5 Tips to Take Cuter Pet Portraits (VIDEO)

When taking portraits of a pet, most of the time the goal is make the animal look as adorable as possible. This is either to get your friends go "Aww!" on social media if the pet is yours, or to please a client who is paying you to photograph their beloved cat, dog, or goldfish.

But, let's face it, not everyone knows how to take a high-quality pet portrait. To help you take better pet portraits in the studio, professional pet photographer Adam Goldberg shares five tips in the video tutorial from B&H below.

#1 Catch Lights

"Make sure you're getting catch lights," Goldberg says. "Catchlights are that little tiny reflection of your [lighting] modifier in their eye. The catchlight really makes them look alive."

#2 Toys

"Make sure you have toys on hand like this tennis ball or I'll even use a squeak toy from a pet toy, or I'll use a full one. It's a great way to dog's attention, especially if they're toy motivated. And it's a great way to interact with them."

#3 Aperture

"Use a f-stop like f/8 or f/9. Dogs have longer snouts than humans do. If their snout is closer to the camera lens, if you have a lower f-stop like 2.8 or 4 or 5.6, you might run the risk of getting the eyes in focus and the nose will be out of focus, which you don’t want."

#4 Eye Level

"Make sure you get eye-level with your subject whether it's a dog or a cat or any other type of animal. When you're at home and you're looking at your animal, you're looking down at them and everyone sees that angle. What makes our pet portraits a little more dynamic is we're able to get on the floor and have the camera be eye-level."

 #5 Flash Sync Speed

"If you're trying to get action shots, you can use the flash sync speed rather than relying on shutter speed. That allows you to have your camera at a low shutter speed like 1/100 and you can put your camera in burst mode to get action shots. But you're not using as much power on the light so the light will emit a shorter stream of light, which captures the action."