I did some portrait photography of my dogs this past weekend.  Here are a few tips I picked up through trial and error for better pet portrait photographs.

1) Animals work on their terms and their schedules.  If you think high maintenance models are difficult to work with try a dog.  Anticipate potty breaks mid shoot and playing with rather than posing with the props.  Bottom line, they are animals patience is critical.

2) As with human portraits lighting is very important.  It really helps to have studio lighting but I am sure you can improvise with natural window light or some combination of natural and artificial light.

3) Animals don’t take posing directions too well so they are going to move; sometimes quickly.   The right camera settings will not help with the squirmiest pet but they can help combat some movement.  Ideally you want to keep your shutter speed no slower then 1/60 but if you can bump the speed up to 1/125 even better.  A larger aperture will allow you to keep the shutter speed fast and give you a shallow depth of field to blur the background.  As for ISO you want to keep it low to avoid noise.

Pet portrait - dog

Pet portraits - Pug

Pet portrait photography

Pet Portrait Photography - Pug

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