet images required an hour or more of shooting in order to get that single great shot.

3. Get help. You just can't do it alone. An assistant can arrange props, move the animal into different poses, or get it's attention with a variety of treats and noisemakers so that you can focus on getting the shot.

4. Be quick! The right moment will come and go in a flash... no pun intended. You'll need lots of light and have all your equipment fully charged and ready to go.

5. Get creative. Use your imagination! Blowing on a dogs ear with a straw will make them shake their heads, a bit of something tasty smeared on their lips will get them licking their chops....The possibilities are endless!

Don't forget to reward them with a treat or play time after a photo session. Have fun, my dog and I always do.

Photo credits: Barbara Helgason.

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September 27, 2012


Great photos!

August 21, 2009


I would say simple, not too busy and blurred backgrounds are usually preferred. Just use a shallow depth of field and have as much distance as possible between the subject and background.

August 19, 2009


Absolutely love your pet images, especially the huge piece of meat. I hope Sophie got a nice treat. Just wondering what background you find best to use, especially if not in a studio.

August 16, 2009


Lovely pet pics.

July 27, 2009


Thanks for all the great comments. I should add that small animals in studio might be better brought up to our eye level. I usually have them seated on a small table.... works great for little dogs. Cats, well, like I said before, getting them to stay put is more definitely more work.
I should add a final tip:
Photoshop! Dog won't wear a hat? Why not photograph the hat on a stuffed animal with similar color fur in the same lighting conditions, a bit of photoshop and you're done. No one will ever know. Now the image with the roast beef... was Sophie the best behaved doggie in town, or was it photoshop? Hmmm, I'm not telling.

July 27, 2009


Great tips, wonderful photos! Ariel

July 27, 2009


Amazing images of pets they stand out so well,you must have amazing patience.Best wishes.

July 27, 2009


Awesome photos. I especially love the one with the slab of beef. How did you keep the puppy from eating it? ;)

July 27, 2009


LOL, just imagine when you lay down your self on the floor to take the shot and the animal simply run to another room or the kitchen and you stay on the floor like S$#%&!!!!
Really nice photos :)

Cheers ;)

July 27, 2009


Very creative work! -Larry

July 27, 2009


Definitely great shots. I have tried with my own dog too. I did get the eye level part and in the beginning it was quite easy. However, my dog has gotten so playful lately. The minute I get to eye level, he starts jumping around the camera....I might try again when he gets a little older and less playful.

July 27, 2009


Thanks for the tips! GREAT photos! I looked all your photos in portfolio some days ago. Great work!

July 27, 2009


cooooooool images

July 27, 2009


Good tips! Unfortunately I have no equipment and enough patient to shoot great isolated photos like these...I only have one shot from my grandma's cat here.
This. (sorry for ad. :))

July 27, 2009


Great shots, and good tips, thanks.

July 26, 2009


I love your pet images, I might try having a go with my dog. Not sure how that will turn out :0)

July 26, 2009


Agreed, cats are definitely more difficult to work with. Just did a shoot with a kitten, and it took over an hour, canned tuna and two assistants. Again, it comes down to patience... lots of it. I got some great shots in the end.

July 26, 2009


You make it sound so easy. For dogs that works excellent, but for (our) cats, forget about it. They are simply scarred from the background and the camera. I have tried many times. I guess I'd have to try again.

Your images look stunning!

Keep it up.



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