An At-Home Pet Photoshoot Cheat Sheet

The At-Home Pet Photoshoot Cheat Sheet in text with a boxer dog posing with a camera

Have you ever wanted to do an at-home pet photoshoot? As pet owners, we all know that our furry (or feathery or scaly) friends hold a special place in our hearts. They bring us joy, love, and companionship; their adorable faces deserve to be captured in timeless portraits! Professional pet photography sessions can be costly and stressful, but don’t fret! With a few simple tips and tricks, you can take stunning shots of your pets right in the comfort of your own home. In this blog post, we give you a cheat sheet on how to shoot pet portraits that showcase the unique personalities of your beloved companions.

The Pre-Shoot

At-Home Pet Photoshoot Cheat Sheet: The Pre-Shoot text a bulldog with a ball in his mouth

Set the Stage

Before you start your at-home pet photoshoot, it’s essential to create an environment that is both comfortable for your pet and visually appealing. Choose a well-lit area in your home with ample natural light. Ideally, this could be near a large window or in a well-lit room. Natural light helps bring out the natural colours and textures of your pet’s fur, resulting in more captivating photographs. Additionally, consider using a clean and uncluttered background that won’t distract from your pet’s adorable features.

Gather Props and Treats

To keep your pet engaged and focused during your at-home pet photoshoot, gather some pet-friendly props and treats. Props like favourite toys or a comfy bed can help create a familiar and relaxed atmosphere. Incorporate objects that reflect your pet’s personality, such as a stylish collar or a cute accessory. Treats can be used as rewards for good behaviour or to grab your pet’s attention when needed. Remember, positive reinforcement and patience are key to capturing that perfect shot! 

Use the Right Equipment

While professional cameras can produce stunning results, you don’t necessarily need high-end equipment to take impressive pet photos. Many smartphones nowadays have excellent built-in cameras that can capture remarkable details. Start your at-home pet photoshoot by cleaning the lens of your camera or phone, and if possible, shoot in a high-resolution mode for better clarity. Consider investing in a tripod or stabilizer to avoid shaky shots, especially if you’re using a standalone camera. And, in a pinch, a levelled desk or table makes a great makeshift tripod!

The shoot

At-Home Pet Photoshoot Cheat Sheet: The Shoot text with a dog and a cat, with different colour eyes (heterochromia)

Patience and Timing

Pets, just like humans, have their moods and energy levels. Timing is crucial when it comes to capturing their attention and getting them in the right frame of mind. Schedule your at-home pet photoshoot when your pet is relaxed and well-rested. Perhaps after a walk or a grooming, when your pet is happy and content. Avoid interrupting their mealtime or playtime, as this might lead to distractions. Patience is key during the process, so don’t rush it. Allow your pet to settle into the environment and get comfortable before starting the session.

Capture Personality and Expressions

The beauty of pet photography lies in capturing the essence of your pet’s personality. Encourage your pet to express themselves naturally. Capture their playfulness, curiosity, or even their serious side. Candid shots often make for the most memorable photographs. Experiment with different angles, close-ups, and creative compositions to highlight their unique features and expressions. Remember: the best part about an at-home pet photoshoot is that you have no studio limits or session times–there’s no need to rush!

Focus on the Eyes

The eyes are the windows to your pet’s soul, and capturing them in sharp focus can bring life to your photographs. Focus on your pet’s eyes to create a sense of connection and emotion. If you’re using a smartphone, tap on your pet’s eyes to adjust the focus manually. Experiment with different angles to find the most flattering perspective that highlights their unique features.

The Post-Production

At-Home Pet Photoshoot Cheat Sheet: The Post-Product text with a white mouse on a black background

Edit and Enhance

Once you have captured a range of images, it’s time to enhance them further through post-processing. There are several user-friendly photo editing apps and software available that can help you refine your images. Adjust the brightness, contrast, and colours to bring out the best in your pet’s portrait. However, be mindful not to over-edit and lose the natural essence of the photograph. Looking for photo editing app suggestions? Here our some of our favourites: Lightroom, Corel, Snapseed, Luminar AI, VSCO, and Afterlight (just to name a few!)


Don’t forget to post your pictures after! Impress (and delight) your friends and family with your at-home pet photoshoot. Whether you add your photos to your Stories or into a nice frame, show off the beauty, humour, and/or friendship of your pet with a professional-looking photo, from the comfort of your own home.  

An at-home pet photoshoot can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. With a little planning, patience, and creativity, you can capture beautiful portraits that reflect the unique personalities of your best friend. Remember, it’s all about creating a comfortable environment, capturing their expressions, and cherishing those magical moments. So grab your camera, gather your props, and em-bark (get it?) on a delightful journey of immortalizing your pet’s personality on film (figuratively speaking). 

Happy photographing!

Have any questions, suggestions, or other photography needs? You can also contact us directly to set up a free consultation

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