Home Photography Ideas: Capture Amazing Indoor Pet Portraits


As the world continues to adjust to foreclosure, it can be easy to put hobbies aside. However, even though your favorite genres of photography usually involve going out, there are still plenty of home photography ideas you can have fun with indoors. One of our favorites is the capture of pet portraits – not only can you get creative, but you can also capture a beautiful memory of your furry best friend.

Most of us love to take and view photos of pets, even if we don’t have them ourselves. Pet portraits have come in leaps and bounds in recent years, and even if you’re not a professional looking to make a living photographing other people’s adorable furry companions, there are plenty of ways enhance your own photos of your pets.

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In this feature, we’ll take a look at the best ways to capture animals, including how to tame, treat, and reward them for posing. When it comes to quirky expressions, we’ve sought out professional advice on how to get the most out of single topics, as well as groups.

Many wildlife photographers choose the controlled environment of a studio, and if indoor shooting is something you want to perfect, we have plenty of tips for lighting and accessories.

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Capture animal portraits in a home studio

While working in a studio is arguably less distracting, you still need to get the attention of pets and limit the amount of noise, other animals, and people. That being said, some help that you’re locked in can be vital in keeping frantic animals calm and in position.

Studio lighting can be a confusing subject, but for most professionals the goal is to use external lights to bring out the details of the fur and eye-catchers. Be careful when photographing light-colored pets as their reflections are easily blown out. Dark colored dogs can also appear gray, so keep an eye on the white balance and adjust it manually.

James kelly is a professional commercial and lifestyle photographer, but dog studio portraits full of character. “Trying to capture their personality
is a challenge that I love. My advice is to have a lot of patience.

James’ approach is to take lots of breaks and think of it as a fun session. “For me, it’s about getting that perfect look down the lens, and I often find myself lying on the floor straining my neck just to bend down enough to capture the pose I want.” He likes to mix up his flash setup depending on his location. “I still use my main strobe which is a Godox AD600BM,” he says. “Inside and out, it’s battery powered, so I can take it anywhere or to a customer without worrying about needing electricity. A high-speed strobe is ideal for capturing the dog grabbing a treat or licking their lips. “I sometimes pair the main strobe with a few Godox V860 IIC flashes, which are used to light up the backdrop and add some fill light. “

When we talk about using a studio, it could also cover a home environment. Don’t be afraid to use a subtle window light or keep it simple with a single light setup. If you have time to photograph your own animals as they behave, play with a softbox at different heights. The size of a light and its distance from your subject will affect its intensity and final effect.

(Image credit: James Kelly)

Tips for photography of indoor animals

The general advice for striking pet portraits is to get at eye level and keep the eyes in sharp focus. However, you can always take a more creative approach when working with props, fun compositions, and focal lengths. We are not talking about selfie kits for dogs here …

Start by checking your settings. “I always keep my opening as low as possible”, says Alicja Zmyslowska. “When I do my classic dog portraits, I never close them to more than about 1.8, as it helps me isolate the dog from the background and create depth in the image. The blurry background with colorful bokeh gives the images a dreamy feeling.

Another way to generate a more artistic image is to come up with a theme or concept, whether it’s a color scheme or a set of similar accessories.

Funny poses and expressions can also make for unique photos. “If I want dynamic shots, I try to encourage the dog and keep him excited,” says Alicja. “Throwing treats or toys in the air to capture their expression is always interesting. »Try to find new ways to get your subject to interact with the environment you are in.

Some of Alicja’s doggy poses are stuff they were taught before the shoot, like hugging, or jumping in the air and waving their paws. “It’s good to teach you different tricks or seek out models who already know them.

Other creative approaches include photographing subjects from behind, from above, or below, zooming in for a tight composition that only includes their legs or tails, or creating your own colorful backgrounds. Be imaginative.

01. Use your favorite toy

Fun accessories can help take your pet photography to the next level (Image credit: Kristina Makeeva)

Photographing an animal with its rope or favorite snack can add character, not to mention a playful and mischievous feel. Think about some fun behaviors you can pull off, like catching a ball in the air or hitting a bone. These can serve as a focal point and help them relax as well.

02. Capture funny poses

You can even take photos outside in your back garden if you have enough space (Image credit: Alicja Zmysłowska)

Pets don’t understand laying instructions the same way normal models do, so you’ll have to be creative in leading them. Dogs are arguably much easier to position and train than small animals, and toys and treats can be used as motivation for good behavior. To encourage eye contact in a certain direction, for example, have an assistant or assistant hold a reward at a certain height.

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