REDEFINE | Pet Portraits feature by Corinne Trively Photography




“There is only one sun. We can’t all claim to only have one way to use the light, but we can REDEFINE how we choose to express it.


What about your Pets portraits do you think you like?

CT: What about my pet portraits do I like? Oh gosh, that’s an interesting question because making portraits of my pets and capturing them in an authentic, emotional way is something I do literally every day!! I think that what I love about my pet images is that they happen, and therefor look, so genuine and authentic. Many of my pet portraits include my kids or my husband interacting with our dogs and cats, showing the rather sacred and calming bond they share with each other. when we bring a pet into our lives, we become their steward until they leave the world, and that is a big responsibility. I feel like my work reflects how much I value and love and respect their lives and their needs…after all , we really are the only ones they have to watch out for them! I also really love the way my pet photos show the unique personalities and attitudes and quirks of each pet, whether it’s a mischievous puppy, an arrogant and independent cat, or a noble and loving big huge dog! simply put, I LOVE animals, I LOVE photography, and the two just go together perfectly for me and keep my motivated to shoot every day…really I owe them so much for keeping me inspired!!


Do you specialize in Pet Photography ?

CT: I don’t specialize in pet photography from a business perspective, as I shoot mostly families and children, but I very often do encourage my client families to include their dogs, cats, bearded dragons, gold fish, or whoever else is part of their clan, to join them for their session with me! This can, sometimes, create a bit of a challenge for me, but it usually goes swimmingly well (pun intended)! On a personal level, however, I would say that yes, pet portraits are my specialty. Like I said before, photographing my own pets is something I do at least once every day. It’s 11 AM right now and I’ve already gotten my camera out twice today to shoot my cats, haha!! I think I just have this “way” of truly seeing their little souls and spirits and connecting with them through my lens, and that really translates though in the final image, speaking to the viewer. People really do seem to genuinely enjoy my pet images, and I often get messages from people who tell me they look forward to seeing them pop up in their social media feeds…that makes me happy to hear, it’s an honor, actually!

What were the challenges for you in the beginning?

CT: Hmmmm, the challenges for me in the beginning? I guess just like any new photographer learning how to shoot, the technical aspects were the hardest. Learning which lens to use for which situation, getting my shutter speed set correctly to capture an animal in motion, getting my gear out and set quickly enough to capture a moment that caught my attention…that sort of thing. As far as the emotional aspect of shooting pet portraits, it was never a challenge for me to know what or when to shoot a moment…that intuitive sense has just always been in my heart. Whether I’m wanting to capture a silly, or naughty, or quiet, or sweet moment, I have always just gone for it! Look, animals are easy subjects…they don’t feel self conscious, they don’t feel that sense of “omg there’s a camera in my face”, they are just who they are, unapologetically, and that makes my work a breeze!

What are the tips you would share with anyone trying to photograph their pets, or jumping in to a Pet photography business.?

CT: For anyone trying to photograph their pets, or even jumping into pet photography as a business, I would say this: humble yourself, be patient and willing to sometimes literally sit back and wait and wait and wait for the shot you want, and I think most importantly, you have to really LOVE animals in order to capture and portray them and their individuality in a way that they deserve. Just like shooting people, your pet work has to come from your heart, if it’s just quick image of a cat or dog, well, then that’s what it will look like to the viewer or the pet’s owner. Take the time to get to know them for a bit before you start shooting, earn their trust a bit, remember…they don’t owe you anything, you are there to make them shine!!! Also, look for light, framing, background, composition, as well as the actual moment or interaction you are trying to capture! That might mean getting up on your feet and moving around to find the right light or framing that works best, I spend a lot of time crawling around the floor on my stomach while shooting my pets….in other words, get down on their level, perpsctive is everything with pet portraits!! And lastly, toys, treats, squeaky toys, and making really weird annoying noises and sounds with your mouth all really help to get their attention, if that’s what you want for an image! Oh, and HAVE FUN….pets make us smile!!




Hi there!! I’m Corinne Trively, I live in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with my husband, our 3 kids, and our 2 cats and 4 dogs!! I am originally from Pittsburgh, and attended The University of Montana where I studied Women’s History and Liberal Arts. My Great Dane, Moses, gets full credit for inspiring my hunger to learn the art of photography. When he was a puppy , I was so obsessed with his cuteness that I was always taking cell phone shots of him….fast forward 3 or 4 years later, and here I am! Our home is a zoo, but I wouldn’t have it any other way…the more the merrier (it’s just kinda hard to get any work done some days, haha)! I’ve been in the business of photography for a couple of years now, shooting mostly families and children, both lifestyle and documentary, but pet portraits have been and always will be my favorite portraits to make. A few of my favorite things are photography, learning and growing towards being a better photographer and human being every day, daily hikes in the rain, sun, or snow with my Great Dane and German Shepherd, afternoon tea, and leading a healthy lifestyle. I love and learn from my mistakes as much as from my strengths, it’s all good! I believe in the power each of has to make the world a better place for even just one person…whether in a personal or professional capacity. Thank you so much for supporting me and my work, I’m very grateful!



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