Do you have trouble
getting good photos of your llamas?

Don’t feel badly, we have taken thousands of llama photos in the past couple of decades
and this page shows a few of the things that the llamas will do
just as you click the shutter.

After you have seen this page, your own photos will start to look much better.


One of the things that llamas will do just after you have focused on that perfect portrait is start to chew their cud. Their jaw will work back and forth and if you are really lucky you will get that “perfect” expression as shown in the photo of Drambuie on the left.


You have to be really lucky to manage to get a new cria to give you the cud-chewing expression. Jubilation, on the right, won’t really start to chew her cud until she is a couple of weeks old. Really she is much prettier than this.

If you are really quick you sometimes can manage to capture them with their ears back
at the same time as they move their jaw to the side as Gabby is showing us here.


I had Pisco posing beautifully and just as I clicked the shutter he not only chewed his cud, he turned his head resulting in this glamorous pose.


I am not sure whether Brandy was bored but she looks as if she is yawning in this great “ears back” portrait.

Sometimes they will stick a great wad of cud in their cheek as Priscilla is doing here.
It would be difficult to get a more elegant expression in a llama portrait.


To get great effects in your photographs it is always a good idea to pose them by a fence so that you get shadow stripes across the llama. This obviously works best with light coloured llamas such as Llamathyst.


Another useful tip is to wait until there are lots of flies around. This can cause them to flick one ear just like Conquistador did for this portrait.


If you have made sure that there are a few flies to make them flick their ears, you might be very lucky and get a one-eared portrait similar to this one of Mayflower.

Don Juan
Using a small f-stop will give you a good depth of field, allowing any flies to be in sharp focus.
This obviously works best with white llamas such as Don Juan shown here.


Always rely on the automatic focus on your camera. This can give you interesting results such as this perfectly focused fence. Brandy and a young Llamaretta were in focus a moment before I clicked the shutter.


Llamas are always curious about a camera and will often stick their nose right on the lens. In this case, I had planned on getting a great photo of Priscilla standing in the snow, when another llama wandered in from out of sight to check out the camera exactly as I clicked the shutter.


The old “stick my nose in front of the lens trick” works twice as well with the 3-D stereo camera which takes two images at the same time.

At least Trillium still showed up in the left image as Llamathyst only managed to get her nose completely in front of the right-hand lens and only a little bit in front of the left lens.


We finally broke down and bought a digital camera so now we start to find out how the llamas can ruin these photos. I had RainDancer all lined up perfectly and clicked the shutter. Digital cameras have a delay before the photo is actually taken which gave RainDancer plenty of time to get his nose right up to the lens.

We have more wonderful examples of llama photography
on our Digital Disasters page.

We would love to hear from you:

Brian and Jane Pinkerton
29343 Galahad Crescent
Mount Lehman, British Columbia
Canada V4X 2E4

Phone or Fax: (604) 856-3196
e-mail address:

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