ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Photographing Guinea Pigs

Updated on February 18, 2017
Bathing guinea pigs
Bathing guinea pigs

Step 1: Bathe your guinea pig

This step is optional, but may be a good idea if it's been a while since your guinea pig has had a bath. You should bathe your if their fur smells, if they have excessive hair matting, or if they haven't had a bath in over six months.

Find a place to give your guinea pig a bath where you can have warm (not hot) water at about two inches. A bathtub or dish washing tub is probably the best. Fill it with warm water - cold water with startle your guinea pig and hot water will harm them, since they do not have sweat glands. Wet their fur, using a cup if desired, and create a lather with mild shampoo. A local vet recommends Johnson and Johnson's baby shampoo because it is mild and created to be safe for small beings. Rinse them out and wrap them in a towel. Make sure to keep a good hold on them throughout the entire process - they are likely to bolt since they are so unfamiliar with water. Be prepared to get wet! Make sure to get them as dry as possible and have a towel ready for them right away. Do not leave them under a fan or other draft as they dry in order to prevent illness.

If you plan on bathing your guinea pig(s) before a photo shoot, allow a couple of hours for their fur to dry. If possible, wait a couple of days so your guinea pig does not have too many new experiences in one day.

This photo could have been good - but the quality (and amount of megapixels) is low
This photo could have been good - but the quality (and amount of megapixels) is low

Step 2: Find a good camera

Find the best camera possible for your photo shoot. The more megapixels your camera has, the better the photos are going to turn out, and the more versatile they will be. But, don't use a camera you don't understand - if you don't understand aperture and white balance and so forth, a super-fancy camera is probably not for you. Just have fun and use the best camera you can find.

Example of using a towel as a backdrop
Example of using a towel as a backdrop
The outdoors makes a great backdrop and has fantastic lighting
The outdoors makes a great backdrop and has fantastic lighting

Step 3: Find a backdrop

Find a good, guinea-pig friendly backdrop.

A simple solution is to use a beach towel. Chances are, you already have one available. Old bath towels can also work if you are afraid of ruining the towel. They come in many colors, which allows you to be flexible and have fun with the photo shoot. You can also drape a towel over almost anything, or hang a towel almost anywhere, since it is lighter than other possible backdrops. They also absorb a guinea pig's bathroom waste - which will invariably happen during the shoot. To wash, just shake into a trash can and then throw in the wash.

Old sheets also work really well and allow for wider shots. You can set up an entire scene on a sheet, and never have the edges show. Sheets also tend to reflect light a little better - which can help create a better photo, depending on what light you have available.

The best backdrop is outdoors. Guinea pigs love munching on grass and, as long as the weather is nice, you can capture many fantastic pictures while they are munching away.

Another option is to have a family member or friend hold your guinea pig in their arms. These don't always make the best photos, but they are often the best ways to capture memories of your family's pet.

Step 4: Find props

Props are a great way to create cute pictures to share with friends. Below are some guidelines and ideas for props:

  1. Make sure your props are guinea pig friendly. Do not use electric wires, toxic plants or anything else that may harm your guinea pig. If you're not sure what's safe and what's not, do your research - some houseplants may be harmful for your guinea pigs.
  2. Expect any prop you used to be chewed upon. Depending on your guinea pig, this might not happen, but be prepared. Do not use anything that you are overly fond of. Your favorite barbie doll, a treasured Christmas decoration or other valuables are not good ideas. Be prepared to snag props away if your guinea pig tries to eat it.
  3. Anything under a guinea pig's bum is probably going to get soiled. Find something easily washable for the bottom of your "set".
  4. Human-sized props can often lead to hilarious photos. Try setting a pair of glasses gently on your guinea pig's nose. Place your guinea pig (safely) so it looks like they are doing a human task, like cleaning or using the computer.
  5. Small props can also be great to use - it opens up a whole different world, which can also lead to great photos. Small (but not swallowable) tea cups could make for a fantastic guinea pig party. Posing your guinea pig next to an action figure can also make a great "conversation" starter.
  6. Holiday or seasonal props also make for memorable photo shoots. Using Christmas bows or miniature pine trees can create fun holiday photos near Christmas time. Sunglasses and miniature umbrellas can be fantastic in the summer time.
  7. Don't be afraid to experiment! Try different things and have back-ups available. Not everything is going to work out how you planned, but chances are, every picture is going to be cute.

Step 5: The actual photo shoot

Set up your photo shoot before you grab your guinea pig(s). Make sure to have back-up or extra props nearby so you do not have to leave your guinea pig unattended. Then, grab treats for you guinea pigs. You might have to use these to keep them occupied during the shoot, or you might just want to reward them afterwards. Yogurt drops, baby carrots and other veggies make great treats.

Get your guinea pig. Make sure he/she is in a good mood - if you hear chattering of teeth that means they are angry and upset. Purring or not a lot of noise means your guinea pig is happy or curious. Place them on the "set" and let them explore a little bit. You might even want to take photos of them exploring.

Make sure you have adequate lighting. Natural lighting works the best, but some artificial light can be okay. Make sure that you do not have to use your flash though. Using your flash can upset your guinea pig and your pictures will not turn out that well anyway. The reflection and shadows that a flash creates does not usually work well with a guinea pig's fur and eyes, which will result in a spooky or just-plain-bad photo.

Take as many photos as you can! Guinea pigs move fast and photos that may appear perfect on your camera may turn out blurry when you upload them on the computer. Also, a picture you may not have planned may turn out to be the best photo you take! Even if you end up with a bunch of useless extras, they're easy to delete. It is much better to have too many than not enough.

Reward your guinea pigs and take them back to their cage. Let them get some rest after their exhausting time of being a star.

Step 6: Uploading and editing

Upload your photos to a computer (if necessary). If you like them as they are, awesome! If not you can edit them. You can crop out extra stuff that appeared in the background, adjust (possibly) for red-eye, adjust white-balance and add special effects. Some newer photo editing soft wares even have an "auto-correct" button, which will often spruce up the photo without any extra technical knowledge required. Don't forget to print or share your photos!

Screenshot from my computer. Windows Live Photo Gallery software.
Screenshot from my computer. Windows Live Photo Gallery software.

Always make sure you guinea pig is safe and secure! Never put them in danger just to get a good photo.

Extra Ideas

Here are some ideas for props and photo shoots.

  1. Christmas photo shoot - with wrapping paper, scissors, tape and bows. Set a bow gently a top their head as if they are the present.
  2. Christmas scene - Set up a guinea pig proof miniature village and let your guinea pig roam.
  3. New Years - Make a guinea pig sized party hat and find a party horn.
  4. Valentine's Day - Use a pink backdrop and a heart shaped box of... guinea pig?
  5. St. Patrick's Day - Take a picture of your guinea pig roaming through clover. Or give him a leprechaun's hat.
  6. April Fool's Day - Set it up to make it look like your guinea pig is playing a prank on someone - perhaps switching the contents of a sugar and a salt shaker?
  7. Spring - Take a picture of your guinea pig among guinea-pig edible flowers.
  8. Take a picture of your guinea pig in an Easter basket.
  9. Summer - Take a picture of your guinea pig with sunglasses on!
  10. If you have two guinea pigs, place each in one of a pair of shoes or flip-flops.
  11. Fall - Take a picture of your guinea pig among the fallen leaves.
  12. Halloween - Find some guinea-pig sized pumpkins for your guinea pig to pose with.
  13. Thanksgiving - Fashion some turkey feathers for your guinea pig's rump.
  14. Have your guinea pig drive your car.
  15. Have your guinea pig drive a Barbie car.
  16. Have your guinea pig write thank-you notes or holiday cards.
  17. Use side-walk chalk to create a fun scene for your guinea pig.
  18. Try other human apparel on your guinea pig - earmuffs? a hair bow? head phones?
  19. Create a small scarf you can safely wrap around your guinea pig.
  20. Have your guinea pig crawl out of a Christmas stocking

Be creative! There are so many fantastic ways to photograph your guinea pig. Search the internet for suggestions as well - you could even use a "photo a day" list and apply it to guinea pig photos.

This photo was taken upside down! Experiment with angles.
This photo was taken upside down! Experiment with angles.

Do you like seeing photos of guinea pigs?

See results

Any other ideas? I'd love to hear them!

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)