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Aussie House Sitters

The largest pet & house sitting site in Australia

A house sitters guide to great pet photography

Feature photo: A house sitters guide to great pet photography

As a house sitter, it’s common to take heaps of pics of the pets in our care, whether that’s to send to the pet’s parents on holidays, as a memento of the pet for ourselves, or to post on our social media pages.

But getting great pet shots isn’t always as straightforward as we might like it to be. Animals are unpredictable, often fast and sometimes downright kooky, so here we explain how to capture Instagram worthy pet pics that you’ll be proud to share.

It’s all about the light – 

Pets can get startled by a flash and their eyes will often appear discoloured so a natural light source is usually the best way to go. All animals look great photographed in nature, even if that’s the backyard, and sunrise and sunset provide the perfect natural light source. The hours around midday aren’t ideal as the sun overhead can be harsh and offer too much contrast however, finding a nice shady spot will provide an even light source, even at noon. 

If you’re out and about in full sunlight and shade isn't available, try keeping the sun at your back to even out the contrast in the photo.

Be aware of the background – 

Many a potentially great photo has been ruined by having a messy or distracting background. When you’re looking through the camera lens, or your phone screen, don’t just look at the pet but rather take in the whole picture. Is there a garbage bin in the corner you can avoid by moving slightly? Shifting to an area with a clean, neutral background such as a wall or a row of plants will keep the focus where you want it, on the pet.

House sitters's hand holding underneath dog's face

Reward them with Treats and Toys -

The hardest part of pet photography is that pets don’t understand our instructions, so getting your pet to pose can be a struggle. Even if the dog is trained to sit and stay, it’s easier to get them to follow your cues by introducing treats and toys. And what pet doesn’t like treats? You can turn your photo taking into a game that you all enjoy by incorporating treat time into it.

Taking photos of pets interacting with or snuggling up to a favourite toy is also a great way to show their playful loving nature. 

Perspective - 

The most common image of a pet is the birds-eye view where you’re looking down at them. These photos work great if they’re excited to see you and you can capture their excitement and individual expression however, as animals don’t see the world from our height, everything looks different from a pets perspective. Unless you’re photographing something the size of a horse, try getting down to the pets height and capturing them at their own level.

Get a toy or a treat and start snapping away once you’ve captured their interest. Head on, portrait oriented photos are perfect for showing the personality of a pet, so get down at their level to show the details of their face and expressions. 

Getting close enough to focus on the pet’s eyes will also ensure all the features of the face are in focus. 

light brown hen looking down at her chicks while they eat seed off the ground

Edit your pet photos - 

Once you’ve finished taking your photos, you can improve them even further by using some simple editing tricks directly on your phone. When scrolling through the images, use your phones photo editing tool to make selective adjustments to the brightness and contrast of coats, especially if your pet is a dark colour. 

Instagram has all the standard editing tools like sharpness and saturation and also has built in editing features such as filters, which you can utilise to really capture the mood you were trying to achieve.

Lastly, consider converting some colour images into black and white to achieve more drama and highlight the full range of textures of your pets’ face and fur/feathers/scales.

If you think your pet pics are on point, use the hashtag #aussiehousesitters and tag us for a chance to be featured on our Instagram!

My experience with Aussie House Sitters and the homes that I sat for was superlative!! Lovely homes, lovely people and pets that I truly bonded with. Housesitting allowed me to have a prolonged time living in the vicinity of my daughter & her family without being on her doorstep 24/7. I have recommended your site to countless folks as a great way to visit and travel throughout Australia. Wendy

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