WEEK 38: Pets, Domestic and Domesticated Animal Portraits

Animal Portraits as a Photography Challenge is nothing new here at The Trevor Carpenter PhotoChallenge. In 2018, Maaike, one of our contributors at the time, had her very own Pet Portrait Photo Challenge. I decided to go a little further and push the envelope too Domestic and Domesticated animals as well. So here’s my Video Introduction to this week’s PhotoChallenge…

As you can see, if you watched the video till the end, the Sky is the Limit at the Trevor Carpenter PhotoChallenge. From pets to livestock, the scope has been broadened, both to enhance the potential of the photography and, of course, accommodate local COVID-19 guidelines for your specific area.

Tempus Aura Studio - Eugenie Robitaille - Steve Troletti Photography: MAMMALS / MAMMIFÈRES &emdash; Fardoche - The Alaskan Sled Dog / Fardoche, le chien de traîneau
Fardoche – by Steve Troletti @ TempusAura.com

There’s something wonderful about our pets. Dogs, cats and a wide variety of exotic and not so exotic companions.

Tempus Aura Studio - Eugenie Robitaille - Steve Troletti Photography: MAMMALS / MAMMIFÈRES &emdash; Le veau de la ferme chez Les Jardins Provost
Photo by Steve Troletti @ TempusAura.com

It doesn’t stop at your friendly tail wagging companions. Many who live in rural areas can tell you how friendly and affectionate a cow can be. They also make great subjects for photography.

Tempus Aura Studio - Eugenie Robitaille - Steve Troletti Photography: MAMMALS / MAMMIFÈRES &emdash; Infrared Horse - Cheval Infrarouge
Infrared Photo by Steve Troletti @ TempusAura.com

We’re all used to natural light photography. That doesn’t stop me from attempting it by breaking some of the rules, Fisheye Infrared Photography of a horse…

Tempus Aura Studio - Eugenie Robitaille - Steve Troletti Photography: MAMMALS / MAMMIFÈRES &emdash; Red Fox Kit / Renardeau (Vulpes vulpes)
Photo by Steve Troletti @ TempusAura.com

If you can get a cute little subject, I’ll even let you break the rules and slip in a Wild Animal portrait that brings that extra cuteness factor.

Tempus Aura Studio - Eugenie Robitaille - Steve Troletti Photography: Lineolated Parakeet / Barred Parakeet / Toui Catherine &emdash; Barred parakeet rubbing on a branch
Photo by Steve Troletti @ TempusAura.com

Our loveable animal friends are almost everywhere and they don’t exclude birds, reptiles and arachnids either.

Tempus Aura Studio - Eugenie Robitaille - Steve Troletti Photography: MAMMALS &emdash; Cat sleeping in a tree
Photo by Eugenie Robitaille @ TempusAura.com

Keep your eyes open because you never know, a bucketful of cuteness can be hiding anywhere. 🙂

man sitting beside black dog
Photo by Tadeusz Lakota on Unsplash

Don’t forget that people and animals make great pictures together.

Tempus Aura Studio - Eugenie Robitaille - Steve Troletti Photography: BOSTON TERRIER &emdash; Cute Boston Terrier dog posing
Photo by Eugenie Robitaille @ TempusAura.com

Some pets just accessorize better than others. Make sure your pet is a willing participant, Jigger just loved the attention. 🙂


  1. Photograph a pet / domestic / domesticated animal and maybe even maybe wildlife (extra cuteness factor only) in a portrait style composition.
  2. It can be in Color, B&W or infrared.


  1. Attempt to photograph at eye level as much as possible. Then try different heights. A smaller animal will look more grandiose if you’re lower than eye level.
  2. Use a diffused fill flash or reflector when possible.
  3. A zoom lens may be more versatile for a pet on the move. A fixed lens may give you better results in studio like conditions as far as composition goes.
  4. Different lenses focus at different speeds. Often wider aperture lenses focus faster or better when there’s less light present. Practice with your lens to make sure it’s up to the challenge to focus quickly on a moving subject.

Here’s a little Pet Photography slideshow in memory of the late Jigger, Tempus Aura Studios’ very own little mascot…

In Memory of Jigger – WEEK 38 Slideshow

The friendly community guidelines are pretty simple:

  • Take a new photo for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • Post your photo each week to our active communities on Facebook or Flickr (or both). Tag the photo:  #2020photochallenge #photochallenge #tempusaura
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2020 Trevor Carpenter Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

Again a BIG THANK-YOU to Claude and Esther for both letting us film on the Mistouk Ranch and taking part in the filming of this week’s intro.

The Mistouk Ranch is a work in progress and as I was visiting the barn was being expanded to better accommodate day-to-day life with the horses in winter.

AFFILIATED AMAZON LINKS – Here are a few books available for download as a kindle edition.

About Steve Troletti

I'm a Location Scout, Editorial, Nature, Wildlife and Environmental Photographer based in Malibu, California. I specialize in Nature and Urban Nature photography including Infrared Landscapes. The Bulk of my work takes place in the Los Angeles, California area, Greater Montreal Region, Canada, Switzerland, France and Varese in Northern Italy. Ethical wildlife photography is the main priority and focus of my work. A minimum disturbance of the animals, their habitat and the environment is my top priority. This applies as much to total wilderness areas as it does to urban nature environments. Ongoing education of environmental issues and building awareness for the protection of wildlife and wilderness areas around the world is what drives me to document the beauty that surrounds us.