Recently I got the opportunity to photograph a few fancy mice, and I just have to share the cuteness here on the blog. I had rats or mice as pets for more than a decade before getting my current cats, and I dearly loved them; in fact, I’d still have rodent pets if it weren’t for their horribly short lifespans 1.
Editor’s note: I’ll try to add commentary throughout these pictures, but I should probably just say “SQUEEE!” after each picture, because that’s what I’m really doing inside when I see these.
Mice are incredibly fun to watch, especially in large groups. They’re always exploring the boundaries of their cages:
or poking their noses out of tubes:
or grooming themselves:
or burrowing in the bedding:
and then poking their heads out of bedding (which in these pictures is Carefresh, made from recycled wood pulp):
Rats and mice are one of a small subset of vertebrates who eat by bringing their food to their mouth (like humans), rather than bringing their mouth to their food. I was exceptionally happy to capture a few closeups of mouse paws, highlighting just how human-like they are:
And here’s another one, where the mouse looks like he’s tapping his fingers together and chuckling (think: Brain plotting to take over the world):
And, continuing in the extreme-closeup vein, here’s a tightly cropped view of a mouse face (full image is here), showing clearly that mice actually have eyelashes:
But that’s enough closeups; let’s wrap up with a couple of my favorite shots. This mouse is perfectly demonstrating the hesitant-exploration strategy of mice:
And I absolutely have to close with a wink:
1 Rats and mice have individual personalities. Rats especially grow very attached to specific humans, and love to interact with us. But they live only a couple of years, and losing them was always devastating. Imagine losing your dog or cat after only two, or at most three, years; it’s horrible.
7 thoughts on “Photographing mice: the adorableness is overwhelming!”
These are absolutly beautiful photos! What camera do you use to get such close up details of small fast moving animals like mice? I have a pet rat at home and would love to get even a small bit of this clarity, detail and character you wonderfully get in each photograph.
Thanks! I’m glad you like them 🙂
My primary camera is a Canon 30D (a DSLR), and for these pictures I used a macro lens (Canon 60mm EF-S). Probably the most important thing (besides having a camera/lens that can focus close in) is having enough light so you can use a fast shutter speed. I used an on-camera flash (Canon 580EXII) with a diffuser attached to bounce the light off the walls of the room (to minimize the shadows caused by a typical flash-straight-in-the-face shot). But even a typical built-in flash on a point-and-shoot can do wonders at helping freeze motion. Or just use a really sunny and bright room. And you don’t need a DSLR and fancy lens to get good pictures of rats and mice; point and shoots can do great work too.
Oh, and another secret: once you know you can get well exposed, motion-frozen pictures, take a LOT of them. It’s really hard to focus up close, and you’ll get dozens of pictures of out of focus mouse tails or whiskers with nothing else in the frame 🙂
Let me know if you have any other questions!
These are the most adorable pictures of mice I have ever seen. I absolutely love these! You have definitely inspired me to adopt some mice of my own. 🙂 Great work!!
Thanks 🙂 Mice do make wonderful pets!
Hi, thanks for this post and sharing the gorgeous pictures of your little mice. We sadly lost two to tumours recently which left one, so we got her three buddies and last night, after all the prep involved, we were able to introduce them all. (They could teach humans a thing or two about getting along, there hasn’t been a fight or a squeak out of them!) I was previously neglecting the fact that light is so important and was expecting miracles in low light from my dslr but I’m hopeful of getting some good close ups now that I’ve read your article!
Thanks! See my prior comment for the lighting setup I used for these shots; adding light will definitely help!