How to capture photos of pets and why it is important

Debbie from DK Imagery has kindly shared her expertise on this topic with us. I discovered Debbie’s work only a few months ago and instantly fell in love. I only wish I had known about her back when we were living in Queensland, because I’m confident she could have captured Bailey beautifully. - Dani


Let me introduce myself and share with you what I do and why I do it. Firstly, my name is Debbie and I am a pet photographerand my business is DK Imagery. I picked up a camera for the first time 7 years ago and fell in love with photography immediately. What photography gave me was a creative outlet, but more importantly, made me look at everything in life a different way. It made me look at the beauty in everything. And I mean absolutely everything. It changed my world for the better.


I started off photographing landscapes, then moved to people and predictably weddings. And my business started off. I have always been a passionate animal lover and decided with my love of photography, how could I help rescue groups and started volunteering to take adoption profile photos for rescue groups. Hearing back from new families of adopted animals that this photo and that photo made them fall in love with their new family addition brought such a warmth to my heart that the little small part I played in helping a rescue animal find their new forever home.


Fast forward and while having my wedding business grow and grow, I felt the part of my heart, my passion with my photography was missing something. And I knew that the only time that was there, was when I had a dog, cat or any animal in front of my lens. So I decided to change my business and move completely to pet photography. I had some people call me crazy as there is a lot more money in wedding photography. But it was never about money, it was about the love and sense of fulfillment.


I did the hard yards to change my business and basically start from scratch again. But I felt in my heart that it was the right move to make. Every photoshoot I had with an animal, the happiness it brought to me to not only to met the furbaby, but what I gave to the pawrents was so special to me and more importantly to them. Seeing people who adored the furry family member and deliver photos of them that made them smile and even cry at times with happiness was everything. And on a sadder note, times where their beloved family member was leaving to join the rainbow bridge, giving them the last fond memories.


One thing I have noticed is that sometimes with how busy and hectic life can be and especially over the last 2 plus years with the world dealing with everything, we forget how quickly time can pass us by. And our furry friends age much quicker than what we do. And before you know it, they are seniors. We can never go back in time as much as we would like to. So it is important to capture the stages of our lives and theirs so you have beautiful memories to look back on. No different to what we do or should do with our hooman family members. We can’t miss these moments or times. So whether you have a dog, cat, bird, guinea pig, whatever your animal family member is, it is something we must do to remember them when they have left us. Or even if it is just to look back when they first joined the family and seeing how they have aged or changed.


So some tips to take photos of your pet. If you can have a second person to get the attention of your pet to look towards the camera always helps. Having their favourite toy or treat is a great option. Hold it over the phone or the lens of the camera. This will help to get that photo of them looking straight down “the barrel of the lens”. Secondly, always focus on the eyes. The old saying, the eyes are the windows to the soul is so true even with our pets. It is the emotional connection and my first and foremost when I look at the photos I have taken, is the emotional connection I feel with a photo. Thirdly, try not to “pose” them too much. Allow them the space and time to let their personality shine through. Those moments when you capture them, their little quirks, the little things they do, the look, will be something you will cherish for a life time. If you have a full black cat or dog for instance and struggling to get any detail and they look like a big black shadow. Make sure you have them in good lighting and put them on a bright colour. Like if it is a black cat with green eyes, if you have something have similar colourgreen coloured sheet or blanket in the house, use this and this will make their eye colour pop. If you are still struggling to get some good photos, feel free to message me and I can give you some more tips and help you nail those precious memories.


If you are wanting to connect with Debbie, or enjoy seeing her gorgeous images in your social media feeds, you can find DK Imagery’s website or instagram.



I'll add a few extra tips for those of you wondering what types of photos to send along with an order of a full body pet replica-

  • The key is as many as possible- the more the merrier!!
  • Natural lighting (in shade outdoors or indirect sunlight indoors) is best for capturing colours in the most accurate way.
  • Especially for pets with distinctive markings, photos from each side, above, below, behind and loads of the face are best.
  • If your pet has a distinctive position or pose that you’d like captured, it’s helpful to supply a photo of them in that position.