10 Simple Tips To Get the Perfect Pet Photos At Home

Your pets are basically part of the family. When it comes to getting great family photos to display in your home, you want your four legged friends to be included. However, that’s often easier said than done!

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At ArtPix 3D, we know how much your pets mean to you. That’s why we love transforming beloved pet portraits into custom crystal keepsakes and memorials that you can cherish forever. However, in order to create a stunning 3D image of your pet, we need a high quality photo. It also helps if your pet is looking into the camera. 

We realize that this can be a tall order! As much as we love our pets, we have to admit that getting them to cooperate can be pretty difficult. If you’re looking for some quick and easy ways to improve the quality of your pet portraits at home, we might be able to help.  

In this post, we’re going to give you some great photography and training tips to get high-quality photos of your pet. We’ll even teach you how to take the best possible picture for your 3D engraving! 

Photography Techniques 

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While you’re not going to master the art of pet photography in a day, there are a few things you can do to get better quality photos without investing a lot of time and money.

Find Good Lighting 

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Making sure you have plenty of light is a pretty basic photography tip, but it’s especially important when taking pictures of your pet. As explained in this article, many animals have a reflective layer in their eyes that can create an eerie glow when you take a photo using your camera’s flash. It’s best to take your picture outdoors on a sunny day, or in a well-lit room.

Watch that Nose!

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Eyes are the most expressive feature of your pet’s face. However, this article on cat photography tells us that many pet owners make the mistake of focusing on the nose, instead. While your pet’s nose is probably adorable, letting your camera zero in on it can make their eyes appear blurry. This unfortunate effect is even more apparent in photos of dogs with long noses. Make sure you have a crystal clear view of your pet’s eyes while taking your photo.

Get on Your Pet’s Level

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What does the world look like to your pet? Getting that perspective can have a whimsical effect on your photos, suggests The Dog People. How do you achieve the pet’s-eye-view in your photography? It’s simple: crouch or lay down to bring your camera to their level. 

Bring In Some Props

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Obviously, your pet is already a cutie-pie. But how much more adorable would they be with accessories? While it’s true that most pets don’t love funny hats nearly as much as we do, there are plenty of ways to get creative with props in your photoshoot. Need some ideas? Check out this blog post from Pretty Fluffy.

Simple Commands to Teach Your Pet

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The hardest part of taking good quality photos of your pet is getting them to cooperate. Teaching your pet these simple commands can make it a lot easier. Be prepared to hand out plenty of treats!

“Look at Me.” 

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According to the American Kennel Club, one of the first commands you should teach your pet is “Look at me.” It’s a great building block for more complicated commands because it teaches your pet to focus on you. This can help you get a clearer shot of your pet’s face; if they’re looking at you, they’re looking at the camera.


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“Sit” is a great command to teach your pet before taking their picture. If you can get them to sit, you can get them to sit still. Plus, getting your pet to sit for their portrait can make the end result look quite elegant. While this command tends to work best with dogs, every animal is different. If your pet responds well to positive reinforcement, why not give it a shot?


Getting your pet to sit still is great, but it would be even better if you could get them to sit still for a prolonged period of time. That’s what the “stay” command is all about. It teaches your pet to remain in place even when you take a few steps away. This gives you a little more freedom to experiment with different shots without your pet bolting.


“Beg” is a pretty simple command to teach. As long as you have a treat in your hand, your pet will probably start pawing at you whether you ask them to or not. Not only can this command help you get your pet’s attention while you’re taking their photo, but they also look really cute reaching up for their treat! Did you know that cats can learn this command, too? Check out this article for instructions. 

Don’t get too crazy with the camera angle if you plan to have your image engraved in crystal. Dramatic overhead shots don’t always translate well in 3D.

Let Your Pet Take the Lead 

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Let’s say you’ve tried everything, and you still can’t get your four legged friend to cooperate. That’s ok! You can still get an amazing photo of your pet. You’re just going to have to try doing things their way.

If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em

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You can find a lot of great tips from professional pet photographers in this article, but there’s one thing they all agree on: don’t force it. Instead, capture your pet’s unique personality by sneaking a photo while they’re just being themselves. This may take some extra time and a lot of patience, but the results will be well worth it.

Get a Running Shot

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For pets, the backyard is full of distractions. This can actually be a good thing when it comes to taking candid photos: they’ll be so busy playing that they won’t even notice the camera. To get a dynamic action shot, let your pet wander away from you. Once you’re several feet apart, call them over and snap a photo while they’re running toward you.

Play with Your Pet

If you’re having trouble getting a good quality candid photo of your pet, it might be time to break out their favorite toys. Turning picture-time into playtime is a great way to get your pet’s attention and still get a natural-looking photo.

Catch Them at Naptime 

Of course, by far the easiest way to get a photo of your pet both sitting still and acting natural is to sneak a picture while they’re napping. Just be sure not to wake them up!

Bring in Some Reinforcements

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Getting great pet photos becomes a lot less of an ordeal when you enlist the help of a friend. Here are a few great shots that may require a third party. Make sure this person is someone your pet is already comfortable with.

Hold the Pet

If your pet is ok with being picked up, asking a friend to hold them might just be the best way to get them to sit still for their picture. However, make sure it doesn’t look like your pet is being restrained. If they start struggling to get away, it’s time to take a break or try something else.

Block the Escape Route

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A more natural way to keep your pet in place while snapping a picture is to have someone on standby. Your friend can gently block your pet from getting too far when they inevitably start to wander.

Keep the Treats Coming 

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Rewarding your pet with treats is a great way to get their attention while taking their photo, but you only have two hands. Ask a friend to hand out your pet’s favorite goodies while you get the shot.

Use a Leash 

If you’re avoiding using a leash because you don’t want it in your photo, there’s an easy workaround. Bustle suggests using photo editing tools to remove the leash, and we couldn’t agree more. When you upload a photo to ArtPix 3D, the first thing our designers do is remove the background, including any unwanted secondary objects. That way, your pet’s portrait remains the focal point of your crystal. 

We hope these simple photography and training tips help you get an amazing pet portrait you can display at home with pride. If you’re looking for an innovative way to show it off, ArtPix 3D can bring your pet photo to life in a breathtaking 3D image that captures your pet’s personality in stunning detail. 

Our 3D Photo Crystals are the perfect personalized gifts for pet lovers. Placing an order online is easy; all you have to do is upload your pet portrait and choose your customization options. Plus, we’re currently offering free shipping on all orders! Take a look at our shop to start designing your crystal masterpiece. 

We’ll be back next week with more great content. Until then, you can catch up on our previous blog posts here