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How-to-guide on photographing your pet

We're looking for the stars of our next TV advert. Would you like to see your pet on TV? We are looking for 40 pets to feature in Petplan's new TV advert.

Click here to upload your photo

Our TOP 3 Tips:

  • Aim to get your pet as close to the centre of frame as possible.
  • Don't have any humans in the shot - we just want pets!
  • Avoid toys and props as they tend to clutter an image and distract from the animal.

The basics:

  • Get in close - don't be afraid of filling the frame with your pet - we want to see and enjoy them, not their backgrounds. If you can't physically get in close because they get distracted, then use a longer lense and zoom in. The added benefit of a longer lense is that your pet will be in focus, but the background will be nice and blurry.
  • Make sure your pet is in sharp focus - the best thing to do is focus in on the eye.
  • Where possible, use natural light, as this will show off your pet most naturally, and will ensure no 'red eye' from flashes. Either shoot close to a window in daylight, or shoot outside.
  • Get down to their level, or lower. Generally you will get a better photo of an animal if you are at their eye level.
  • Take lots of shots at a high shutter speed, rather than taking just one shot and then checking it. If you do this, you are more likely to capture something magical.
  • Treat your pet as you go along. If they behave and get rewarded, they will associate treats with following directions.


  • Try to explore some interesting expressions - yawning, licking, barking, miaowing, curiosity. It's good to make your pet look as animated as possible.
  • Having one or two others helping you is always good. Whilst one person is taking the photo, another can be helping to keep the animal in place, or encouraging reactions. Whistling or rustling a bag to attract a dog's attention will get their ears going up. Teasing a cat with a feather just above their head will make them look playful or inquisitive.


  • It's ideal to capture your pet's personality - some might be inquisitive, others relaxed, others still energetic.
  • They could be running towards the camera, curled up asleep, stretching following a sleep, lying down, sitting, standing, looking up or looking down. Whatever suits their personality the best.
  • Try to explore a number of options, and remember to shoot plenty of photos along the way.


  • It's best to keep backgrounds as uncluttered as possible.
  • Consider shooting your pet on grass, against a wall or fence, on a carpet, sofa or bed.
  • Think about which colours might best compliment your animal. Dark animals will look best against light backgrounds, and vice versa

Click here to upload your photo