How to Work with Animals On Set

On this video, photographer Jay P. Morgan from the Slanted Lens talks about an interesting an quite unusual topic of how to effectively work with animals on set.

On the video Morgan talks about an interesting topic which isn’t covered that much – working with animals for photo shoots (both stills and video). This isn’t always easy and Morgan had a chance to work with all sorts of animals including quite a few wild animals such as bears and tigers and even hipos (which are very dangerous animals by the way).

Based on this experience Morgan has a number of useful tips:

  • Build your shot around the animal
  • Set where the animal to look (use the trainer or entice it with a treat)
  • Communicate clearly the animal trainer (talk beforehand if possible)
  • Keep the shot as simple as possible (animals are not easy to work with so don’t make it even harder)
  • Keep your treats on hand (and use them often)
  • Be focused when the animal is on set (especially true with wild animals)
  • Be super patient (animals have their own time)
  • Always be ready when working with an animal (keep your cameras rolling all the time if possible and shoot in bursts)
  • Get rid of all distractions (animals get distracted very quickly)

You can check out some more interesting video we published in the past on shooting animals – here.

You can find lot more photo tips and tutorials on our photography tips section here on LensVid, and you can find all of Jay P. Morgan’s videos here on LensVid on the following link.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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