How to capture the best pictures of pets

Anyone with a pet knows how much fun they can be. Excited tail wagging when you get home, purring in your lap when you're relaxing in front of the TV, and stealing bags of Cheetos out of the pantry when you're not looking (OK, maybe that's just my dog).

Whether you have a dog, cat, bird, ferret, pig, snake, chickens or even a horse, those furry (or scaly) babies are part of your family. Like kids, they can be unpredictable and moody. Especially when you're trying to catch their cuteness on camera!

There's no sense in waiting for them to pose for a picture, and chances are you'll miss that moment you were trying to catch. So how can you capture your pet's funniest and best moments?

Get in the mode!

Start shooting while you're trying to attract their attention. Your pet has no concept of cameras, so likely they will move at exactly the wrong time. Switch your camera to burst mode and start snapping as you try to attract their attention to the lens. With burst mode, you are more likely to catch a funny expression or movement.

Use food

Pets always respond to rewards! Especially in the form of snacks! Use their favorite treats to help you get the shot you want!

Have props?

Some pets are more chill than others and will allow you to get some really fun photos. Keep in mind getting the shot takes some patience and you know your pet's personality best, so have everything ready to go, because when they're done with you, they're done.

Use a fast shutter speed

Cats and dogs especially can be pretty quick. By setting your shutter speed or shooting in sports mode, you can capture them in action.

Use the zoom

If you try to get up close and personal, your pet will be too distracted by what you're doing to let you get a good shot. Shoot your pet in his or her favorite element like a park, the backyard or their bed!

A long focal length will help with isolating your pet in terms of depth of field. You will get a nice blurry background and your pet will be the center of attention.     

Your smartphone will get great shots too

Face it, most of us don't carry a DSLR around with us all day. But we do have our smartphones and many of them have a pretty decent camera! You can get some fun shots of your pets using your phone camera. For a little help, take advantage of natural lighting, a selfie stick and prop yourself against something so you can get a steady shot.