Pets have a way of getting into our hearts and filling our lives with joy. Therefore, it’s no surprise why many pet owners have framed pictures of their pets on their walls or desks. However, taking pictures of your pets is not as easy as you might think. Unlike human beings, pets don’t understand what you are trying to do, and in most cases they won’t pose for the camera! So here are some unique tips for preparing your pet for an outdoor photoshoot.

Tips to Prepare for an Outdoor Photoshoot With Your Pet

1. Make Sure Your Pet Is Relaxed and Having Fun

Photoshoot sessions are supposed to be fun. So whether you are photographing outside or inside, the best way to get the most out of the photoshoot is making sure your pet is relaxed and having fun. And by making sure the sessions are fun and positive, your dog might think it’s an outdoor adventure and reward you with some cheerful energy and huge smiles. So make sure you reward a positive response with a healthy snack. Rewarding a positive response with some treats will motivate your dog to give you even more happy experiences.  

2. Make Sure Your Pet Is Well-Fed Before the Photoshoot Sessions Starts

A hungry pet can never sit still for a very long time for you to take a photo. Therefore, Friendly Claws recommends that you make sure your cat is well-fed before you leave your home. You can even carry your cat’s water and food bowl to the place where you want the photos taken and feed him there. Or you can use them to get a beautiful picture of your cat enjoying his meals.

3. Carry Your Pet’s Favorite Toys

One of the best methods you can use to get a beautiful photo of your dog sitting or jumping happily is by allowing him to play with his favorite toys during the photoshoot. A toy can bring out the aggression in him or simply make him super active, giving you some of the best shots for the photoshoot session. Some toys can make your dog sit still long enough for you to take your photos.

4. Prep Your Pet for the Camera

Depending on the type of pet and breed you own, grooming needs might vary. So make sure you plan the grooming session. After all, you want your pet to look beautiful for the camera. But we don’t recommend booking a photo session and grooming appointment on the same day.

photoshoot with pet

Remember, a bath might be essential for your pooch to look its best. Active dogs should be washed the day before the photo sessions to guarantee that they will be as shiny and clean as possible. And if your dog loves playing around, make sure you carry some grooming wipes for cleaning him.  

5. Practice Some Basic Commands

While it’s not a requirement, brushing up on some basic commands like sit, stand, and rollover can be a great idea! Brushing up on these commands can turn your pet into a better model and give you some great photos. So make sure you carry his favorite treat and reward him every time he does something correctly.  

6. Make Sure There Is Nothing in the Surrounding Distracting Him

Pets can be easily distracted by anything in the surroundings, and since you are working outdoors, you can look for an almost distraction-free place. If your pet loves chasing birds or small rodents, make sure there is none in his vicinity. If your dog gets spooked by strangers, make sure a considerable percentage of the people there are family members. If your pet gets startled by moving and honking vehicles, make sure you pick a place away from too many vehicles.

7. Be Patient

After you have tidied up the background a bit and added as many props as possible, you can just sit and wait for your pet to get used to the new environment. Remember, patience is often the key to great photography! The waiting gives you time to compose yourself and get an idea of how you want to take the photo. Look for the right position and find an excellent position without having to prod and poke him too much. Unless you want pictures of your pet in motion, then this can be a perfect waiting game.

8. Plan Your Shot List

Taking your time to plan all the images that you can see in your mind’s eye can be very useful. Think about everything you would want from your pet. You can run several signature shots in your head and list all the expressions and poses you want to be captured. With dogs, you can aim for a big smile, a half-face, one of him looking down and eyes closed. Make sure you capture all the poses your subject gives you during the photoshoot and then edit later.

9. Work With the Weather

Lighting is a crucial part of great photography, and since you can’t control outdoor lighting, you can try and work with it. But outdoor lighting is not stable; it can be sunny right now and overcast the next minute. Overcast with the light of the sky provides excellent outdoor shooting conditions. They are bright enough to capture the details of your pet’s fur.

10. Carry a Source of Fill Light

Even though you will be working outdoors with the sun as your source of light, you will need to get the right type of fill light to fill all the shadows created by the leading light. So make sure you bring a flash for fill or reflector to illuminate your pet and capture the moment with your camera.  

Final Thoughts

Nothing captures memorable moments than photographs; therefore, proper preparation is mandatory before an outdoor photoshoot. But working with pets is not the same as working with kids. Pets can’t sit still long enough for you to get a perfect shot. So you have to find different ways to make them feel comfortable and relaxed for the sessions.