General Posing and Prompts

 Whether you are a photographer who is just starting out in end-of-life pet photography, a professional working in the veterinarian field, or someone who wants to take photos using their cell phone for yourself or a friend, the following photos can be used for reference.  Please note, there are more specific poses further down on the page for the following: cats, small dogs, and small animals. Additionally, these are just ideas- please do whatever feels right to you to capture the moment and love.

“For this pose I’m going to have you kneel beside (pet’s name) and give him/her a big hug”

Variations in this pose

  • Kiss pet’s forehead
  • Close up of arms hugging pet
  • Both look at camera
  • Take a few steps forward and take a portrait of faces of pet/owner

“I’m going to have everyone get close together with (pet’s name) in the middle and everyone just give them some love!”

Variations in this pose

This prompt works well for families or couples – you can get a close-up shot of just the hands with the pet’s face, have everyone look towards the camera, etc.

“Next I would love to take a photo of (pet’s name) paw in your hand, let’s get them in a comfortable position so we can do this!”

Variations in this pose

  • Multiple hands stacked
  • Backside of hands with wedding rings
  • Hand gently on top of paw as well

“I’ll have you get to (pet’s name)’s level, and touch noses together, as long as you feel like he/she is comfortable with that.”

Variations in this pose

  • Kiss nose
  • Kiss forehead
  • Foreheads together
Environmental Portrait
With a treasured toy

“I would love for you to kneel in front of (pet’s name) so you are both facing each other. Next I’ll have you use both hands to gently guide their face so you are looking at each other.”

Variations in this pose

  • Kiss forehead/nose
  • Sit taller on knees for a different pose/angle
Laying in lap
Guiding face up with hand
Kissing nose
Portrait of pet looking up
Running (if able to)
One hand up to face
Pet in foreground
Over the shoulder
Back shot

Cat Poses

Holding & Cuddling
Kneeling to their level
Holding on chest with both arms incorporated
Close-ups: whiskers, nose, ears, paws, etc

Small Dog Poses

Holding in lap, client sitting
Close-up cradled in arms
Holding on lap, cradling chin while kissing forehead
Hold up to chest, kiss forehead

Small Animal Poses

Nose-to-nose holding
On shoulder if applicable
Holding in hands
Close-up, whiskers, nose, paws, scales, tails, etc