Senior Pet Photography Tips from a Professional Photographer

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dog cat photography senior pet veterinary hospice care

If “One picture is worth a thousand words”, then make sure those words are meaningful and that you do all you can to capture great photographs. With a photo you can capture a moment and have it forever. As a veterinarian, I personally find the memories and pictures of my pets to be my favorite mementos and what I consistently reflect back on. With the popularity of smart phones with cameras, amateur photography has grown and if your like me, you have literally over 10,000 photos on your phone right now…for me, most are of my pets!

We spoke with professional photographer Tara of Tara Lee Photography. Tara is an accomplished photographer and avid animal lover. She shared some professional insider tips on how to best photograph senior pets.

Be Natural and Easy-Going when Photographing your Pet:

Tara: “Pets LOVE me...they just know that I love them too. They know I'm an animal lover and they know the second they sniff me that we can be friends! There's always a lightbulb that I notice goes off when they are possibly at first leery of a new person then realize things are going to be all gravy baby when they meet me.”

How to Best Prepare for a Photoshoot:

Tara: “I don't believe in that you "can't teach an old dog new tricks." Dogs are always motivated by love and affection. ALWAYS! If you love the idea of having your dog lay its head on your pregnant belly, show your dog how much you LOVE them when they do that and maybe it'll play out in the session. Practice with them before hand. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't during the session! Just know, that sometimes it won't, and no matter how much you prepare, it's not always going to go exactly as planned. Even when it doesn't, your dog is magnificent in his or her own way as it is, and your photos will still play out beautifully!”

Choosing the Best Lighting for a Photoshoot:

Tara: “Sun lower in the sky and behind you is always the best lighting to prevent harsh shadows on the face.”

Best way to get a Pet’s Attention:

“TREATS!!!” says Tara

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Tell us about a Magical Moment when Photographing a Senior Pet:

”I had a newborn session with a senior dog that was very smitten with its mama-to-be owner's belly. He was very snuggly with the baby within by laying his head on her belly, and even more snuggly with the baby once she arrived at the newborn session. He was the best "big brother" to that little girl before she even arrived!” says Tara

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Do you recommend a Portable Tripod?

“Nope, too much muss, less fuss is always preferred!”

What are your thoughts on the “Rule of thirds”?

“Rules Shmules...make your own art! I like to break rules” chuckles Tara

When is it time to contact a professional photographer?

“When you want that something extra special, timeless, and keepsake worthy. When you want to be in the photo, have a little fun, be stress-free of it all, and create some memories. When the simplicity of a selfie just isn't cutting it anymore!”

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Special Thanks to Tara of Tara Lee Photography