The 5 best tricks to help take your pet photos to the next level

All photos of pets are cute, I hope that’s something we can all agree on. Assumably your pet will pull the occasional odd face(still cute though!) But why not take your photos to the next level of adorable with some simple, but very effective, tricks!

As someone who loves taking photos of their pets, I try and make thing as easy as possible for both of us, while still being able to get the shots I want to. These tricks not only make for adorable photos, they’re also practical and make things much less stressful for owner and pet. There are so many tricks you can work on but these are just my top 5, and all have come in handy while we’re working on shoots and sets.

Note – this blog doesn’t cover how to teach these behaviours as there’s way too many different methods for different animals and it’d end up being far too long. If you’re interested in learning how to teach these to your pet get in touch and I’d be happy to help!

Look at you

There’s no better way to get headshots than by teaching your pet to look directly at the camera on cue. It sounds boring but the result of teaching this simple behaviour really speaks for itself. It allows you to capture your pet’s expressions, the gorgeous colour of their eyes, the way they look at you.

This behaviour is also super useful for taking more creative shots, where you need your pet to be looking at you when you’re not just stood directly in front of them. This behaviour combined with the next trick on this list will increase your photography options tenfold!

On your mark

Having a pet that will walk to and stay on a certain mark or place is really useful when you’re trying to photograph them. A mark or place can be anything – from a piece of tape on the floor to a bench or tree stump. Use what you have around you in the house and out on walks. Any clearly defined area for the animal to go to and stay will work.

Having a distinguishable mark to go to can really help animals understand you’re asking them to stay still while you move around and take pictures. It also allows you to move quite a distance away from your pet if you’re looking to take more of a landscape shot, or trying to fit multiple animals in one picture. The photo opportunities while utilising this behaviour are endless!

Head Tilt

Head tilts are undeniably cute. How many times have you been able to look an animal in the eye and not say ‘Awww!’ when you watch it’s head turn slightly to the side? Whatever it is that causes such a burst of love at first sight can definitely be used to your advantage when taking photographs.

Capturing this behaviour on cue will be one of the best things you do to give your photos that cute factor. For any sort of media work it’s definitely a skill you want on your dog’s repertoire. On a more personal level it’s just an adorable thing to be able to ask of your pet anytime you’d like your heart to melt a little bit.

Hug

I’m sure everyone has seen viral videos of pets giving each other hugs. These videos are usually viral for good reason – they’re adorable! It seems like such an unachievable trick at first, but really is super simple. It’s an incredibly flexible trick that can be used with people, other animals(as long as they’re comfortable being that close to the animal giving them the hug) and objects such as trees and lampposts.

Of course this trick has limitations, mostly that the animal has to be the right shape and build to be able to hug something, but for those species that can accomplish it, it’s so worthwhile spending the time to teach it!

Flat

Having a pet rest their head on your lap and look up at you might just be the most adorable thing in the world. So why not capture the command and use it to take photos that will made your heart burst. Such a simple trick can result in the most stunning photos. The behaviour is so versatile it can be used anywhere for anything. Head resting on your hand, on a table, on a fallen tree, even just laying flat on the floor.

It’s always one of the first tricks I teach because of just how useable it is. This one may be last on the list but certainly isn’t the least useful. You’ll certainly get the cute photography results you’re looking for working with this behaviour!

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