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Tips for Great Pet Photos

taking photos of your pets

Photo by Jean Grandmaire

–Updated from 4/2/2010–

Most pet owners view their companions as family members, so it’s no surprise that having that perfect pet photo of our dog, cat, or other favorite pet is just as important as having one of your sweetheart, your kids, or mom and dad to show off to others. Here are a few tips on how to get that perfect shot of your beloved pet.

Photo Lighting

Most of us take photos for fun, not as a profession, so our equipment can be pretty basic. Although you may only have a point and shoot camera, you can get pretty nice pet photos by making sure you have the best lighting possible.

  • Natural outdoor light is the best. If you can’t photograph your pet outside, pick a spot indoors that provides plenty of natural lighting. Early morning or late evening is best for natural light.
  • Don’t use a flash as it is too harsh and will cause the dreaded “red eye.” If you have a red eye filter on your camera, use it.
  • It’s best to photograph on an overcast, but bright day instead of a sunny day. Direct sunlight will be too bright and there will be too much contrast between light and dark features. If you do photograph on a sunny day, be sure to find a shady spot to take your photos.
  • An exception to the no-flash and no-direct-sunlight rule: some very dark-coated animals might do well with a flash or sunlight to bring out the different shades and textures in their hair. Also, if it’s difficult to get your animal to sit still, you may want to use the flash. If you can adjust it, try it at the lowest setting and be sure to turn off the auto red-eye feature which delays the flash.


  • Get down to your pet’s level. They’re a lot shorter and smaller than we are, so don’t be in a position where you are pointing your camera down toward them. Sit or crouch down, or even lie down to get the best shot.
  • Don’t be afraid to fill the frame with your pet. Zoom in for tight head shots or make sure their whole body fills the frame.
  • Keep the background in mind. You probably don’t want to shoot your all-black cat on a dark couch. Solid colors are usually a better choice than very textured or multi-colored backgrounds because they can distract from the star of the pet photo.


  • I’m sure we all see our pets as having different expressions. Try to capture that special look only your companion has by making sure he or she is comfortable, relaxed, and having fun. This shouldn’t be an ordeal for them.
  • You can get your pet’s attention by using their favorite treats and toys, or making silly noises to them.
  • Don’t forget that candid shots can be the best ones. Let your pet loose to do what he/she wishes with a toy, with a treat, or with an animal or human friend. If you can, increase the ISO settings of your camera to a fast shutter speed to better capture your animal in motion. This may increase graininess in the photo, but you will have captured the shot.
  • If your camera’s various sounds (beeps) distract your pet, turn the audio alerts off.
  • Experiment! Try different angles. Use unusual props or backgrounds.


As with anything pet-related, you have to practice a lot of patience. Be gentle and have a happy attitude about what you’re doing. If you pet just doesn’t want to cooperate, just end the session and try another time. With some practice, and trial and error, you’ll be able to produce a pet photo you’ll be happy to show off.

Send in your best tips for taking great pet photos.

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As you may or may not know by now, I own a dog walking and pet sitting business. I offer my blog as an extension of my newsletter that I send to our dog walking and pet sitting clients on a monthly basis.

I also offer different writings on my blog in addition to what’s in the newsletter. I do this so I can help as many people out there as possible. And, I love to learn new things from my readers too. I certainly don’t know everything and can learn a lot from you. I am curious to know what you want to hear about in my writings.

Would you like to hear more about dog walking and pet sitting, dogs only, cats only, health care tips, behavior tips, dog or cat breeds, etc. I need your help in narrowing the focus of The Woof Blog so I can give you what you really want.

Please leave your comments regarding what you like to read about, what turns you off, and what you may want me to focus on. I appreciate your help and look forward to your comments.


Have a Happy Cry! Dog Rescue

Every so often, I feel like having a good, happy cry. You know, the kind of crying that starts when you witness something heartbreaking, but then morphs into heart-melting joy. When that mood hits me, I turn to one of my favorite YouTube channels, Eldad Hagar.

Here is a great example of the work he does:

Eldad’s channel is for his Los Angeles, California-based Hope for Paws Animal Rescue Organization (http://www.hopeforpaws.org/), and he uploads videos of his efforts to rescue stray and abandoned dogs.

I challenge you to watch one of his videos without using any tissues!


Covid 19 Corona Virus Update

This is Rick Delgado, owner of The Woof Pack, LLC Dog Walking and Pet Sitting, and of The Woof Blog. I have posted the latest order from the county of Alameda to shelter in place.

Please be assured that we are still providing dog walking and pet sitting service to those who need it in our service areas. While many have canceled their service due to the corona virus, as long as we are able, we will continue to provide service to our clients.

None of our pet sitters and dog walkers have any illness, and we are taking precautions to help prevent the spread of novel corona virus. We are following the CDC directives to:

  • Avoid social gatherings
  • Maintain at least 6 feet distance from others
  • Wash hands frequently
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Sneeze or cough into a tissue or into your elbow
  • Sanitize frequently used items and surfaces

We will continue to do our part, and we want you to know that if you need service, we are here for you. You can request service in our dog walking and pet sitting areas by clicking the link.

The shelter in place order can be read below.

New Order Directing Alameda County to Shelter at Home

As of Tuesday, March 31, 2020, the Shelter in Place Order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 has been extended through May 3, 2020.

Health Officer Order is in place that requires that most people stay home unless they are engaged in certain “Essential Activities” which are discussed in the full Health Officer’s Order.

A brief summary of the major changes in the order is here. All persons to shelter at their place of residence, other than to provide or receive essential services, which include:

  • Performing tasks or activities essential to personal or family health and safety;
  • Obtaining necessary services and supplies, including perishable goods food and medical supplies (a more detailed list in the Order);
  • Engaging in outdoor activity;
    You are also allowed to go outside—including to take care of pets, go on a walk, or exercise–so long as you do not congregate in a group and maintain at least six feet of distance between you and other people.
  • Performing work providing essential products and services.

For most people, this means you and those you live with should remain at home. If you are sick, you should self-isolate, including, to the extent you can, from others you live with (more on that in the Order).

All non-essential businesses to cease non-exempt operations at physical locations.

Cessation of all non-essential travel.



Adorable Fritz Fails and Wins Internet

I know, I know. He’s all over the internet. I’ve even seen him on Good Morning America attempting and failing to catch yummy human food. But I can’t help it. I laugh every time I see Fritz the dog try to chomp down on food tossed to him by his owner. So, to share a chuckle, here he is again.

And of course, people have to get in on the act, too. Here’s an amusing take on the whole food-catching attempts from BuzzFeed.

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Super Bowl’s Animal Attraction

It’s no surprise that plenty of cute critters grace our television screens during the annual spectacle that is the Super Bowl.  Whether the animals are in a high-priced commercial or in the increasingly popular alternative to the football game — the Puppy Bowl — their expected presence can make us laugh or even tear up a bit. They even showed up in Katy Perry’s halftime show. The massive tiger she stood atop during her entrance? An out-of-sync dancing shark? What’s not to like?

But this year, even before the kick-off, a couple of pups generated plenty of both positive and negative buzz. Check out what the all the talk was about at dogtime.com and tell us what you think about these two advertisements and if one company’s decision to pull its ad was the right one.




FDA Warns Against Jerky Pet Treats

This issue has been going on since 2007, all related to feeding jerky treats to your pets. An amazing 3610 dogs and cats have become ill due to these treats. Sadly, 580 of these sick pets have died from jerky treats.

The problem is, that most of these treats are made in China, and there is just no way of knowing what is in them. There are no laws or regulations that require these Chinese pet treat manufacturers to list the country of origin.

Symptoms of illness are loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst and urination, all coming shortly after eating these treats.

There has been extensive testing and investigation, but it is recommended to just stop feeding jerky treats to your pets.

Read this entire article regarding pet treats.


German Shepherd Female Needs a Home

I have a client who rescued a German Shepherd female. However, she already has 3 dogs, and a 4th large dog is just too much. Anyone in the San Francisco Bay Area who is interested, please let me know. (Scroll down for pictures.)

Here are the details she sent me.

“I’ve attached 4 photos of Sheila. She’s a small, slender German Shepherd, around 80 pounds. Jim found her in the road by a park where we live. It seems she was dumped there. She was well fed, but her coat looked like she was kept in a kennel. She was also really skittish. By the look of her teats, Sheila has also had a litter, even though she’s only a little over a year old.”

“We’ve had her for nearly a month and in that time she has become less skittish, but is still pretty scared of new situations. She’s young and we think can become confident over time. She’s really improved in the short time here. We’re leash training her and she’s making progress. Overall, Sheila is quite sweet and shows no aggression to humans and gets along with our dogs. She has some separation anxiety and follows me from room to room. This too is getting better. “

“She has all her shots now and just got spayed. Overall, she’s really sweet and pretty smart. She has good energy but isn’t hyperactive. She will need some exercise. She goes around in our back yard and I try to give her a walk daily. At night we keep her in a crate – she goes into it willingly. There’s been some chewing, so we give her toys to work on.”

“Let me know if you need any more information. I will be glad to talk to anyone interested in adopting her to see if there is a good fit for both owner and dog.”

Here are some pictures for you. She seems like such a sweet girl, and would make a great pet for someone who has the time and energy to keep her exercised and will put in some effort to train her further.

If you are interested, simply email me at info@thewoofpack.com.

Sheila on couch

Sheila sitting nicely

Sheila in sunlight

Sheila shaking hands
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Dog Person or Cat Person? What Your Pet Says About You


I came across an article that not only asks whether you are a dog person or a cat person. It also goes on to explain that the pet that you have an affinity for says something about who you are.

  • Are you a conservative, or a liberal?
  • Where do you live?
  • Which Beatle do you like?

These are only some of the things the article talks about. Some seem a little ridiculous, others seem to hit right on the mark.

So, are you a dog person or a cat person? See if you agree with what this article says about YOU. Click the link below and find out.

Are You a Dog Person or Cat Person




I belong to the ASPCA and I get their emails. I got one today that updates its readers about how they are helping rescue animals in Louisiana from the Hurricane Isaac devastation. It’s a short article, and they update their readers on what they are doing, as they have blogged all their efforts there.

It’s a quick read, and at the end of the article, the ASPCA asks for help in their efforts.

Commentor Sparks Controversy on ASPCA


It took me a few seconds to read the article, so I scrolled down to read the comments, and the first comment hit me like a ton of bricks. I was shocked at the comment, and so were all the other readers. The remaining comments focus on defending what the ASPCA does and striking out against this first comment.

Read the article, then read the comments to Hurricane Isaac Response: ASPCA on the Ground.

I support what they do and how they help animals in need. What do you think? Like them or hate them?



Crow and Kitten are Friends

I don’t usually look around on You Tube, but my admin sent me this email and told me to look at the bottom of the email. There was a video called “Crow and Kitten are Friends,” so I watched it. It’s 7:30 long, but it’s a great story about a crow taking care of a little kitten.

Check it out. It’s an older video and you may have seen it before, but this was the first time I’ve seen it.



Feline Urine Marking

I’ve written about inappropriate feline marking in previous articles.

Cat Spraying and Urinating; Why and How Can I Stop It

Why Does My Cat go Potty Outside the Box?

I still get a lot of questions on feline urine marking and inappropriate potty. I just found another article on the matter.


What is Feline Urine Marking?

I’ve talked before that you always need to start with a checkup from your vet. You need to rule out a medical issue first and foremost. It’s no use to try to stop an unwanted behavior if your cat can’t help it because of some urinary tract infection, or other medical issue.

Felines may mark due to stray cats hanging around outside your home, or they may mark due to stress and anxiety. Stress and anxiety can come from a change in litter, a change in food, a change in location, introduction of a new pet family member, or even a new human baby coming into the household.

You can identify the causes and fix those issues, but if you cannot identify why your cat may be marking, you can also try a calming spray or diffuser.

If your male cat is not neutered, by neutering male cats, this takes care of 90% of inappropriate marking by male felines.

Go to the original article to read more about Feline Urine Marking.