A great photo in 12 steps

You need patience for a good portrait of your pet. Because the calmer and more relaxed you are, the calmer your pet will be. Initial tip: turn off the sound your camera makes when focussing!

1. Focus on the eyes
Do your utmost to get the eyes in sharp focus. This brings the personality, the "soul" of your pet to life.

2. Do not photograph from above
What applies to child photography, also applies to pet photography: photos taken from above often have too great a distance from the subject, making your pet look much smaller. Perspective squashes the subject down - which can make it look unnatural. Therefore try a lower angle for getting your pet in the picture, squatting down or on your tummy!

3. Ensure a suitable background
Choose the place where you are going to take the photo beforehand, and also pay attention to the background. It should be plain and not detract from your pet. The busier the background is, the less you pay attention to the foreground! Use your imagination too, and experiment: light brown fur stands out better against a dark background (for example, if you only have white walls, use a dark blanket).

4. Keep your pet in sharp focus
It goes without saying of course, but it is also important that the background is not in sharp focus. Make sure too that your pet is not too far away.

5. Make the image dynamic
The image becomes a lot more dynamic, and thus more attractive, when there is space in front of your pet, and less behind your pet. If your dog is looking to the left, show some space to the left; your dog is therefore slightly more to the right of the screen. If you shove it over to the left, then it is looking off the screen and you have an out of balance photo!

6. Have an eye for details
You can also look at other details once the eyes are in sharp focus. Birthmark on the ear? Distinctive fur on the snout? These are the adorable and characteristic features of your pet.

7. Play around with the zoom
Sometimes it is nice to have a photo showing your pet entirely, but sometimes personality comes through better from just a part. We already mentioned the eyes, but of course it can be anything. Zoom in as much as possible, and see if it works.

8. Do not use flash
With flash, you generally don't get natural colours, but harsh, flat lighting instead. Use natural daylight and ensure that you have the sun behind you. If you want warm colours, take pictures early in the morning and late in the afternoon: when the sun is low and you get the best colours (low-angled light).

9. Not an official portrait, but a group portrait
No matter how majestic your pet is, he or she will not sit still (for long). It’s also not necessary for capturing their true personality. It might be an idea to include other pets in the photo. You get playful, lively photos.

10. Crop the image
Sometimes the photo is great, but the picture speaks louder when you crop it. Cut out trivial detail - the food bowl, a pair of shoes - and the result is surprising.

11. Don’t be afraid to look around
You can find pet photos everywhere. The internet is awash with pet photos and videos. It can't hurt to let that inspire you, and to think about what kind of photos your pet suits best.

12. Use what you know
It probably goes without saying, but use what you know about your pet. You probably already know how your pet reacts when you make a move or whistle. Ears up and an expectant look when you fill the food bowl? Expectant and eager attitude when you grab a stick? Use that knowledge and you can decide the location and camera angle beforehand!