Puppy Photography Tips & Techniques With Studio Lighting

If you’re a dog owner and a photographer, it’s natural for you to want to have some amazing portraits of your pup. But puppies aren’t known to be cooperative photo subjects. They’re fidgety, at best, and that’s why these tips from Lee Morris come in very handy:

Limit Movement

Some puppies have a tendency to move away from the direction of the camera. It’s a constant challenge if you have to pick them up and place them facing the camera. The ottoman can further restrict the puppy’s movement. If you have a small table or an ottoman, place your pup on that. That should limit their wandering to a small place.

puppy portraitures

Place the puppy on an ottoman or table.


Morris lit his shots with a Profoto B1. He used a beauty dish with a grid to ensure that the light was focused and not spilling out to every corner of the room. The idea was to create a slightly moody look.

beauty dish for puppy portraitures

Gridded Beauty Dish

The positioning of the light is also important. Approach it like any other portrait session. Except in this case the light should not cast a deep, long shadow over the nose. The nose of your pup is larger than that of a human being, so keep that in mind.

You can also use a ring-light and shoot through it. It tends to produce a nice wrap-around lighting effect.

lighting for pet portraitures

Getting the look right is important.

Camera and Lens

Lee used a Nikon D750 with a Nikkor 60mm macro lens for his puppy photo shoot. A macro lens allows you to focus even if the front end of your lens is about to touch the cold damp nose of your pup.

pet portraitures

Macro lens puppy portrait

Try out these techniques and show us your puppy photos!

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