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Tips on Photographing Animals

If you have some photos of your pet that are clear and shows enough details (especially the eyes) you can send them to me. On the back of the photo that captures the personality of the animal you could indicate so in pencil. Having more than one photo for me to work from is best but not absolutely necessary. If you do not have any good photos but are able to take some, here are some tips. If the animal is no longer with you I would be more than happy to look over any photos you may have.

  • Use natural light when possible, avoid using a flash. Outside early morning or late afternoon light is best.
  • Take the pictures at eye level (get down to their level or put the animal on something to elevate him or her. For bird photos, avoid having them higher than eye level).
  • Birds look better photographed in profile rather than full front due to the fact that their eyes are on the side of their heads. They also photograph well with a nut, seed, or foot toy in their claw.
  • Get as close as possible, the best shots are of the animal filling the entire frame.
  • Avoid distracting shadows.
  • Use a whistle or squeak toy to perk the animal up and get it to look in the direction of the camera if desired.
  • If the animal will not sit in one place long enough you can have someone hold him or her.


Take many photos, professional photographers will often use more than one roll of film to get one or two good pictures.

Here are some examples. Abu, the Boston Terrier is nicely focused (although the photo was taken from above). His eyes show up well.

Here is Abu again. Even though he is perky and alert, the photo was taken from too far away. There is not enough detail visible and his eyes are difficult to see. Abu


Bruce, the cat is nicely lit by a window and his image fills the
frame. The photo is sharp and shows detail.
Here Bruce had been photographed using a flash. His image was burned out and his eyes are discoloured making it a difficult photo to work from.


Razz, the Blue and Gold Macaw is well lit by late afternoon sunlight, her image fills the frame nicely, and she is in profile which is the best way to photograph birds. Razz
Here is a photo of Razz taken with the same conditions and approximate distance, but it was taken from the front. It is hard to make our her eyes and it just looks odd. Razz


Take you time photographing your companion animal and have fun.

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