Pets have become one of the most important members of the family over the years. Capturing your fur babies’ photos are one of the hardest and rewarding moments you can achieve as a photographer. I called them fur babies, but they can also be other types of pets, Fish, Pigs, Alligators, etc.. If they are important to your family, they should be included.
The two most poplar fur babies are dogs and cats. Cats are almost impossible to sit still long enough to capture the moment and dogs will sit still if they are well trained. For dogs, if you have taught them to sit, try that method first. One of my favorite photos I have taken of a family and their dog, the dog wouldn’t stop barking at me, so I took the photo anyway. He looks like he is howling at the moon, turned out to be one of their favorite photos. Sometimes you just have to let the animals do what they want.
Another trick with dogs, are treats, you need to have several handy. Only use the treats after the dog has done what you want them to do. You can also give them to your subject to use as needed. Don’t give them to many, as they will not respond as well on a full stomach.
I recommend you use their favorite toys, I love using their favorite toy in their mouth for a cute photo. You still have to be careful they don’t get fixated on the toy and not on the camera. One toy I found on amazon, called the Pooch Selfie, allows you to put a tennis ball on your cell phone for the dog to get fixated on. This is one of the best accessories I have seen on the market in a while.
As far as cats go, good luck. I have my cats pose with friends all the time. I enjoy it when they decide they want to pose with them. I just let them do what they want. You can control where they go with treats and toys. If you manage to get one, it will be a great shot. I usually can get at least one photo out of a session.
Pets are amazing and deserve to be a part of any family photos you chose. If nothing else, the outtakes from your family photos are enough to put enjoyment into your photo session.