Take Portraits of your favourite cat or dog is not just a case of being snap happy and that will do. I my experience it is quite similar to trying to capture young children / toddlers that just do not want to stay still. Let them just do their own thing and you will be able to capture the true character of the cat, dog or which ever animal it is. The image above is of a previous dog of mine, he had just settled down for a snooze just before the shot was taken. The original image was one of colour, but it did not do the image any justice. So I made it a monochrome with sepia toning.
With this portrait of a juvenile Bald Eagle, it is all about the sharpness of the subject. The most important thing to remember is to focus on the eye. Get the eye pin sharp and the rest of the job is just about composing the image. When focusing on the eye of the subject make sure you try and get a catch light in the eye. By catch light I mean catch some light to give it life.