Photographing Your Senior Pets - Tips and Tricks From a Pro!

The most common pet memorabilia would arguably be a photograph. Photographs can be framed, turned into tribute videos or even beautiful books.

From a portrait of your pet to an amazing family pic, knowing how to capture the moment can be tricky. 

We were lucky enough to catch up with multi award winning Master photographer Bianca Turri and asked her for some tips and tricks to ensure we get the best shot of our senior pets.

What composition tips do you have for photographing senior pets? How can we frame the shot to make it visually appealing?

Bianca: Getting down to their level is something I defiantly recommend, getting  on their level you can achieve those more engaging moments. Also taking a step back so your not too close and even slightly zooming in to achieve that nice composition of your companion.

What are some lighting considerations we should keep in mind when photographing my senior pet? How can we make the most of natural light?

Bianca: Some lighting considerations when photographing your pet would be trying to get them close to a window to use the natural window light that comes through. Natural light is always most flattering for anyone including your pets so using that source of natural light coming into your home would be a great place to start.

Senior pets may be less energetic. How can we capture the right moment during the photoshoot?

Bianca: Having less energy can actually make capturing that perfect moment a little easier when they are not moving around quickly like younger pets, especially when using your mobile to take the image as there will be much less chance of blur occurring. Also defiantly getting down to their level helps a lot so you are still able to comfort them whilst taking their photo.

How important is the background in pet photography, especially for senior pets? Any tips for choosing a suitable backdrop or setting?

Bianca: I think with the background for senior pets it's a little different to say a young pet. There might be a spot in your home that your pet loves, is always napping there, relaxing there and this is all part of keeping their memory. So photographing them in these locations rather than trying to take them outside or moving them in front of a plain wall can be much more meaningful. I know personally just before my beautiful Roxy girl passed we had some photos together on the end of our bed where she would often sleep and felt comfortable and relaxed. I still look at these photos and can remember what it was like to have cuddles with her there.

Senior pets may get easily distracted. How can we minimise distractions during the photoshoot to keep their attention focused?

Bianca: When trying to take a photo of a Senior pets I would recommend doing it at a time when the house can be a bit quieter, maybe when the kids are at school or even perhaps if you have a younger pet getting someone to take them outside to play while you try and capture these moments. This will also help with the connection between you both and you'll be able to hold their attention more easily.

What camera settings do you recommend for photographing senior pets? Any specific advice on aperture, shutter speed, and ISO?

Bianca: A fast shutter speed is always great in case they do make any sudden movements you don't miss the moment with a blurry shot. With the aperture you just need to made sure it's not to shallow so you can get both their eyes and nose in focus. Your ISO can really vary depending on weather your outside or in a darker room but I would recommending adjusting the ISO so that you can keep that faster shutter and aperture that suits capturing theses moments.

How can we engage with my senior pet to bring out their personality in the photos? Any tricks for capturing authentic expressions?

Bianca: They might have a favourite toy, or ball or even maybe they still like treats. Letting them know you have any of these and holding them right above the lens or phone to try and get them to look in your direction. Squeaky toys for some pet will sometimes give you a head tilt or if you don't have a squeaky toy even having and empty water bottle and squeezing that so it makes that crumpling sound can be another good way to get authentic expressions and show a bit of their personality.

What are some basic editing techniques we can use to enhance my pet photos after the shoot? Any recommendations for beginner-friendly editing software or apps?

Bianca: Even just using the editing features on your phone can be enough, really bringing up the shadows this especially will give you much more detail in their fur.

What has been the most interesting pet you have photographed?

Bianca: The most interesting pet I have ever photographed was a pet duck, you would think photographing a duck they wouldn't give you much but it was almost like this little duck knew she was on a photos hoot and started posing. There's actually a photo of her and it looks like she's dancing, it's actually one of my most favourite photos I've ever taken.

What has been the most challenging pet?

Bianca: I did I project where I photographed animals from below and with this capture a lot of reptiles. This is one animal that really will take zero directions and no amount of squeaky toys will help. But I really enjoyed the project and capturing amazing reptilea and would love to do it again one day.

Do you find it more difficult if you had a person/people in the pic too?

Bianca: It definitely can be more of difficult to photograph a person and an a pet together and sometimes getting that shot of them both looking at the camera can be a challenge but it's also amazing. When you can capture these beautiful candid moments between the owner and their beloved pet. I actually have sessions now called mummy and me but not for children but your furry children I really adore these sessions and the moments that I get to capture.


Now its time to get out your camera and start taking some "pawsome" pics of your senior pets. Of course, if you're after a truly professional product, get in touch with Bianca or a specialist pet photographer in your area.