Less Blur, More Cute
Updated: Mar 22
3 Easy Steps to Capturing Frame Worthy Photos of Your Pets
People often ask me how I keep pets still and focused during photoshoots, venting their frustrations about how when they try to photograph their pets they always just end up with a bunch of blurry photos of their pets jumping out of frame.
So I've put together a few tips to help you capture adorable photos of your pets, free from blur full of cuteness! Best part? These tips aren't just any ordinary photography tips; these are pet-focused photography tips that come from my years of working in animal welfare. Not only will these tips make your pet photos come out better, but they will make your pet's photography experience more fun and less stressful!
STEP 1 | Location, location, location
Although it's tempting to bring your pet to a fun, new location for some fresh photos, this will most likely contribute to your photography challenges! Going to a new location is both exciting and over-stimulating for our pets. They want to explore, sniff, run around and interact with this new environment. This new space could also cause some fear or stress in our pets, causing their body language in photos to communicate unrest rather than happiness.
Photographing our pets in an environment that is familiar to them, one that they feel safe in, makes it easier for their focus to be on the camera and photographer. They won't be over-stimulated trying to inspect a brand new place while you're trying to keep their attention for photos. Their body language will also reflect their comfortability, enabling their true personality to shine through in your photographs.
STEP 2 | Identify Your Pet's Motivator
Every pet is motivated by something, and this motivator is what keeps their attention towards the camera. Spoiler alert - it's not always treats! Some pets love sounds - crinkles, squeakers, bells. Others are very visual - cat wand toys are awesome visual attention grabbers. We recommend having a variety of items available during your shoot because you never know what your pet is going to be interested in that moment. And often times, mixing up your motivators throughout a shoot helps sustain your pet's attention while you work to get that perfect shot.
STEP 3 | Use a Magic Mat
We often want to photograph our pets in a particular spot - say near a beautiful tree, or by a cute arrangement we've setup, and it usually proves very challenging to get them to settle in to that perfect spot. We've all been there - you get them just close enough to your arrangement to get their tail in the frame before they're off running the other direction.
How to solve this? Communicate to your pets where you want them to be! Reducing the ambiguity of where our pet should sit enables them to...well, sit where we want them to! To do this, put down a cozy blanket or towel. You will be amazed at how quickly your pet gravitates to a soft piece of fabric on the ground! Using free form barriers (x-pens are my favorite!) to reduce your pet's space is a great way to increase the likelihood they gravitate to the mat marker.
BONUS TIP | Get a Treat Pouch
Using a treat pouch to keep supplies (your motivators from Step 2) handy during your photo op is a game changer! You don't want to realize you left your motivators on the other side of the yard when your pet enters into an area with the perfect lighting! I never go to a photoshoot without my treat pouch from P.L.A.Y Play Lifestyle And You . Not only is it super colorful and fun, with several convenient compartments...spoiler alert...it has a BUILT IN squeaker! Perfect for pets who are motivated by sound. Does not get much better than that.