5 Tips for Photographing Your Pet

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

The other day, I received an email from a reader asking how I manage to take such great photos of Murphy. She said she struggles with getting good shots of her dog, and asked if I would write a blog post with some helpful hints. Obviously, I love snapping pictures of Murphy, so here are my tips for photographing your pet!

1. The best camera you have is the one you have on you.

You might have heard this one before on CNC, but it’s my most important tip for snapping quality photos of your pet. Unless they’re asleep, dogs (and most other animals) don’t sit still for long, so I always have my point-and-shoot camera or my iPhone within arm’s reach to snap a quick photo of Murphy “in the act.”

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2. Use natural light whenever possible.

Flashes. Ick. They’re harsh and unflattering (even to pets!), so I avoid using the flash on my camera as much as possible and take photos of Murphy outside or in well-lit rooms of the house.


Plus, snapping a photo with the flash on makes Murphy look even more alien-like. GAH! Demon dog!


3. Get up close and personal.

Some of my favorite photos of Murphy were taken up close. I fill the frame of my camera with as much as the pug as possible, which makes my photos more interesting by capturing his unique (pug) features (wrinkles, budging eyes, etc.)

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4. Get down low and experiment with angles.

Positioning myself down low on Murphy’s level helps me to better capture his doggie experience. Similarly, I like to experiment with different camera angles. I like to shoot from the side, above, below, and behind the pug”” usually, I’m pleasantly surprised by the photo that I capture!

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5. Use treats. They work!

Some of the best photos I have of Murphy were taken with the help of a little bribery. Pugs (and most dogs) live to eat, so a treat in my hand always gets his attention. I also like to ask Murphy if he wants a treat, which usually receives the classic pug head tilt/very interested face (as seen in the first photo of this post).



Today’s lunch was a falafel salad of sorts made with broken up falafel, carrots, edamame, black eyed peas, and Annie’s Goddess dressing. I just mixed it all up and added it to bed of romaine lettuce. Mmm! Good lunch.

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After lunch, I enjoyed two Apricot-Pistachio Bars. I’ll share the recipe on Cookie Friday! Keep a look out for it!

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Is today flying by for anyone else!?!



  1. Thanks for the info- my puppy girl Luna does not like to stay still for photos- it’s time to use some puppy bribes…. 🙂

  2. These are really great tips! 🙂 I love taking pictures of my family dog. I always try to talk in a high pitched voice because that get’s him to tilt his head and makes for great pictures!

  3. Great post!! Unfortunately my dog Sushi is a camera snob, she hates taking pics and as soon as I grab the camera she runs like a bat outa hell! haha! And YES today is flying! Gotta love it though 🙂

  4. I don’t have a pet so this post doesn’t necessarily apply to me, but I obviously love it because of all the quality pug shots. Best. Dog. Ever. Such a photogenic pup.

    (And even though these tips don’t directly apply to me, they’re fantastic nonetheless. Lots of great advice, as usual.)

  5. kinda crazy that you posted THIS today b/c i dreamt last night that i saw you and mal on the street w murphy just before you were about to take him to a professional pet photographer!

    (you thought i was weird in the dream, and i’m sure you think i’m crazier now….)

  6. my day just started…i hope if flies by for me too!

    great tips on pet photography! ollie looks like a demon dog too w/the flash 🙁

  7. My dog is 7 years old and I hardly have any photos of him, despite my love for photography. Must change that ASAP! Thanks for the tips. 😉

  8. Jersey = Camera shy.

    She’s all happy, and when she sees the SLR come out her smile is gone INSTANTLY.

    She’s even caught on to my blackberry. Smart girl!

  9. I really love your tip about the best camera being the one on you – for a while, I was pretty sure that I’d never be a good blogger if I didn’t get a super nice camera and took some photography classes! I’m definitely far away from being professional, but that doesn’t keep me from taking pictures – and I’m learning as I go! Great post!

  10. Great post! Tahn always looks so crazy because of the camera flash. I’ve been trying to take pictures with out the flash and I am much happier with the results!

    Today is flying by!

  11. This is a great post! Reddick is my favorite photography subject. The flash makes him look like a creepy elderly man – so I avoid it at all costs.

  12. Looks like a great salad…I’ve got an edamame salad on deck for tomorrow’s lunch…can’t wait to see that recipe either.

  13. I wish someone besides me would explain the ickiness of flash to my husband. He get’s so annoyed when I won’t use it and it takes a few tries for me to get the picture perfect without it.

  14. Loved this post…my pups don’t sit still either:) Hoping to use some of your tips. I am learning quite about using natural light! What a difference!

  15. These tips are so helpful. I swear my dog is the most unphotogenic creature ever, but in person she is an adorable chocolate lab.
    I’m on a mission to one day capture her cuteness on camera.

  16. Haha I LOVE this post! I can never take great pictures of my cat, since he’s always on the move. Treats don’t even work for him, since he’ll try to tackle it out of my hands…

    Mmm that falafel salads sounds so good right now. With some tahini dressing drizzled on top…

    Looking forward to the cookie bar recipe 🙂

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