How to take Photos of Kids and Pets ~ Part 2

The second part on how to take photos of kids and pets!  If you didn’t see the first part, be sure to have a little over here first!

♥ Eye Contact.  Dogs are very receptive to human non-verbal communications.  Many like to make and maintain eye contact with their people.  These dogs won’t like a camera being in front of your face to block this connection and as soon as you put the camera up to your face they then break their gaze, loose interest in what you’re doing and become distracted or wander off.  You can try to compensate for removing the eye contact by using other attention gaining tactics like noise, treats and movement.  Or you can try pre focussing the camera and then shifting it to the side so that you can then regain your dog’s eye contact to take the photo.

♥ Be stealthy.  Look for opportunities where the kids and pets are playing and capture these unobtrusively, or better yet completely without their awareness.  Think of taking the camera along when taking the dog for a walk or when heading out to play a game of fetch in the park.  Have the camera close at hand and grab it when you see the kids and pet snuggled up for a little afternoon snooze on the couch.  Observe their time together and quietly capture the beauty that exists when your kids and pets are just doing what they naturally do together.


♥ Perspective.  As with photographing the kids alone, get down to the level of the kids and pets to add a sense of capturing the world from their eyes.  Playing with other perspectives – like directly above, underneath, on an angle- can also create fun and unique images.

♥ Get in Close.  Notice something cute going on and whip out your camera or phone to capture it?  More often than not taking a couple of steps in closer to the action will enhance the shot and capture all that cuteness in action.  Closer images are effective at highlighting the subject and details, conveying the story and removing unwanted, unnecessary or distracting elements.


♥ Patience. Kids will be kids, dogs will be dogs, cats will be cats and so on!  Kids and animals all have their own ideas and sometimes no amount of coaxing will get what it is you are hoping to achieve. Patience to wait for the right time, the right moment and, often, to just wait and see is a great thing.  It allows time for the subjects to relax, for true personalities to be unveiled, for the natural interactions to occur and often for something, unexpected yet completely amazing, to unfold. It also allows for you to stop when it’s just not happening and try again at a later time.

♥ Ask someone else to help or hire a professional.  Working with your own pets can be tough.  Through their unconditional bond to the family, many pets love to be as close to as possible and that can make taking their photo impossible.  Someone without the same bond behind the camera can greatly enhance the likelihood of being able to capture the moments.  Importantly, as mum the photographer you can then be in the photos yourself (something that can often be overlooked) or assist from the sidelines in managing the pets behaviour.


♥ Have Fun. Most importantly remember to have fun. It should be a good time for everybody. And if it is, the proof will be in the final image!

Kerry Martin

Kerry is 'Top Dog' here at Puppy Tales. With her own adored dogs, she completely gets that your four legged furry buddy is absolutely part of the family. That they sleep on the bed, that you want to take them everywhere, that you plan holidays so they’re included & that their presence makes your life incredible.