Pet portraits

Does your pet love sitting still for a portrait? Do you fancy yourself as Pet portraits champion? Then we want to see your work! The Pet portraits category is a pretty easy one to understand – take a photograph of your pet (or a pet belonging to somebody else) in a portrait style and send us the results.

The brief

This category gives you the chance to show off your photography skills by capturing a more formal portrait of your pet. 

Remember, of course, that we don't want to see animals dressed up, wearing glasses or put into any situations, places or poses they wouldn't be happy with. And while we're happy for you to use the effects you want to create your photo, such as moody lighting or using black and white, please don't retouch the image afterwards – let's keep it real!

For more on this, see our Rules of entry. And remember that the judges see a lot of photos, so try something different or unusual to make yours stand out.

Getting started

There are lots of factors to consider when planning your photo. Think about these themes and ideas.

  • Location  You could set up a shoot indoors, in the garden, or perhaps 'on location' at their favourite spot, such as the park or beach. Choosing somewhere your pet likes to be will make the whole experience easier!

  • Mood  You can create atmosphere with different lighting, or by taking photos at different times of day, or in different weather conditions. Try taking the same photo but varying these features to see which works best.
  • Props  Sometimes you need your pet to be looking in the right direction to create the perfect image. That's when a favourite toy or treat held just out of shot can come in handy. 
  • See our top tips for photographing pets at home, and find out more about the behaviour of your cat or dog to ensure they're happy in your snaps.

    There's lots more advice from Chris Packham and wildlife photographer Andrew Forsyth in our photo tips section.

You can also get inspiration from previous winners' photos in our galleries.

When you're out and about trying to get the perfect shot, don't ever put your safety at risk.

Entering the competition

So, if you're aged 18 or under (there's no lower age limit), you can enter up to five photos in this category.

Don't forget to tell us a bit about the photo – where you took it, why you like the animal and why you think your photo stands out – in 80 words or fewer.

Read the full rules and terms and conditions before you enter and check out the prizes.

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