Can You Use A Flash On Hamsters? {How To Take Great Hamster Photos}

Would you like to take some beautiful photos of your hamster? Will flash damage your hamster’s eyes or have even worse side effects? In this article, we’ll talk about using flash on hamsters and a guide to take great hamsters photos.

Can You Use A Flash On Hamsters? Flash is not advised on hamsters. They have poor eyesight already and the bright light near their face can stun, shock and cause them to shake their heads in some cases. Use bright rooms, lamps and natural lighting instead.

What Does Flash Do To Hamsters?

Flash can be harmful to hamsters in some cases. With a little care or distance, you might still be able to use flash in some cases. You may choose to angle the flash upwards instead of directly at your hamster. You can stand at a further distance and use zoom.

Flash may cause the following effects:

  • shock
  • dizziness 
  • blurriness
  • head shaking

Hamsters are commonly known to have poor eyesight. Flash may rattle them temporarily, but there is no evidence to support long-term damage. Nonetheless, it’s best to provide other light sources.

What Can I Use Instead Of Flash On My Hamster?

Try to avoid using flash when taking pictures of your hamster. There are instances when a hamster will vigorously shake its head or body like a wet dog feverishly trying to dry itself.

Here are some suggestions with flash or other approaches to finding the perfect light:

  • Try indirect flash with an external flash unit.
  • Take the cage to a bright location first.
  • Use a lamp.
  • Keep the lights on above.
  • Switch to stronger wattage light bulbs in the room.
  • Wait for the bright moments of the day with excellent natural light.

External Flash Units

These are great to use with camera because you are in control of the direction that you wish to point the flash. You can direct it upwards or any other spot that doesn’t hit your hamster in the eyes.

Move The Cage

A temporary location change where you find great light would be a good option for the picture taking session. Once the photo shoot in this well-lit spot is complete, you can return your hamster’s home back to where it belongs.


You can choose from professional lighting units or simple lamps that are available in many shapes and sizes to fit your setting. Lamps provide steady light instead of one startling flash that may cause shock or stun your hamster leading to temporary stress or discomfort.

Room Lights

Some rooms are brighter than others. Choose the best room with the most amount of light to take your high quality hamster photos.

More Watts

Choose light bulbs that contains maximum wattage during the photo shoot. You can always switch them back out once you’re done. Try 100 watts and see if this helps brighten your photos.

Natural Light

It seems that nothing compares to the beauty of sunlight if you can catch it at the right time. Wait for the perfect moment of the day when the outdoor light shines nicely on your hamster. You can play with shade and shadows to provide depth as well.

Why Are Do Some People Say Flash Is Bad And Others Say It’s OK?

You may have found this article through an internet search and found various opposing opinions. We are not scientists, but we are experienced. Some of us who keep hamsters have witnessed the shock or temporary frustration from our hamsters when they were flashed with a camera.

Others point that their natural habitats where flashes of lightning occur and cause no damage to their eyes. The medical studies do not point to conclusive data that flash affects your hamster’s brain, eyes, heart or central nervous system.

It’s simply something that we can avoid with plenty of other alternatives if we don’t like the way our hamsters are reacting to it.

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Why Does Light Scare My Hamster?

When we enter a room and turn on the lights, it’s common to see our hamsters run and hide. Some hamsters may get excited to see you, but they still might need time to adjust to the bright light that just flicked on.

The problem is that hamsters already see poorly compared to many animals. We need to be weary of flashing bright lights at them when possible. The instinct to hide, shaking of the head and a feeling of shock are all negative reactions to light.

This may not be the case for your hamster who loves the attention, but the thought still remains that we must compensate for our hamster’s poor vision when possible.

Does Flash Cause Seizures In Hamsters?

There is no clear evidence to support flash causing seizures in hamsters. They may have their vision blurred or limited for a second or two, but direct harm from flash isn’t proven. A hamster might be:

  • confused
  • stunned
  • shocked
  • shaken up
  • disoriented
  • wanting to hide

All these reactions are not permanent, but that doesn’t mean we advise using flash directly pointed at your hamster’s eyes.

Will Flash Stress My Hamster?

Flash may cause temporary stress for a short time. You may notice that your hamster wishes to hide. Don’t expect your hamster to come to you and wish to eat immediately following a stunning flash.

Give your hamster a few moments to recover before engaging in more bonding, play or feeding. Repeated flash could stress your hamster longer and lead to excessive hiding, lethargy, fear, lack of appetite or desire to drink water.

How Can I Take A Great Photo Of My Hamster?

If you are looking for take the best photos of your hamster, then look for further. We have compiled some tips to help create stunning photos of your hamster without stunning their eyes with strong flashes pointed directly at them.

Create A Small Studio

It could be as simple as sticking some blue or green background paper to the wall or behind the cage. An external flash unit or lamp could be set up next to the background and you’re good to go!

Consider the Depth of Field

Instead of using your widest aperture on your camera’s lens, try it f/5.6 with a shutter speed of 1/200 sec. You can also set ISO640 to make the picture brighter.

Add Color

Add a colorful object like a ball or anything luminous and bright. You can create a setup where your hamster stays within the object like a piece of tupperware with a bright lid next to it. Look around your house for colorful objects to spice up the photo!

Edit Your Photo

Adjust the brightness after you have taken the photo with your phone, camera or computer. You can also work on saturation, pop and create a vignette to make your photo look professional.


We hope you and your hamster enjoy this photo shoot together. Try to avoid flash and think of other creative ideas instead. The tips provided today work well for us and provide less confusion, shock or stress for our hamsters.


Thank you for visiting for information regarding hamsters and plenty of other pets that we greatly enjoy caring for. Please check out more articles that may interest you. See you next time!