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How to Take Travel Photos of Your Pet

Published on: October 19, 2022  |  Author: Starwood Pet Travel

Dog with owner on the beachWhat do we photograph most often? Our pets, of course! Every cute thing they do must be recorded and shared. And why not? Even non-pet parents appreciate the antics and adorable poses of cats and dogs. Just look at the millions of views animal videos garner on social media. So taking selfies with your pet is de rigueur when pet travel is involved. The following animal photo tips will help you capture each moment.




What kind of camera do you have?

You may be a serious photographer. You carry a high-end Nikon with multiple lenses. Or maybe you use your smartphone for everything, including snapping pics to instantly share with friends and family. It’s certainly easier to take selfies with a smartphone. Either way, photographing pet travel requires a different eye – and more patience. You already know it’s a toughie getting your pet to pose for a portrait-style photo, so skip that hassle. 

You’re on vacation. Or in the middle of a big move. There’s a lot to do. You have a lot on your mind. Just let your pet be him-or herself, and you will be presented with a multitude of spontaneous photo ops. Candid photos are always more interesting anyway. There are two keys to getting the best photos:

  • Keep your camera at hand – you can’t capture the moment if you have to go find your camera. Make sure your battery is always charged. And you have available film or memory space.
  • Take lots of shots - the more pictures you take, the more likely you are to get great ones. Unless you’re working with film, you can easily delete the duds.

Most of us with smartphones are used to taking selfies. If you haven’t mastered that art yet, practice, practice, practice. You can’t be spontaneous if you’re fiddling around with your camera. Remember, you want selfies with your pet, so practice putting yourself in the picture without distracting them. You’ll be able to get plenty of posed pet travel selfies along the way, too – just have someone else take the picture! 

Don’t wait till you get there

Documenting pet travel should start at the beginning. Your cat always curls up in your suitcase, don't they? Get a shot of that. And one of your dog adding their favorite toy to your luggage. Or stealing it away. Get a sequence of shots as your cat or dog meets and gets used to their new air travel kennel. That can be quite a process, and you can be sure there will be “Kodak moments” along the way.

Tips from the pros

Not every pet travel photo has to be a selfie. You’ll want shots of your dog or cat taking it all in. That requires looking at things from their viewpoint.

  • Get down to their eye level. Do you think the Eiffel Tower looks tall? How ‘bout from your dog’s perspective? What does your cat see as they're “inspecting” your hotel room?
  • Get tight or go wide. Experts suggest you avoid medium-range shots. Frankly, they’re boring. Not far enough away to put your pet in perspective, not close enough to see their expression. So fill the frame with your pet’s face, paws, etc. to get a shot with personality. Focus on their eyes, not some other detail. And for those shots that say, “here we are at the airport” or “here’s Max walking down the street in Sydney,” shoot wide enough to capture the full flavor of the setting. After all, it’s not a “pet travel” photo if we can’t tell Max is far from home.
  • Take “downtime” shots as well as action photos. Pet travel can be exhausting. (Human travel, too.) So be sure to get some selfies with the two of you flopped out on the sofa. Or maybe yawning in unison. 

Capturing your entire pet travel experience for posterity is fun if you’re taking a vacation. But it is crucial if you are moving far away. You’ll never be in this place, in this situation, again. And relocating to a foreign land is a momentous occasion for your entire family, furred ones included.

So get it all down, whether it’s on film or digital memory cards. The packing. The trip. The arrival – tired but excited – in your new home. The pictures you take will bring back memories for the rest of your life.

 Dog relaxed about pet travel

Starwood Animal Transport has rebranded to Starwood Pet Travel. We are still the same great company with the best team, just now with a slightly different name.