Top 3 must have photographs for your dog's portrait session

June 04, 2021  •  7 Comments

This week I am sharing with you my top 3 must have photographs for your pet's photography session.  Of course, I realize that my top 3 photographs might not be yours, nor might they be your pets.  That's why I have a top 3 - that leaves wiggle room for your top photographs too. Having said that, these are the ones that I try to always capture whether it is a rescue dog (cat), a friend's pet or a client.  I treat all equally - I want all of these photography sessions to be fun and capture your pet's personality.  That's what this is all about - so what are my top 3 must have photographs? I was fortunate enough to get little Lola, a blue heeler puppy, to do a modeling session for this week's blog post - so here's little Lola showing off her talents.

1. Full body - I always want to capture a full body photograph of your pet - let's show off those beautiful colors and markings - your pet 'stood in line' to get them!  Our first pose is Lola sitting - her beautiful markings and those ears!

Next she decided to lay down and we captured her tail along with the freckles all over her body.


2. Looking directly at the camera - yes, I want that connection between your pet and the camera and I think that is best conveyed by having your pet look directly at the camera - at their level - not shooting down at them.  I like to be at the same level as them - see the world from their perspective.

Sometimes it's the cute laying their head on the front paws (other times its a dead stare to see who wins).

A slight head tilt while still showing a good portion of her body.

3. A face/head shot - if your pet (talking dogs here as I have not seen cats do this much) will give that cute little head tilt or a playful look - that's what I want - something that shows their face up close with all the beautiful markings.

A tilt to the right?

Or a tilt to the left?

Little Lola gave us both!  That doesn't often happen and when it does, it takes a bit of fast clicking to capture both of them.  So there you have my top three must have photographs.

Now, having said these are my top three must have photographs doesn't mean that's all I will shoot.  I will shoot until your dog has decided that it doesn't want to participate or until I think we have captured enough photographs that we have a good selection of choices.  Some dogs love to play, some like to play catch, or perhaps a bit of tug a war - we will capture those moment too if that's what you're looking for.  Our end goal is to capture their personality is what we always try to do - along with showing a happy dog (cat) in as many cases as possible.

Here Lola has decided to relax, I think she decided that was enough for this photography session, but a casual outdoor, natural light photograph shows a different side of Lola.  It's also showing her with a slightly open mouth, a little smile perhaps?

When we are photographing rescue dogs, it's a matter of what the dog is willing to share - some are much more willing to enjoy the whole process while others find it very intimidating and challenging to get great photos - but with almost 6 years of experience in the world of rescue dogs, we have learned a lot along the way!  If we are photographing an animal (dog, puppy, cat, kitten) I always try to get these top photographs:

1. A photograph of the entire body - sitting, laying down and/or standing

2. At least one facial portrait - let them see those eyes - and get a connection between the viewer and the animal looking for a home.

3. Photograph(s) at the animal's level

Blogging with Pet Photographers

This is a personal project that I try to participate in each week (as much as possible).  This post is part of a 'blog circle' which is with several other Professional Pet Photographers around the world.  Each week a different theme is provided to the group and we, as pet photographers, interpret the theme in our own way.  Follow the link provided at the end of each of my blogs to the next pet photographer's blog - and when you arrive back at my blog - you've completed the entire circle of blogs for this theme.  For more pet photographers sharing their take on this theme, head over to visit BARKography by Kim Hollis and her 7 Must Have Poses at each photo shoot in Charlotte NC


Interested in a Pet Photography Session?

If you would like to discuss or book a custom pet portrait session, send an email to [email protected] or give us a call/text Linda at 813-610-2671 in the Tampa Bay area (Hillsborough/Pinellas/Pasco/Polk counties in Florida).  We have flexible rates and packages to fit most everyone’s budget as we believe that having wonderful photographs of your pet is important to so many people.



Tracy Allard(non-registered)
Those ears! Oh my goodness, your images capture her spirit perfectly - she looks like an impish little elf. Well done!!
Angela Schneider(non-registered)
I cannot get over those ears. Every single one of Lola's images are just perfect. Amazing.
She is so adorable. and that blue/green rug/blanket shows off her coloring so well.
Lola has the BEST expressions and those EARS!!! I love her! Great variety and I love them all! What a perfect little model :)
What a lovely little Lola! She is perfect! Love those ears.
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