Photographing our furry friends: What does it take?

Caitlynn Neil

Photography spans across so many different genres. We thought it’d be fun to delve into some of these photography styles and see what it takes to master them.

We’ve already looked at wildlife photography, so this month we’re looking into a similar style – pet photography. We chatted with Edinburgh-based vet and pet photographer Caitlynn Neil to discover what it takes to work in this field.

Starting out in this industry

Having worked as a professional pet photographer for two years, Caitlynn’s passion for animals came long before that. She decided after pursuing a career to match her love of animals, to combine this with her love for photography:

“From a young age I have always adored animals and as I grew up, this led me to follow my dreams to work with animals in the veterinary industry, becoming a registered veterinary nurse. I have a great passion for the care of animals and have always had a very keen interest in photography.”

Caitlynn Neil

Caitlynn now balances both photography and veterinary work which makes for a busy daily lifestyle:

“I currently juggle my full-time job in a busy animal charity practice alongside my pet photography business which keeps me busy and I wouldn’t have it any other way!”

Photographing our furry friends!

Working with animals all her life has given Caitlynn a unique advantage. She knows pet photography doesn’t work like other genres. Posing can be tough and a lot of photographs come from finding the right moment:

“I would say the most difficult aspect of pet photography is having that perfect image in your head and trying to make it happen! I have a very laidback nature and believe I take this approach in my photo shoots to allow the animals feel comfortable and have fun.”

Caitlynn Neil

Her years of experience with animals and photography mean she’s picked up a few tricks to make sure the pets let her capture those great moments:

“There’s very little actual ‘posing’ in my shoots and I just work with the owners to have fun really. However, a full treat pouch, some squeakers and a favourite toy don’t go amiss in creating that perfect shot!”

Caitlynn loves photographing pets as it combines her two passions in life. It can be tough trying to capture a perfect moment for clients, especially when the subject is a hyper puppy! However, she finds her work incredibly rewarding:

“The best part is getting the gallery of images over to them and seeing and hearing their reactions to the photos!”

Caitlynn Neil

Caitlynn uses Loxley Colour to provide her clients with high quality keepsakes. We’re proud to help her keep clients happy by giving them professionally crafted keepsakes that stand the test of time:

“My ultimate favourite Loxley Colour product is the gorgeous Acrylic Gallery! It makes any photograph pop and they look so good on the wall. However, all products are excellent quality and really help me to complete any of my photography packages!”

Caitlynn Neil

One of the reasons for Caitlynn’s success in this industry is her extensive experience with animals. She understands unfamiliar locations and new faces can be off-putting for some animals, and has learned how to make her subjects as happy and relaxed as possible before the shoot. Her advice to those starting out in pet photography is to do the same:

“Get out there and practice as much as you can on any animals and work on learning a bit of animal behaviour so you can pick up on the subtle clues of a relaxed or nervous animal, as it can be picked up quite obviously on a photo.”

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Check in with the Loxley Colour blog to find out about all our latest products and offers, or to hear fascinating stories from photographers around the world. We’ll be shining the spotlight on another photography genre very soon.