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How to Shoot Animal Portraits [video]


In this video from the crew over at Cooph, Vincent Lagrange, shows you how to shoot animal portraits that have style and tell the story behind the animal.

These are the key things Lagrange points out in the video:


Animals don’t need makeup or a stylist – they have their own unique look to photograph from the get-go.



  • Build a good relationship with the animal.
  • Create a soft light setting. Avoid flash so that the animal is as relaxed as possible.
  • Create a quiet atmosphere
  • Communicate with sound.
  • Only use food when the shoot is becoming difficult.



  • Don’t start directly photographing the animal. Spend some time with it first.
  • If the animal doesn’t want to be photographed, then don’t. Let it rest and then try again. It is not an object.
  • Have patience


  • For the larger portraits, Vincent uses the Leica S medium format camera.
  • When he is on the road, he uses the Leica M.
  • He always uses fixed lenses – never zooms.
  • He also never uses continuous shooting mode. He invests time in composing and doing single shots and keeping it quiet.

How to Shoot Animal Portraits [video]

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Caz Nowaczyk
Caz Nowaczyk

– the dPS Managing Editor, lives in Wollongong, Australia and has worked as a photographer, filmmaker, and designer in her business, Exposure Arts and Media, for 15 years. Her background extends to Digital Content Management, and Editorial Design. In her spare time, she composes music as Dreamgirl and the Motorist. Since the age of 12, she knew she would be a photographer – the other stuff came as a surprise!

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