Taking Great Photos of Your Guinea Pig – Tips From A Professional Photographer

guinea pig closeupImage courtesy of Jesus Martinez Photography
Guinea pigs make great models for photography. When they are startled or faced with a new situation, they tend to stay completely still until they are satisfied there is no danger. This gives you a chance to grab a lot of snapshots if you can be quick. You can even pose them with props (sometimes). Here is the basic equipment you need to have a guinea pig photo session:

  • a safe location, such as a sturdy table, bed, or even the floor
  • digital camera
  • tripod
  • lighting, or good natural light
  • remote release (optional)
  • props (optional)
  • treats (usually not optional)

Linus closeupImage courtesy of Jesus Martinez Photography
Guinea pig closeup photoImage courtesy of Jesus Martinez Photography
Linus with Santa hatImage courtesy of Jesus Martinez Photography

mobile photography studioImage courtesy of Jesus Martinez Photography

My mobile photography unit.

1) Choose a simple backdrop that compliments the color(s) of your guinea pig. The backdrop can be fleece, old sheets, beach towels, or even a plain wall or wallpaper. Ideally, you want light at your back and a bit to both sides to cross-light your guinea pig.

1) Pick out props if you want, such as tiny hats, toys, flowers, etc.

1) Have your shooting space prepped in advance so you can take the shots as quickly as possible, or your models might get bored and want to wander away!

3) Bring in the guinea pigs! Adjust props, if necessary. The guinea pigs will likely instinctively stay still for at least a few moments; a special treat will encourage them to stay in place longer.

4) Get down to the guinea pig’s eye level.

5) Adjust the camera so that your guinea pig fills the frame.

6) Move around as you take pictures to get a variety of angles. Make silly noises or rustle a treat bag if that gets the guinea pig to look at you.

7) Praise your piggies for being such wonderful models, and reward them with an extra treat!

For more information on Jesus Martinez and his work, visit his website at www.jesusmphotography.com or join the conversations on his Facebook page.

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Jesus "Zeus" Martinez

Zeus is a professional photographer in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania creatively exploring both landscape and portrait photography. He and his family volunteer their time with Metropolitan Guinea Pig Rescue. Zeus has photographed many of the guinea pigs available for adoption and featured online through MGPR. Zeus enjoys traveling and spending time with his four children as well as their personal herd of guinea pigs.

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6 Responses to “Taking Great Photos of Your Guinea Pig – Tips From A Professional Photographer”
  1. michiko says:

    “Treats…usually not optional” lol! Great tips…so far, I’ve just plopped piggy down and started snapping away hoping that one out of the 100 or so attempts would work out. I’ll have to try this!

  2. Sally says:

    It also helps to take photos with a two-person team – one to shoot the photos and the other to wrangle pigs and dole out treats.

    • I usually would have my daughter to spot the pig to keep it from wandering off..Another tip I didn’t add. But if you have a tripod it makes the shots a lot easier to take.

  3. Pam says:

    Great tips, thanks!

    I usually get a good shot purely by accident – about 50 bad shots for every good one. I’m so happy we have digital cameras these days!

  4. Alys Nawawi says:

    My boar now poses. He’s accustomed to his insane human and her cameras. Treats are a must as are many hugs and words of praise. Even the cat gets into the shot sometimes! A tripod is super helpful especially in low light and I really like a shallow depth of field so that Faramir is the main point of the picture! It’s so much fun taking piggie portraits.

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