Pets Are Part Of The Family Too | 3 Tips To Photograph Them


sparkles-the-guinea-pig-north-phoenix-moms-blog-how-to-photograph-your-pets-copyI grew up in a household that ALWAYS had pets.  It was more than just cats and dogs, although we did have those too.  We also had chickens, turkeys, turtles and a small brown tarantula!  Her name was Shelly-Carmel, what other name would you expect her to have? 😉  Growing up with animals made for some very treasured childhood memories.  Whenever I look back through old family photos I am so glad my mom was able to capture us and our animals in photographs.

I knew when I became a mom I wanted my kids to experience having pets like I did.   It helps teach them responsibilities and compassion.  It was also important to me that  I help them bottle up and capture that experience in photographs just like my mom did for me. Whatever kind of pets we have in our family, they are part of our family too!


In this day and age, most of us have smart phones or a “nice camera” to document our kiddos growing up. When taking your child’s picture, don’t forget to capture a few of them with their favorite family pet. Being a photographer it’s second nature capturing kids playing, but what about capturing them playing with their pets?

Here are 3 super easy tips to help document your family pets to enjoy for years to come.

1) Set up the location: If you have an outdoor pet or a pet that can go outdoors, take advantage and use that natural light and nature to bring out the best character traits in your pet.  Photographs turn out really great when taken in the shade. Find a tree, go onto your back patio or if you can’t go outside, shooting next to a large window indoors works perfectly. If your saying…. hey we have fish or a lizard or a “caged” animal, no problem, just open windows in your home to get some of that natural light.  You can take images through the tank, above the tank and even a wide pull back of the entire tank and your pet’s living quarters.


2) Give them something to do: Have your child PLAY with their pet. Isn’t that what it’s all about anyway? Love on them, kiss them, chase them or just lay by them, create some really fun candid moments with their animal friend. If your pet isn’t the playing type, you can capture more quiet moments like your kiddo feeding or petting them.


3) Use props, treats or your pets favorite toy: Just like a favorite childhood toy, animals usually have theirs as well.  Even fish have their favorite hiding spot in the tank!  Adding various elements to your photos will make it that much sweeter and that much more fun to capture. Don’t forget the technique of getting low to the ground or eye level for a better angle that is both flattering with pets and people.



If you haven’t figured it out yet, these are images of my family (kids and cousins) with our pet guinea pigs, Sparkles and Cutie!  They are the best pets and so lovable. I’m glad we have these special moments documented to remember how cherished they really are.



We would love to see photos of your family pets. Follow us on Instagram and post your images using hashtag #nphxmoms.

Happy Snapping!


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Malia is a wife, mom of three pretty amazing kids, an addict to anything sweet and the owner of Malia B Photography. She is a sucker for emotion, creativity and being unique. After being an elementary school teacher for 6 years, she decided to close the teaching books and open her passion and shutterbug skills to photographing newborns, children and expecting parents. She hasn’t looked back since and now gets to spend her days capturing the greatness in babies and children, along with helping educate parents and photographers on how to capture theirs in photographs. When she is not behind the camera, she is cooking with her kids, pruning her garden or designing custom photography props.


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