Over the years, pets have become one of the most important members of the family. Capturing your fur babies’ photos are one of the hardest and most rewarding moments you can achieve as a photographer. I call them fur babies, but they can also be other types of pets; fish, pigs, snakes, etc. If they are important to your family, they should be included in your pictures.
The two most popular pets are dogs and cats. Cats are almost impossible to sit still long enough to capture the moment but, if your patient, you can get a good shot. Dogs will sit still if they are 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 would not stop barking at me, so I took the photo anyway. He looks like he is howling at the moon and 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 and 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. Do no give them too many, as they will not respond as well on a full stomach.
I also recommend using toys to help achieve the perfect picture. I love using their favorite toy in their mouth for a cute photo. But be careful the dog gets too 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.
As far as cats go, good luck. Most cats will not pose for a photograph. 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 try to control where they go with treats and toys. If you manage to get one, it will be a great shot.
Pets are amazing and deserve to be a part of any family photos you chose. They may not live as long as we like, but while they are here, capture their life as much as you can. If nothing else, the outtakes from your family photos are enough to put enjoyment into your photo session and hang on your wall for generations to come.