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How to Photograph Your Pets in a Daylight Studio

DIY pet photography

If you’ve ever wanted to take a good photo of your pets but couldn’t quite capture them well enough before they slobber on your lens or bounce out of the frame, you’re not alone. In this tutorial you will learn how to utilize a daylight studio to better photograph your furry little friends.

DIY pet photography


To set up your studio you’ll need:

  • Backdrop
  • Reflector
  • Tripod

Optional items:

  • Toys
  • Treats
  • Assistant
DIY pet photography materials
Step 1

To start, follow this easy tutorial and learn how to set up your daylight studio.

DIY pet photography step 1

Most likely your pet is wiggly. To capture a sharp photo of your pet while wiggling, ample bright light is a must, so you’ll need to set-up your daylight studio in a spot with very bright directional light.

It’s also very important to make sure your pet feels comfortable with the location of your backdrop. If your pet is more in their element outside, move the backdrop set-up to them. You’ll have an easier time controlling your pet if they feel comfortable in their surroundings and in the end you’ll end up with a more natural and less forced photo.

DIY pet photography step 1

Take these baby goats for example:
They took one look at this backdrop floor and screamed their little heads off. They completely refused to walk on the backdrop so I decided to cut it off floor length. Then I added in their favorite pallet and gave them each a delicious raisin. This made them so happy that they were delighted to pose for the camera.

DIY pet photography step 1

If you’re opting for the outdoor studio, it’s ideal to choose a shaded area away from harsh shadows or instead wait till evening time or for an overcast day.

Step 2

Once you’ve found the perfect spot for your pet and backdrop, position your pet them facing the directional light. Direct your assistant where to hold your reflector if you need it. Mount your camera to your tripod and adjust your exposure to your liking.

DIY pet photography step 2

*Exposure Tips

Read more about exposure here

  • Set a fast shutter speed / high ISO so that it’s easier to capture a sharp photo of your wiggly pet.
  • A large aperture will blur your background while keeping focus on your pet.
  • You may find that when photographing animals it’s easier to take more photos if you set your camera up on a tripod. This way you can distract your pet with one hand while firing the shutter with the other.
DIY pet photography step 2
Step 3

Once you are happy with your exposure and position of your pet, start photographing! Since your camera is on your tripod, utilize your treats and toys to keep your pets attention while you shoot. Oh and don’t forget reward them for being so cute and obedient.

DIY pet photography step 3

Photograph more than you think you need and edit down later. There is no doubt in my mind that you will end up with surprisingly charming outtakes.

DIY pet photography outtakes

About Candice:

Candice Benge

Candice is the Photographer and Videographer at Gallery Direct. Obsessed with all forms of Art and Photography, Candice very much enjoys using photo and video to capture the details of our Artist’s stories, their technique and the details of our unique fine art printmaking processes. She also enjoys frequenting and participating in art exhibits, growing fresh things to eat and spending time in the sunshine with her dog, Dragon and Hen, Hilda.