Bruce Weber Photographer Talks About Taking Dramatic Photos of Pets


Pets, especially dogs and cats, are incredible photography subjects. Their unpredictability, joyfulness, and energy can be captured in stunning images. A lot of prominent and well-known professionals love to engage in pet photography, Bruce Weber Photographer being one of them. While most people know Bruce for shooting splashy campaigns for brands like Gianni Versace, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Pirelli, Revlon, and Abercrombie & Fitch, he actually has also been photographing his beloved golden retrievers for decades.

While trying to capture images of their furry friends, a photographer should ideally lower their perspective and allow the subject to be the “hero.” Doing so would be pretty easily, especially if one is likely to find their cat or dog often napping on a bed, chair, or some other piece of furniture.  All the photographer needs to do is lower their perspective so that they are slightly lower than the eye level of the pet. How low to go would depend on the pet, but on the whole, experimentation is the key to taking a delightful, dramatic image.

One can also opt for an overhead view of the pet to add a distinctive edge to their image. By photographing the pet from a slightly more overhead angle than normal, one can create quite dramatic looks. Such an approach can work at multiple levels, starting from super wide to a macro view. Alternatively, the photographer may even choose to capture images from behind the subject. This perspective can give a cinematic look to the image, and shows the viewer what the subject is actually seeing. One can work with this approach at multiple levels, starting from super wide to a macro view. While shooting up towards the subject by laying low on the ground can also create dramatic imagery, doing so might not always be possible when shooting outdoor.

Taking pictures of a pet next to a window can be a simple way to take dramatic images. Window portraits often look quite stunning. In fact, a lot of master painters’ have also captured window light on their subjects in amazing ways. However, before trying to click images while maintaining such an approach, one needs to take note of the light. It is important to not have harsh lighting coming through the window. It rather is better to look for bright but even lighting.

Conversely, one can also include a favorite toy or blanket of the pet into the frame to create a sweet image. Even simple props like sunglasses or a ball can turn a pretty average image into something more powerful. However, any prop small enough to be eaten by the pet should be avoided. The works of Bruce Weber Photographer can be a great source of inspiration for people interested in taking dramatic and impactful images of their pets.  The book “Bruce Weber: The Golden Retriever Photographic Society,” particularly features a number of amazing images of his pet dogs.

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