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21 pet photography ideas to inspire you all-year round

pet photography ideas
(Image credit: Instagram / @millie_and_minnie / @dustyandmira)

Including your pets in all your celebrations is a great way to make them feel like part of the family. These inspiring pet photography ideas will not only light up your social media feed, but creating special photoshoots can also help you produce lovely mementos for other members of your family. 

Whether it’s creating a bespoke pet Valentine’s Day card, turning your pooch into a bunny for Easter or dressing them up for the Christmas season, we’ve got some great ideas here for you to save up and use throughout the year. 

Whether you're a pro or completely new to photography, we've also included some simple yet effective tips to help you get started. For more in-depth advice, check out our guide to how to take great pet photos and be sure to review safety advice around dressing up your pet before you get snap happy.  

Since a lot of holidays are centered around food, don’t feel you need to leave your pet out of it; see our seasonal treat recipe posts for more holiday inspiration including delicious dog treat recipes for Valentine's Day and spooktacular homemade Halloween cat treats.

Eggstraordinary  

Season: Easter  Cost: Inexpensive

Easter dog photoshoot

(Image credit: Instagram / @corgithas)

Posing your pooch(es) around a basket of Easter-themed goodies makes for a cute Easter-themed picture, as shown in this adorable photoshoot by Corgithas (opens in new tab). Just be sure to keep an eye on any chocolate in the vicinity of your pup as it's highly toxic to dogs. 

Pet Presents 

Season: Christmas  Cost: Inexpensive

Christmas rabbit photoshoot

(Image credit: Instagram / @bonusbunnies)

Surrounding your pet with presents, in front of an out of focus Christmas tree is a simple, yet effective approach in this fabulously festive photoshoot by bonusbunnies (opens in new tab)

Be My Valentine 

Season: Valentine's Day  Cost: Inexpensive 

Valentine's Day photoshoot

(Image credit: Instagram / @cavapoochonolive)

Cavapoochonolive (opens in new tab) has matched their bandana to the Valentine’s Day treats in front of them. Make sure if you use chocolate for props that it’s either dog-safe chocolate or you keep a close eye on them to make sure they don’t ingest it.  

Trick or Treat  

Season: Halloween  Cost: Moderate - High

Halloween dog photoshoot

(Image credit: Instagram / @caratan1023)

In this spooktacular photo by @caratan1023, (opens in new tab) it's Halloween outfits for everybody! If you've got multiple pets in your household be sure to capture them on camera together. 

Two’s Company  

Season: Valentine's Day  Cost: Inexpensive 

Valentine's Day dog photoshoot

(Image credit: Instagram / @millie_and_minnie)

Millie and Minnie (opens in new tab) prove that Valentine’s Day shoots work especially well if you have two dogs (or you can borrow somebody else’s). Look for cute bandanas, and try sprinkling rose petals for an extra cute edge.  

Easter Bucket

Season: Easter  Cost: Moderate - high 

Easter dog photoshoot

(Image credit: Instagram / @oh.so.goby)

This sweet photoshoot by Oh.so.goby (opens in new tab) suggests turning your pooch into your very own Easter bunny, with themed decorations really setting off the look.  

Twinkle Twinkle 

Season: Christmas   Cost: Inexpensive

Christmas dog photoshoot

(Image credit: Instagram / @fra_sintini)

Take inspiration from fra_sintini (opens in new tab) and try draping battery-operated lights over your pet for a cute look. Only do this with very calm animals who you know won’t chew the cable. Never leave them unsupervised with Christmas lights. 

Pumpkin Pie 

Season: Halloween   Cost: Inexpensive

Halloween dog photoshoot

(Image credit: Instagram / @murphy_thegoldenboy_)

The obvious choice for Halloween - gather together a group of pumpkins, place your pooch in front of them - job done! murphy_thegoldenboy (opens in new tab) shows just how effective this can look. 

Balloon Fun  

Season: Valentine's Day  Cost: Inexpensive 

Valentine's Day cat photoshoot

(Image credit: Instagram / @adventures.of.aya.and.shaka)

Like @adventures.of.aya.and.shaka (opens in new tab), experimenting with image manipulation software, such as Photoshop, is a good way to include less than pet friendly elements with pictures of your beloved animals.  

Dress Up Time  

Season: Easter  Cost: Inexpensive

Easter dog photoshoot

(Image credit: Instagram / @lola_the_pugalier_walker)

Why not create a photoshoot with an Easter-bunny outfit like @lola_the_pugalier_walker (opens in new tab) ? Ensure it's comfortable, loose and doesn't restrict movement for long periods of time. 

Carrot Cat

Season:  Easter   Cost:  Inexpensive 

Easter cat photoshoot

(Image credit: Instagram / @sweet.lilhoney)

Simple and stylish, this feline photoshoot by @sweet.lilhoney (opens in new tab) uses chic Easter-themed props, including a basket, to create a themed look. 

Dog Reindeer 

Season: Christmas  Cost: Inexpensive 

Christmas dog photoshoot

(Image credit: Instagram / @goldenboy_bravo)

goldenboy_bravo (opens in new tab) proves that investing in a simple set of antlers for the Christmas period is a fun way to Christmas up any pooch. 

Ghoulish 

Season: Halloween  Cost: Inexpensive

Halloween dog photoshoot

(Image credit: Instagram / @gruffyglp)

Chances are you’ve already got some towels or blankets with holes in if you’ve got a dog… use them to create a ghost-like effect like @gruffyglp. (opens in new tab) 

Table Manners

Season: Valentine's Day   Cost: Inexpensive

Valentine's Day dog photoshoot

(Image credit: Instagram / @lildoodmiles)

This gorgeous furry friend is ready and waiting for his valentine to come home for a special dinner in this simple photoshoot by Miles Durkee. (opens in new tab) 

Waiting for Santa

Season: Christmas Cost: Inexpensive

Christmas dog photoshoot

(Image credit: Instagram / @beaniee_chiweeniee)

A wistful looking out of the window (perhaps for Santa Paws?) while next to the Christmas tree shot is an easy yet effective idea by Bean Chi Weenie (opens in new tab)

Will You Be My Valentine? 

Season: Valentine's Day  Cost: Inexpensive

Valentine's Day dog photoshoot

(Image credit: Instagram / @rupert_the_bear_and_friends)

This super-cute doggy is sure to have all the lovers swooning with his offering of a Valentine’s rose. Make sure you use a plastic rose to avoid sharp thorns in your dog’s mouth like @rupert_the_bear_and_friends (opens in new tab)

Halloweenie

Season: Halloween Cost: Inexpensive

Halloween dog photoshoot

(Image credit: Instagram / @dachshundgeranma)

This spooktacular photoshoot by @dachshundgeranma (opens in new tab) sees an adorable sausage dog dressed like a pumpkin. Enough said.  

Smell the Roses 

Season: Valentine's Day Cost: Inexpensive

Valentine's Day dog photoshoot

(Image credit: Instagram / @albalonepetstudio)

A simple idea, but well-executed from Albalone Pet Studio (opens in new tab). This Valentine’s Day photoshoot is a good way to include both your dog-love and your human-love.

Hats Off 

Season: Christmas  Cost: Inexpensive

Christmas dog photoshoot

(Image credit: Instagram / @psieseje)

This fun and festive photoshoot by @psieseje (opens in new tab) features a santa hat, a santa sack, and a willing pooch… Merry Christmas!

Bunnylicious  

Season: Valentine's Day  Cost: Inexpensive

Valentine's Day rabbit photoshoot

(Image credit: Instagram / @rabbiandhiskittys)

Two bunnies placed together inside a heart shape (in this case, made from feathers) makes for a cute Valentine’s idea by @rabbiandhiskittys (opens in new tab)

Cat O’Lantern  

Season: Halloween   Cost: Inexpensive

Halloween cat photoshoot

(Image credit: Instagram / @dustyandmira)

Dusty & Mira (opens in new tab) show how effective it is to capture your inquisitive pets above a lit pumpkin - use a battery operated light inside the pumpkin for safety, rather than a candle. 

How to take the best shots for your pet photoshoot 

1. Turn it into a game (and stock up on the treats) 

Bonding with your pet via daily playtime is a must. Why not turn your photoshoot into a game and make it as fun as possible, trying not to worry too much about the end results. Make sure you have plenty of treats to tempt your pet to look at the camera. 

2. Always put your pet first  

Although it can be tempting to dress up our pets and make them pose in all manner of ways, if your pet's just not into it, please don't force them. You’ll probably find if you’re relaxed and enjoying yourself, your pet will happily play along, but remember to stop if they’re clearly under stress.  

3. Avoid harsh light and flashes 

You need good light for good photographs, so it makes sense to try and carry out your photoshoot in a well-lit room, preferably with lots of natural light. Avoid using strong flashes or shining bright lights in your pet’s face. 

4. Get down to their level  

The best pet photography results usually come from getting down to your pet’s level. Put yourself on the same level as them and see your photography rise up a notch.  

5. Be patient  

Never work with children or animals goes the old adage. Photography is no different - it can be frustrating at times if your pet isn’t doing exactly what you want them to do. Try to keep, calm and patient at all times - for everybody's sake. 

Amy Davies is a freelance writer and photographer with over 15 years experience. She has a degree in journalism from Cardiff University and has written about a huge variety of topics over the years. These days she mostly specialises in technology and pets, writing across a number of different titles including TechRadar, Stuff, Expert Reviews, T3, Digital Camera World, and of course PetsRadar. She lives in Cardiff with her dog, Lola, a rescue miniature dachshund.