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30 Most Adorable Pet Photography Ideas to Inspire You

Last updated: November 12, 2023 - 12 min read
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Here are 30 great pet photography ideas. They will help you create amazing photos of your furry friend that will make everyone smile. Everyone wants to capture adorable pet moments, whether it’s a wagging tail, a sweet look, or a fun pose.

Our pets are some of the most beloved creatures on the planet. Our dogs are loyal, friendly, and always happy to see us. Our cats keep us on our toes. And some of us snuggle up with our hedgehogs or bunnies. That’s why pet photography is so popular!

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30 Adorable Pet Photography Ideas

These 30 ideas can help fill up the days on your monthly calendar. Use it as a 30-day pet photography challenge. Or bookmark it and come back to it when you need some inspiration.

We focus mostly on dog photography ideas. But we’ve sprinkled in some other animals. But many ideas are transferable, no matter what pet you have!

1. The Signature Pounce Pose

Check out Pounce (book) by Seth Casteel for interactive and super cute cat poses. The photographer captures images of jumping kittens with curious and determined expressions.

This project is for those who have a lot of patience. But, in the end, the final images will be worth it.

A cute kitten jumping towards the camera by Seth Casteel

2. Wet Dogs

One of my favorite projects is Wet Dogs (book) 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.

A cute grey dog with wet hair against a grey background by Sophie Gamand

3. Shake It Off: Dogs, Puppies, and Cats

Carli Davidson came up with the idea to create a photo (book) 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 characters of our pets. The idea is simple. So try something like this on your own!

A pug shaking his head

4. Similarities Between Pets and Owners

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.

He took photos of pet owners and their pets in separate frames. Then he merged the two portraits. So the pets look very similar to their owners. The results are hilarious. But they also make us wonder if we really do look like our pets!Pet photo idea of a diptych of a dog and its owner looking similar

5. Up-Close Shot of Fuzzy Fur

One of the most interesting project series we found was from Shaina Fishman Photography. She takes close-ups of dog hair and texture. This idea creates interesting and abstract pet photography.

To replicate this image with your pet, get close to your subject. You want these furry parts of your pet to be unrecognizable to the viewer.

A close up photo of dogs fur by Shaina Fishman Photography

6. Dreamy Pit Bull Portraits

Did you know that dogs love to dress up? Another project by Sophie Gamand shows us pit bulls dressed in floral designs. It displays beautiful images. But it also shows a softer side of this notorious breed.

You can also create beautiful pet photography portraits using this idea. Just grab some simple props and use a colorful filter.

A dreamy pet portrait of a pit bulls dressed in floral designs by Sophie Gamand

7. Dogs Licking Peanut Butter Off Their Faces

Simple yet effective, this Peanut Butter Dogs book and project is by photographer Greg Murray. 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. So you have plenty of time to capture the best shot!

Portrait of a puppy with peanut butter on its face

8. Helping Dogs Find New Homes

One of my favorite pet photography ideas is by Sarolta Ban. He captures shelter dogs and those looking for a home to promote pet adoption. These images make them look strong, beautiful, and appealing 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 only need some basic photo-editing skills using Photoshop.

Surreal photo manipulation of a dogs head as a large mountain by Sarolta Ban

9. Pet Expressions

Elke Vogelsang is a prolific pet photographer who published a book called Nice Nosing You. She makes it seem so easy to capture pet expressions.

Expect to spend lots 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!

A close up of a dog surrounded by Bubbles

10. Capturing Fluffy Underbelly

We rarely see our pets from underneath. This unique perspective pet photography idea is by Underlook. Check his website for all sorts of animal underbellies.

You can create a similar project using a safe glass platform with your camera underneath. You’ll need a few studio lights and a black background.

Amazing animal photography shot of a hedgehog on black background by Underlook

11. Pets With Human-like Expressions

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.

A close up of a fluffy bunny with a grumpy face

12. Witty Dog Portraits

You can find great inspiration for your pet photography by looking at the incredible images from Ron Schmidt at Loose Leashes.

He places dogs in entertaining situations with 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 oil painting series by Cassius Marcellus.

Witty pet photography shot by Ron Schmidt / Loose Leashes.

13. Craving Miracles: Combining Pets and Nature

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 aims to capture the emotional connection between dogs and nature. And she succeeds every time!

A dog in an atmospheric landscape

14. Intimate Pet Portraits

The image below will make you laugh and 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 unsure what the photographer does to bring out these expressions. Yet, whatever the technique, it works well. Perhaps we found Dr. Doolittle with a DSLR!

Funny cat photography portrait of a ginger cat against black background

15. Underwater Dogs

This is another project by Seth Casteel. Underwater Dogs (book) is an other-worldly yet adorable pet photography idea. Whether dogs are diving for toys or swimming, their actions create fantastic images.

This project is great for those with a pup-friendly water source and proper equipment.

Incredible underwater portrait of a cute dog swimming by Seth Casteel

16. Between Two Dogs

Between Two Dogs (book) is another pet photography project by photographer Shaina Fishman. 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.

Adorable pet portrait of a brown dog with a puppy on its back by Shaina Fishman Photography.

17. Makeover: Before and After

We love interesting images in pet photography. Photographer Grace Chon 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 to make them appear sweeter. Grace used a Japanese grooming technique to inspire her images.

The goal of the Puppy Styled book and photo series is simple. It’s to make the animals look as adorable as possible. You can try it on your own with a little bit of fun.

Cute diptych of a small dogs before and after make up by Grace Chon Photography. Best pet photography ideas

18. Dogs Catching Treats

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.

A humorous dog photography portrait by Christian Vieler Photography

19. Colored Powder Action Shots

This very creative pet photography project comes from Jess Bell. Jess adds colored powder to dogs and highlights their movement.

This is a great idea if you have larger pets. You can use many different colors 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.

A creative dog portrait by Jess Bell Photography.

20. Sweet Portraits of Dogs

Check out Candy Dogs by Natalie Große for a fresh and colorful pet photography project. This series captures our pups’ playful and childlike side in a very sweet setting (pun intended).

If your dog knows the command “sit,” you can create this photo series. And no need to worry — the dogs don’t eat the sweets at the end!

Triptych of a white dog with a lollipop

21. Ingo And Friends: Dogs Posing With Birds

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 can connect with other animals if given a chance.

22. Little Kids and Their Big Dogs

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 the love we see between dogs and kids makes us all kinder.

23. Dogfrisbee Action Photos

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 the rules of gravity never ceases to amaze me.

Claudio Piccoli specializes in dog action photos. His portfolio is a result of working with many skilled dog frisbee teams.

He uses a long telephoto lens with a wide aperture to create a shallow depth of field. These settings help to emphasize the movement of his subjects.

24. Urban Dogs

Most dog photography ideas we see are taken in a studio or nature. It’s rare to find a 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 in 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!

A cute brown dog in a hat

25. Expressive and Playful Dog Photography Ideas

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 colors. 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.

A cute dog with his paw to the camera

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 to do 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 favorite four-legged friends.

A ballerina jumping beside a little dog

27. Dogs Kissing Each Other

There’s no question that dogs show affection towards us and each other daily. If we manage to capture it, it adds emotions and soul to a portrait. This and good lighting create 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.

Two dogs in the countryside

28. Storytelling Photos with Pets

Slovenian dog owner and photographer Anja Troha believes we shouldn’t 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. And she brings her friends and dogs on every trip, hike, or adventure. Her pictures freeze those feelings of freedom and joy felt in the moment. They also show us how adventurous a life with dogs can be.

Two dogs in a kayak

29. Adventure Dogs

Dogs can be amazing adventure buddies. They love being with their owners, even hiking through mountains or swimming in the sea. Many dogs enjoy 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. So Austrian photographer Anne Geier dedicates her work to traveling with dogs.

In her adventure 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!

Two dogs lying down at a fire30. Bath Time with Pets

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.

A triptych of a collie dog having a bath

Conclusion: Adorable Pet Photography Ideas

Capturing pet photos is a fun way to improve pet-owner relationships and create unique photo projects. The pet photography niche has endless opportunities to have fun and capture meaningful moments.

I hope the above ideas will help inspire you with your next pet photo project! And if you liked this article, check out our post with the 15 best dog photography ideas.

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