After spending time with a shelter animal, you know how wonderful they are! Your job as a homeless animal photo taker is to communicate that to potential adopters. Advertising animals for adoption can be a fun way to share your experiences & when done the right way, it can help the animal reach a larger audience.
There’s two pieces to capturing your animal, the photo and the story. The story is for another day-
here's a simple way to take a good photo.
When taking a photo of your adoptable animal, a phone camera will do. Lighting is the important piece here & it’s simple in a few easy steps.
First make sure the subject is receiving as much natural, indirect light as possible. If photographing indoors, open all the shades and take photos in the brightest area of the home. Make sure the animal isn’t backlit & the light is falling on their face. You’ll want potential adopters to see the animal’s eyes- bright and clear, looking as comfortable & happy as possible.
When photographing outdoors, try taking photos on overcast days for more consistent lighting, or in the shade on sunny days. You want as much indirect light as possible on the subject, sunny days will cause more harsh shadows- so go in the shade to notice a difference.
When photographing indoors, always clean up the area that will be in the photo. Potential adopters want to imagine the animal in their home & distracting clutter or messes can be distracting.
Think light, bright & clean to give your animal the most pop!
Gain the animal's attention so they're looking at the camera when you take the photo. This is easily accomplished with patience & either toys, treats or noises!
Toys: Gain attention with the toy, then bring it behind the camera so they’re looking directly at you when snapping.
Treats: Give the animal a treat, then bring another treat behind the camera so they’re looking at you.
Noises: Test out the weirdest noises you can muster up & almost certainly it will gain your animal’s attention! Try different tones, or crinkling up paper, squeaker toys, etc. You’ll quickly find what works.
Go into your photo session understanding that sometimes it may take a bit for the animal to get comfortable. Take this time to figure out what works for you both. Play, have fun & make the whole experience a good one- after all it’s just another way to spend some time with friends of the four-legged variety.
With animals, it helps to be a little ‘snap happy’ to ensure you capture a good photo that isn’t blurry- because of course they move a lot. Photos you don’t want can be deleted later, so don’t be shy. Sometimes the unexpected moments turn out to be the best photos!
The photo is the first important step in advertising your adoptable, and a fantastic way to gain the attention of potential adopters! Make it fun, after all these are photos you can keep as little reminders of those you helped save along the way.
Adoptable dog photo examples (indoor & outdoor) ⤵
Have fun with colors & toys. Potential adopters want to see a happy animal, who they can imagine living with as a part of the family. Have a good time & remember- go at the pace of your animal!
Check out the photography we do with our local rescue in Secondhand Mutts.