7 essential shots for a pet photography shoot

When I go out on a shoot with a client and their pet as well as taking into account what the client wants to get out of the shoot, I also have my top 7 essential shots I aim to capture throughout the shoot.

7 essential shots – what are they?

1 – THE headshot

For me, the most important shot of a shoot.

A nice clear photo of the subjects head that captures their character.

Puppy portrait shot
Nuka’s little angel face

2 – The “what’s that noise shot”

This is one of my favourite shots to capture as in variably results in a super cute head tilt in dogs.

To capture this I usually make the weirdest possible noise I can ( my go to at the moment is a turkey impression, don’t ask) and this will make even the most chilled out half asleep pooch look at you quizzically.

Fastest finger

This shot needs to be taken quickly as the quizzical look is usually followed by the said pooch leaping on my head.

Head tilt puppy
Bramble – “did you make that noise?”

3 – The relaxed sit

This is a staple photo for any session. It is nice and easy to achieve as long as the dog has a sit command in place. I usually ask the owner to stand behind me so I have the dogs attention for the shot

7 essential shots
Yogi! Hanging out with his tongue out!

4 – The “Forest Gump”

Run Forest Run…

My aim is to capture one action shot per shoot. I will often get hundreds but, this is dependant on training and obviously the dogs capability.

For dogs that have poor recall I have previously made owners run with them on the lead. I love the action shots where the dogs are coming straight for you with ears and tongues flying! To me these shots just encapsulate sheer joy!

7 essential shot for pet photography - action
Beanie, living his best life

5 – The family shot

Not all clients want to be in the photos (neither do I, that’s why I take them).

I will try and encourage at least one shot with their dog. Even if its of them both walking away or an abstract shot of their paw and hand.

These might not be shots they will share on social media but, photos they will look back on and remember the bond they shared.

6 – The “don’t look back in anger”

This is when the dog looks back over their shoulder at you. Not always an easy shot to capture. As unless the dog is super lazy they are right back on your head in an instant. However, it is always a shot I will try to capture. As I love the feeling it gives and shows the subject at a different angle.

7 essential shots - don't look back in anger
Old lady Tilly acing the look back

7 – The distant stare

The classic model pose, how can in not be included in a photoshoot. Need I say more.

7 essential shots - the distant stare
Red – an absolute pro at the distant stare

Around the circle

I am part of an amazing blog circle with talented pet photographers from around the world. Next in the circle is Tracy Allard

Dallas – Fort Worth pet photographer Penny Whistle Photography reveals the 5 must-have pictures for your dog’s photo session LINK:

If you and your four legged friend would like to test out some poses, then get in touch.

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