Pets are part of the family — adorable, photogenic ones at that. Unfortunately, taking photos of these furry members of the family isn’t always easy. To help us with that we asked professional photographer Jessica Csorba to share a few tips for getting incredible photos of your pet. She would know — as a volunteer photographer for the Brevard Humane Society and owner of Three Wildflowers Photography she spends a lot of time capturing amazing photos of the pets at the shelter and of her clients.

  1. Get down to their level. Shooting at your pet’s eye level will help you better capture their unique personality and highlights a more intimate perspective. Want to make those eyes sparkle? Use natural lighting and make sure the camera is focused on the eyes so that they pop.
  2. Capture their attention. Treats can be great tools for getting pets to stay put or look in a certain direction. Even untrained pets will often look towards the smell of a treat. If your pet has been trained to sit and stay, this will be much easier to work with.
  3. Play tug/chase for a smile. Getting a smile from your dog is as simple as a game of tug or a quick chase around the living room. An active pup is a happy one that will likely flash a huge smile after settling down.
  4. Embrace the im-purrfections. Form a plan for what you want to capture, but make peace with the fact that your pet is in charge. Cats especially can be difficult to direct, but they will make quite a show when you least expect it. Just be ready to capture your pet’s unique personality whenever the mood strikes them.
  5. Know when to walk away. As long as your pet enjoys it, test your boundaries. But don’t expect them to cooperate when you are trying to get them to do something they aren’t comfortable with. Let your furry friend tell you when its time for a nap.
Check out the infographic below for some real-life examples you can try for yourself.