Photographers’ Top Tips for Pet Models

Hello, hello everyone who’s landed on this page. First off, thanks for being here. Models Direct is reaching out to pet models and in this reading, you’ll find out what our photographers’ top tips are for a winning image or film.

Photographers know what they’re looking for when it comes to producing a winning image for all types of work, from commercial to digital. If they’ve got a furry companion or scaly creature in front of their lens, or any type of animal for that matter, they’ll know just about everything there is to capture a timeless moment that exudes a message and a deeper meaning. It’s a pretty incredible skill to have as a photographer because let’s face it – animals can be cheeky, playful characters with a mind of their own. They’ll enjoy getting up to cute mischief and there may very well be plenty of blunders along the way.

Photographers have come across plenty of pet owners that have high expectations and rocketing stress levels. We know it’s not meant to be intentional because the pressure can be sizzling hot (a bit like the weather we’ve seen lately) but we know that they want their pet to perform perfectly for the camera. Is this always possible? Probably not – and this is where some top tips, straight from the eyes of a photographer, can leverage the modelling experience for pets and their owners. Let’s check them out here:

Be patient
Yes, that good old phrase you might have thought we wouldn’t mention but here it is! Your animal may need time to adjust to its surroundings, particularly when they’ve been booked and have been called out somewhere further afield. New places, new people, and a good few cameras pointing at them may throw them off guard, and that’s understandable. It can be a daunting experience for animals and humans alike. This may happen so the key ingredient is to be prepared – hiccups will ensue and that’s okay. What can you do? Expose them to different environments to help ease them into unknown territories. Check in on how you’re feeling too – do you get anxious when they feel uncomfortable? Animals are incredibly smart, instinctive creatures so they’ll pick up and feed on how you’re feeling too. Try and relax – if it gets too much, take a break and restart the process when you’re both ready.

Get to their level
Great advice we’ve had from our photographers’ perspective is to get down to your subject’s eye level. Meet your pet at their level, communicate with them and whip out that smartphone to take snaps. Selfies too, so they can see you both on your screen. This’ll expose them to a modelling experience and get them accustomed to an unfamiliar face doing the same. Photographers reposition their camera plenty of times and from different viewpoints and angles, so replicate the same with your fluffy bestie for practice.

Reward them
Your pet’s hard work should never go unnoticed – whether it’s positive words or rewarding them with healthy snacks and toys (or all three!) – and you’ll know that incentives work! Your companion needs to know you’re happy with them, especially if they’ve stepped out of their comfort zone and had tons of images taken. We love our treats as do our animal counterparts so remember to pack snacks, their favourite comforter and some extra playthings to generate an enriching experience whilst you’re out and about taking their photos.

We hope that these tips are helpful when snapping your hero pet! Whether they’ve been called in for commercial modelling, catalogue modelling, digital modelling or even promotional modelling, these tips will help! Let our team know how you get on, we’d love to hear from you all!