Today I have some practical photography tips to share with you all about Incorporating pets into your family photographs. This simple list will give you a run through of some of the most important things to consider before setting out to take photographs with your pets, whether dogs, cats, rabbits or whichever beloved pet lives in your house.

For most households, pets aren’t just animals but are part of the family, so it’s no surprise that many want to get their pets involved with their family photographs. However, it’s not always as easy as that. Any dog or cat owner will attest that getting them to sit still can be a nightmare, and if you’re not careful you’re pet photos may end up like these.

With that in mind, here are some top tips for getting your pets involved in your family photos…

5 tips for taking photos with your pets. Simple practical advice to make sure that you get a good family photo with your pet included!

Be realistic

You need to be realistic about whether you can feasibly include your pets in your family photos. If you have a cat that runs away at the first sight of a human or a dog that’s a little on the bitey side, then it might not work. Certain animals lend themselves more to photos than others, too. For example, fish aren’t always the best for family photos as not only do you have to have the photo next to an aquarium but if you are using flash, then it may well reflect off the glass.

Think about the time of day

When you have your photographs taken is incredibly important when it comes to your pets, especially if they’re animals, such as dogs, that are likely to have a routine. For example, it’s probably not ideal to schedule the photo shoot for around the time your pet has its meals or goes out for a walk as it will become restless. It’s probably best to take the photos not long after they’ve eaten or gone for a walk (if it’s an animal that needs walking) as they’re likely to be slightly more subdued and therefore less likely to play up during the shoot.

Time of day is always important to consider when photographing in order to get good light for your shoot. You can avoid using flash by shooting outdoors, preferably in the shade and not in the direct sun to avoid harsh shadows, or by shooting in a room with good natural light – perhaps earlier in the day. If you are going to have your photos taken professional in a studio with lighting set up, then you won’t need to worry about this and can just focus on the timing of your pets routine.

Use some of their favourite toys

Your pets might be a little freaked out during the shoot, particularly if it’s taking place in an environment that’s alien to them. You’ll, therefore, want to make them as calm and relaxed as possible and a good way of doing that is by bringing along some of their favourite toys. They may get a little over excited with them to start with but they should soon settle down, and in the meantime you may be able to get some good action shots.

5 tips for taking family photos with your pets. Taking a photo with a cat and a dog

Consider hiring a professional

If you really want to get the best out of your photos then it might be worth hiring a professional. If you get your family photos at a professional studio, then you’ll get a photographer who knows what they’re doing and has likely worked with animals before so will hopefully be able to put them at ease. Hiring someone else also means that the whole family can get into the photo rather than have one person miss out to hold the camera.

Be patient

When photographing animals of any kind, patience is the key. Animals are unpredictable and don’t care if you’re trying to take a photograph, so you need to bide your time in order to get the right shot. Try taking lots of photographs, too, as the more you take, the greater the chances of getting a few that are any good.

I hope these tips will help you with taking family photos with your pet!

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Images: Portrait of Adorable Child with Kitten (modified) / Child hugging a cat and dog  Shutterstock