Over 140 years ago, Harry Pointer was the first photographer to capture a funny cat picture. Since then, pet photography has become a favourite niche among photographers. It’s hard not to love adorable images of our beloved furry friends. But besides that, ideas for creative compositions are nearly endless.
To inspire your photos, here are 30 fun and inspirational pet photography ideas. They’ll make you go “aww” and help you creatively photograph your fuzzy friends!
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This project is for those who have a lot of patience. But, in the end, the final images will be worth it.
2. Wet Dogs
One of my favourite projects is ‘Wet Dogs’ by Sophie Gamand. It’s a really simple idea that creates keepsake images. All you need is some water and soap! Unlike cats, dogs tend to love water, so this image is easier to create with pups.
The next time you wash your pet, grab your camera and give it a try.
Carli Davidson came up with the idea to create a photo series of dogs, puppies, and cats shaking. As a result, we get to view the most amusing expressions. She captures these unique portraits in a studio setting with simple monochromatic backgrounds.
This series captures the adorable and clumsy character of our pets. The idea is simple, so try something like this on your own!
We often see pets that look like or imitate their owners. So, why not use this quirk to create a witty photo series? This is what Sebastian Magnani did in his project called ‘Underdogs’ and ‘Undercats.’
He took photos of pet owners and their pets in separate frames. Then he merged the two portraits together where the pets look exactly like their owners. The results are hilarious, but they also make us wonder, do we look like our pets?
To replicate this image with your pet, get close to your subject. You want the part of your pet to be unrecognisable to the viewer.
Did you know that dogs love to dress up? Another project by Sophie Gamand shows us pit bulls dressed in floral designs. It creates beautiful images, but it also shows a softer side of this notorious breed.
Simple yet effective, this ‘Peanut Butter Puppies’ project is by Greg Murray Photography. Anyone can recreate this magical series at home. You know what your pets like as a treat, but peanut butter is an excellent choice.
You see, peanut butter doesn’t come off in one go. Its thick texture forces your dog to keep licking. You’ll have plenty of time to capture the best shot!
One of my favourite pet photography ideas is by Sarolta Ban. To promote pet adoption, he captures shelter dogs and those looking for a home. These images make them look strong and beautiful to appeal to those looking for a new dog.
You can do something similar, just think outside the box. There are many ways you can turn your pets into superheroes. You’ll just need some basic photo-editing skills using Photoshop.
Elke Vogelsang is a prolific pet photographer. She makes it seem easy to capture pet expressions.
Expect to spend a lot of time behind the camera if you want a similar series. Expressions like these are specific to each animal. It will take time to capture the perfect one!
You can create a similar project by using a safe glass platform with your camera underneath. You’ll need a few lights and a black background.
Even the subtlest expression creates ideal pet photography images. This project by Ralph Hargarten captures pets with human-like expressions.
Pets are great imitators, but it’s still sometimes shocking to see their expressions. Some seem angry, annoyed, curious, or overjoyed.
You can find great inspiration for your pet photography by looking at the incredible images from Ron Schmidt / Loose Leashes.
He places dogs in entertaining situations similar to humans. Each image has a personality that reflects the individual pup.
This project shows us that creativity pays off. It’s almost like a revamp of the ‘Dogs Playing Poker’ series by Cassius Marcellus.
Polish photographer Alicja Zmyslowska captures the beauty of nature. She combines it with the adventurous soul of dogs in her ‘Craving Miracles’ project.
Alicja finds storytelling scenery in locations like Alaska, Norway, and Iceland. She hopes to capture the emotional connection between dogs and nature. She succeeds every time!
This image should either make you laugh or believe that animals can imitate their owners. Just look at that smirk! This project by Robert Bahou exposes pet photography in a very intimate way.
We’re not quite sure what the photographer does to bring out these expressions. Yet, whatever the technique, it works well. Perhaps we found Dr Doolittle with a DSLR.
15. Underwater Dogs
Another project by Seth Casteel, underwater dogs is an other-worldly yet adorable pet photography idea. Whether dogs are diving for toys or just swimming around, their actions create fantastic images.
This is a great project for those with a pup-friendly water source and proper equipment.
16. Between Two Dogs
‘Between Two Dogs’ is another pet photography project by Shaina Fishman Photography. She takes two dogs and captures them together. In the end, we see a deep bond between the pups.
Each pair has an unmistakable and unique connection. Shaina does this with placement, emotions, and expressions.
We love interesting images in pet photography. Grace Chon Photography creates before-and-after photos to illustrate a pet makeover.
It’s fun to see the transformation of these pups. Some are funny and some change the dog’s look and make them appear sweeter. Grace used a Japanese grooming technique to inspire her images.
The goal of this photo series is simple — make the animals look as adorable as possible. You can try it on your own with a little bit of fun.
These hilarious images by Christian Vieler Photography will have you laughing. It’s a simple idea that’s easy to replicate. But despite its simplicity, the final images are incredible.
First, Christian sets up a simple portrait. He then checks the lighting and teases the dog with a treat. When he throws it, the dog’s expression appears contorted! It’s almost as if they were laughing, too.
This very creative pet photography project comes from Jess Bell. Jess adds coloured powder to dogs and highlights their movement.
This is a great idea if you have larger pets. You can use many different colours that complement your pet’s fur.
Other pet photography might have you ‘awwing’ at cuteness or giggling at a funny face. Instead, Jess’s images capture a dreamy and magical look.
Check out Candy Dogs by Natalie Große for a fresh and colourful pet photography project. This series captures the playful and childlike side of our pups in a very sweet setting (pun intended).
As long as your dog knows the command ‘sit,’ you can also create this photo series. And no need to worry — the dogs don’t eat the sweets at the end!
The Ingo and Friends photo project captures the connection between Ingo and his bird friends. Ingo prefers to pose with an owl, but a hawk often appears in his pictures as well.
These unique friendships are definitely worth capturing. Tanja Brandt does a great job creating a heartwarming photo series. She also proves that our pets are capable of connecting with other animals if given a chance.
Photographer Andy Seliverstoff‘s enthusiasm for big dogs is why we have these adorable images. He saw how attached his friend’s daughter was to their Great Dane and knew it would make a keepsake photo.
After this experience, the idea grew. Andy started looking for children who live with big dogs. The series went viral, revealing the unique friendship between kids and their large furry friends. He hopes that the love we see between dogs and kids makes us all a little kinder.
The only thing better than a perfect pet portrait is capturing dogs in action. Their dynamics and athletic movement are impressive enough. But, their ability to defy rules of gravity is something that never ceases to amaze me.
Claudio Piccoli specialises in dog action photos. His portfolio is a result of working with many skilled dogfrisbee teams. He uses a long telephoto lens with a wide aperture to create a shallow depth of field. These settings help to emphasise the movement of his subjects.
24. Urban Dogs
Most dog photos we see are either taken in a studio or in nature. It’s rare to find a whole photography project dedicated to dogs in the city. This is what Monica van der Maden achieves with her Urban & City Dogs project.
She loves to play with textures and reflections to create her polished images. She also uses natural and artificial light with historical or modern urban settings. These photos show us the endless possibilities that cities provide for dog photographers.
After looking at her pictures, go out and get inspired by your hometown!
If you like pet photography, you’re probably familiar with the niche’s typical style. We tend to see a blurry and smooth background with vivid colours. Or, we get simple portraits from the pet’s eye level.
But, there’s a photographer who thinks a bit outside the box. Kaylee Greer creates a new look that captures her model’s quirks and personalities with a unique approach. She uses a wide-angle lens and shoots from below.
The results are adorable and express the lovable, playful side of dogs.
26. Dancers and Dogs
Do you, like me, admire the graceful movement of professional dancers? If you do, you’ll love these two photographers that combine commercial dancer photos with dogs. They’re called Dancers and Dogs.
Together, they capture the beauty and humanity of ballet dancers. Then, they use dogs doing tricks with similar movements. The photographers do this in a sophisticated and clear studio setting.
In the end, the photos connect with their audience. They give us insight into the dancers’ world, accompanied by our favourite four-legged friends.
It’s no question that dogs display affection towards us and each other every day. If we manage to capture it, it adds emotions and soul to a portrait. This, combined with good lighting, creates photos that make moments last forever.
This is what Tamara Telkes aspires to do with her photography. Her goal is to embrace the magic of these moments. Her love for dogs and passion for adventures shine through her photographs.
Slovenian dog owner and photographer Anja Troha believes that we aren’t supposed to look at photos. Instead, we’re supposed to feel them. After years of capturing posed portraits, she decided to go in a new direction. She shifted her focus from studio perfection to active storytelling.
Anja brings her camera everywhere. On every trip, hike, or adventure, she brings her friends and dogs. The pictures freeze the feeling of freedom and joy she felt at that moment. They also show us how adventurous a life with dogs can be.
29. Adventure Dogs
Dogs can be amazing adventure buddies. They love to be with their owners, even when hiking through mountains or swimming in the sea. Many dogs find great joy in exploring new places with their human by their side.
Adventures with our dogs are sometimes once-in-a-lifetime experiences. These moments are very precious, which is why Austrian photographer Anne Geier dedicates her work to travelling with dogs.
In her Adventuredogs series, you can see dogs camping, sleeping in a hammock, or riding on a boat. Check out the series for more inspirational photo ideas for your next trip!
This is a small photography project that I (Tamara Kedves) created. It was raining, and I wanted to have some fun with my dog and my camera. I decided to bring one of my ideas to life and capture a photo series of my pup having a bath.
The ambient light and wide-angle lens allowed me to create a clean, minimalistic look. The simple setting helped me to avoid any distractions in the background.
Capturing pet photos is a fun way to improve pet-owner relationships and create unique photo projects. The pet photography niche is full of endless opportunities to have fun and capture meaningful moments. I hope that the ideas above will help inspire you with your next pet photo project!
If you liked this article, why not check out our post about 15 Best Dog Photography Tips?