pet photography tip

If nothing else, the internet-fueled surge in amateur pet photography (hello, #DogsOfInstagram) has served to improve moods and, according to one 2012 study, even increase workplace productivity. But if you really want to rise above the scores of hashtag-happy pet-lovers with iPhones, you need to nail one animal photography basic: getting your subject to look at the camera.

Rachel Hale McKenna is basically an animal whisperer (she somehow managed to get this adorable bunny to fall right to sleep!), and during her CreativeLive course, Animal Photography, she demonstrated some great tricks for getting creatures of all sizes to sit, stay, and pose.

Here, she gives one majorly helpful pet photography trick for getting kittens — ever feisty ones like the one we had on set — to stare right into the lens, giving that evocative, emotional look that makes a really, really great shot of animals, whether they’re your pets or your clients.