Whether it’s a dog, a cat or even something more exotic like say – a turtle or a guinea pig, the family pet is a cherished and often doted-upon member of the family. This is why, if you’re not already in the habit of photographing pets, you might want to give it a try. Pet portraiture has become extremely popular over the past few years, providing both the amateur and professional photographer a new outlet for their creativity and a strong conduit for reaching new clients.
We’ve rounded up some of the most adorable pet portrait ideas, complete with props. See how many of these suggestions you can incorporate into your next “fur baby” portrait special!
Pet Portrait Idea #1
Mirror, Mirror – A mirror or sunny window makes a great prop for the curious kitty or pup! Watch as the animal encounters the “stranger” and get ready to take that prize winning comical shot! Just be sure you’re positioned off to the side so as to not interrupt the shot with your own flash.
Pet Portrait Idea #2-3
Outdoor Chic – Bundle up that little fur ball and get ready to brave the great outdoors! To ensure optimal attention and safety, look for a location that is as free from other distractions as possible (read: other dogs, kids on bikes, cars, etc). Also, ask the owner to either stand nearby (just outside the frame) or directly behind you so the dog looks “up” toward the camera.
Pet Portrait Idea #4
Backyard BBQ – Nothing brings out the “canine” like a juicy burger or charbroiled steak! If the subject’s family is into camping, cookouts or tail-gate parties, a portrait featuring a cooler, picnic blanket, plastic food (ahem), and their beloved companion is a sure-fire hit.
Pet Portrait Idea #5-6
Shh! Baby’s Sleeping – If you’ve got a tired pooch or kitty on your hands, don’t fight against their internal snooze button. Instead, opt for a charming sleepy pose! You could wrap the little one up in a blanket or simply capture their afternoon siesta right where they landed.
Pet Portrait Idea #7-8
Play Time – Whether they’re chasing a ball, playing tug-o-war with a sock or batting a ball of yarn, dogs and cats of all ages love to play! These silly moments produce plenty of laughs on their own, so go for the candid and try not to “create” the scene too much. In fact, a playful scene like this would be great ice breaker as it eliminates the animal’s anxiety and helps them feel more relaxed.
Pet Portrait Idea #9
Santa Baby – “Dear Santa, I’ve been very good this year. Love, Fluffy” A portrait featuring the little critter decked out for the holidays not only makes a great gift idea but a fun holiday greeting card image as well. Just add a few glittering packages, a decorated tree and you’re in business! If your subject is a puppy or kitten, consider tucking them inside a stocking for a sweet-as-candy pose.
Pet Portrait Idea #10-12
Hugs & Kisses – Nothing could be more endearing than a portrait featuring the pet – and “his” child-master! But beware: certain factors, like maintaining both subjects’ attention and ensuring the child isn’t “squeezing” or holding on to their pet too hard, can suck the life out of a staged pet/child photo rather quickly. Instead, go for the candid to capture that, “You’re my best friend forever” moment.
Pet Portrait Idea #13-15
Am I Cute or What? – A close-up of their favorite companion is guaranteed to make any owner smile! Get to know the animal a bit first, so you can capture their unique personality in the shot. Portraits like these are great for framing and never go out of style.
Pet Portrait Idea #16-18
Young ‘n Innocent – It’s hard to resist a sweet pair of kitten or puppy dog eyes staring back at you! Capturing those adorable first few weeks on camera is sure fire way to elicit plenty of “Awwww!’s” from your clients, both now and well into the future.