Photo tips to get pets adopted

A good picture is worth a thousand barks or meows! A pet’s photo is its adoption commercial. When an adopter does a pet search and looks at the results page, pets’ photos and names are the first things they see. Here’s your chance to make your pet really stand out!. First impressions mean everything. A posted pet without a name or photo, or with a bad photo can make people pass right on by your lovely pets!

Here are some photo tips to make your pets look happy and super adoptable:

  1. Our #1 tip for the pet's 1st photo: Have a person in the photo that is petting, next to, or holding the pet. Even just a person's hands in the photo will show the pet is friendly enough to be near a person, and also show a pet's size. If a person's face is visible, ask them to smile!
  2. Our research shows pet listing photos that are a close-up of the pet’s face are clicked on more often than shots taken farther away. HOWEVER, especially if you and all your other nearby shelters and rescues are all using face closeup shots, all pets in our website search results can look too similar. Try mixing it up and see what works for you and your pets! Like try profile shots, or pets running happily with a toy, or curled up in a lap.
  3. Put a colorful bandana or collar on the pet.
  4. Place a toy in the photo with the pet.
  5. Take the photo with grass or light solid-color fabric as the entire background.
  6. Take the photo in the best natural lighting possible: Dogs outside in indirect sunlight (cloudy day or in solid shade), dogs or cats inside in the brightest indoor spot.
  7. Use treats or a toy held right above the camera lens to get the pet to look right into the camera.
  8. Run dogs around until they are panting – it makes them look like they are “smiling”.

A good photo, if possible, should NOT…

  • have the pet behind bars (more people will click on a happy photo, but sometimes sad can be compelling)
  • be dark or blurry
  • be taken from far away or not show the pet clearly

You can upload up to four photos on to each pet’s listing, so you can really show off the pet from different angles. Remember to take the photos using the LOWEST resolution on your digital camera. They will still look great on the internet (which only shows low resolution images) and the smaller photo file size will upload much faster. Our max recommended photo size is 2MB. 100k is usually plenty big.

See the rest of our pet photo articles here

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