I have been asked a few times about tips for taking photos of shelter animals. The main things that I do are below…but I pick up new tips quite often, so the list is ever-growing.

  1. Always have treats
  2. Always have a squeaker
  3. Be ready to make every noise imaginable with your mouth. You will get a lot of laughs from the people around you.
  4. A toy of some kind helps with most dogs
  5. If you feel safe to do so try to get on their level…kneel, sit or even lay on your tummy.
  6. My favorite things to capture are the head-tilt (strange sounds work well) and cat’s eyes/and markings.

There are quite a few resources out there that go into much more detail, so I have gathered a list of articles and sites that provide more ideas, different opinions and perspectives of the Shelter Photography space.

  1. How to Get Great Shelter Pet Photos – Petfinder
  2. One Picture Saves a Life
  3. HeARTs Speak – a community of creatives, rescues, advocates, etc working together to ensure that no shelter animal goes unseen.
  4. Shelter Pet Photography Tips – Stacey Gammon Pet Photography

Hit ’em With Your Best Shot series from the ASPCA — Taking Great Photos of Shelter Animals

  1. Part One – Getting to Know You
  2. Part Two – Getting Technical
  3. Part Three – Photographing Felines
  4. Part Four – Getting Social
  5. Part Five – Capturing Canines on Camera

Great Pet Photographers to Learn From or Simply Glean Some Inspiration

  1. Dog Breath Photography – Kaylee Greer
  2. Roberto Urbani on 500PX
  3. Elke Vogelsang on 500PX
  4. Danny Block on 500PX
  5. Jesse Freidin
  6. Allison Shamrell
  7. Seth Casteel

P A R T I N G – S H O T

Sometimes you even get a smile!