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9 Best Ways to Shoot Pet Photography With a Pet Photo App

Last updated: March 13, 2024 - 8 min read
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Discover how the right pet photo app can turn your phone into a professional-grade camera. Our shooting tips will help you capture unforgettable pet portraits. And we recommend the best app to edit your images so your pets look their best.

If you love taking photos of your pet, there’s no need to feel left out just because you don’t have a professional camera. With the right photography app, you can take amazing shots of your furry friend to make them look their best.

We Highly Recommend
iPhone Photography School’s Capture it All
iPhone Photo Academy
Are you eager to enhance your pet photography skills using your smartphone? Our comprehensive video course guides you through harnessing the full potential of your phone’s camera.

Use a Pet Photo App to Take Amazing Photos

Your smartphone’s camera likely doesn’t give you all the desired shooting features. An advanced camera app controls exposure, ISO, focal points, and other important camera settings.

Using these tools, you can take stunning photos of your pets in any environment. Here are some of the most popular camera apps for iOS and Android users:

9 Best Ways to Shoot Pet Photography With a Pet Photo App

1. Use Natural Light for Flattering Pet Photos

Natural light is a priority in almost every photography genre. Using natural light, you can take well-lit photos of your pets. And you don’t have to worry about professional equipment.

Take photos next to a large window on a sunny day for indoor photography. If the light is too harsh, use reflectors or curtains to soften it.

For outdoor photography, take photos in a shaded area when it’s sunny. All the surrounding light will make your pet’s eyes sparkle and give them a flattering glow.

You can also take photos of your pet by the ocean or in an open field on a cloudy day. This ensures your pet is hit by as much soft light as possible.

Two dots running in the ocean shot with a pet photo app
Shot with an Apple iPhone XS. 6.0mm, f/2.4, 1/539 s, ISO 16. Graham Smith (Unsplash)

2. Focus on Your Pet’s Eyes for Emotional Photos

If you want to take soulful and expressive photos of your pet, focus on their eyes. You can take close-ups or crop photos so their eyes are prominent or more visible.

When you take photos indoors, ensure enough surrounding light to make your pet’s eyes stand out. You can use reflectors or white walls to create that special glow.

It’s also best to use a small depth of field—a large aperture or portrait mode. In this case, if you focus on the eyes, they will stand out more, while the background and foreground will blur.

Using your pet photo app’s burst mode helps capture the right moment when your pet is attentive, and their eyes are the widest.

Close-up of a cat shot with a pet photo app
Shot with an Apple iPhone 14. 5.7mm, f/1.5m 1/66 s, ISO 32. Scott Jacobsen (Unsplash)

3. Get Down to Your Pet’s Level for Unique Perspectives

If you get down to your pet’s level, you have many unique perspectives to work with. And you’ll make your pet feel more comfortable.

You might have to crop your photos if you always take photos while standing. This unfriendly perspective lowers your image quality.

The closer your smartphone camera is to your pet, the easier it is for you to take high-quality photos. Just ensure your pet is comfortable with you getting in close.

A dog laying down in autumn leaves shot with a pet photo app
Shot with an Apple iPhone 15 Pro. 6.9mm, f/1.8, 1/60 s, ISO 160. Graham Smith (Unsplash)

4. Use Simple Backgrounds So Pets Stand Out

Avoid busy backgrounds filled with messy clothes, people, and vibrant colors. The simpler the background, the easier it is to focus your camera on your pet.

You can hang up bedsheets to create a makeshift studio backdrop or use a white wall. Or take photos in spaces with plain backdrops. Simply decorated rooms or fields with a clear sky are perfect to ensure your pet stands out.

Close-up of a pug with a white background shot with a pet photo app
Shot with a Google Pixel 2 XL. 4.5mm, f/1.8, 1/120 s, ISO 73. Charles Deluvio (Unsplash)

5. Never Use a Flash

A flash is disruptive even in portrait photography unless you use professional equipment. It’s very unlikely that your phone has professional flash features available. So it’s best not to use it.

A flash makes your pet’s eyes glow in an unflattering way and might even scare them. Instead, experiment with creative pet photography techniques if it’s too dark. Take photos of your pet’s silhouette or shadow.

You can even take it further by creating a double exposure using your pet’s outline! Pet photo apps like Photoshop Camera have this nifty feature.

Silhouette of a dog at sunset taken with a pet photo app
Shot with an Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max. 6.9mm, f/1.8, 1/1009 s, ISO 80. Islander (Unsplash)

6. Be Patient With Pets When Taking Photos

Before your photoshoot, consider your pet’s comfort. If your pet is asleep, take advantage of their calmness and take serene pet photos. If they’re grumpy, try again another day.

Never force your pet to pose for you unless you want to get scratched or bitten. If you make your pet feel uncomfortable whenever you pull out your smartphone, they won’t be interested in posing again.

Make the shooting process comfortable and safe. Give your pet rewards if it poses, and let them go about their business if it wants to sleep or gets distracted.

A sleeping cat taken with a pet photo app
Shot with a Samsung Galaxy A71, 5.2mm, f/1.8, 1/25 s, ISO 500. Aladin Habboubi (Unsplash)

7. Stabilize Your Phone for Sharper Focus

Pet photography requires great multitasking skills. Besides keeping your pet interested, you must ensure your photos don’t look blurry!

Remember to hold your phone with both hands while focusing on your pet. If you loosen your grip, you’ll move your phone too much, resulting in unflattering photos.

You can also invest in a tripod or a phone gimbal to stabilize your shot. The latter is typically used for videography but can also help with action shots with pets or pet portraits.

Dog sitting outside with sunglasses on shot with a pet photo app
Shot with a Google Pixel. 4.7mm, f/2.0, 1/2451 s, ISO 51. Josh Rakower (Unsplash)

8. Experiment With Sounds for Pet Reactions

Before we get into the specifics, skipping to the next tip is best if your pet is scared of unfamiliar noises. But some pets are too unruly to listen to instructions. So, you can experiment with sounds to see how your pet reacts and take interesting shots.

This doesn’t mean you have to scare your pet with terrifying noises. Classical music or rustling sounds might be more than enough. You can play different kinds of music to see what your pet reacts to the most.

For example, my cat loves bird sounds. Playing bird sounds during a photoshoot catches her attention and makes her feel at home.

A person playing a keyboard with a dog in the background shot with a pet photo app
Shot with an Essential Phone PH-1. 3.4mm, f/1.9, 1/145 s, ISO 50Avi Naim (Unsplash)

9. Take a Selfie With Your Pet

If you have a cuddly pet, it will likely enjoy the selfie-taking process. But you can still take beautiful selfies if your pet is too cool for cuddles.

One of the easiest ways to take a pet selfie is to buy a special accessory like the Pooch Selfie. This phone attachment holds your pet’s favorite toy above your smartphone. It grabs your pet’s attention, so it looks like they’re looking straight at the camera.

Another way to take a successful selfie is to play with your pet first. They are more open to posing with you when they’re relaxed.

An owner taking a selfie with her dog with a dog picture app
Taken with the Pooch Selfie phone attachment and a dog picture app. Photo courtesy Amazon

Use an Editing App to Enhance Your Pet Photos

As a final step, you can remove small distractions or color-correct your photos with advanced editing apps.

Knowing how to best edit your photos on your smartphone helps you develop your pet photography style. Once you’ve established your style, you can take consistent-looking photos of your pets.

The best bet for comprehensive edits is Adobe Lightroom for Mobile. It’s available for both iOS and Android. This app is part of Adobe Lightroom, their Photography Plan, or Adobe’s Creative Cloud. Its range of features makes Lightroom one of the best photo editing apps.

You can also use Prisma Photo Editor and Touch Retouch to fix blemishes and control every part of your image. If you want to color-correct your photos within seconds, use VSCO or Instagram.


Conclusion: Pet Photography With a Pet Photo App

Pet photography with a pet photo app challenges you and makes you smile simultaneously.

You must handle your smartphone camera and learn to keep your pet interested during the photoshoot. After you get comfortable with this genre, you can take amazing photos of your beloved pet whenever you want.

Embrace the joy and challenges of pet photography as you explore the world through your smartphone lens. You’ll capture timeless memories of your beloved companions with patience, practice, and creativity!

We Highly Recommend
iPhone Photography School’s Capture it All
iPhone Photo Academy
Are you eager to enhance your pet photography skills using your smartphone? Our comprehensive video course guides you through harnessing the full potential of your phone’s camera.