There is an old saying, “never work with pets or children,” but luckily that doesn’t have to be true. If you have pets and want to display their pictures in your home, there is an art to making your pet photography pop.
Here are a few tips to capture the perfect pet photo.
Choosing Your Location
Whether you’re photographing your pet in a studio environment or in a more natural setting, the first step is to get eye level with your subject. By doing this, you’re seeing the photo from your pet’s point of view, and that automatically makes your subject more relatable. When you shoot at eye level, you create a more powerful connection between the camera and your subject. As a result, your audience will be more connected to your photographs too.
Choosing the Right Equipment
Most cameras will help you get the perfect shot as long as you have a little patience and experiment with the settings you like. Whether you like the newest Nikon D750 or the Canon 5DS Eos, or you prefer a simple point-and-shoot – the person behind the camera is what the shot depends on. In fact, mobile photography is becoming an increasingly popular way to capture candid photos. Of course, the better the equipment, the more control you’ll have.
One thing you will want to do when using a DSLR is play with the focal length of your lens. If you choose a telephoto lens, you’re going to focus more on your pet and eliminate some of the background clutter. If you would rather shoot with a wide angle lens, you can frame the pet by focusing and him and create a bokeh effect by defocusing the background. The Nikon 18-200mm works well for shallow depth of field effects.
You might want to try experimenting with a Lensbaby, which is a creative effect lens that can help you create lovely selective focus photography and stunning bokeh effects.
Getting the Shot
There is a reason why that old saying is popular; it takes a lot of patience when working with animals. Sure, some pets will pose for you naturally and easily, but many are just as likely to walk away as soon as you take out your equipment.
Don’t worry! There are a couple of tried and true ways you can get the perfect shot. If a candid shot is what your’e after, try following your pet around and be ready to snap a pic. Or, if you have a specific pose in mind, approach your pet when he is already settled into a specific spot. Try to think outside of the box; instead of the usual “pet sitting on the floor or on his bed” shot, try taking your pet to a field with flowers or if it’s allowed, on the beach. Of course, always make sure your pet is on a leash and safe if you are in a public place, especially one he is unfamiliar with. With a little bit of preparation on your end, you’re more likely to capture a magical shot like your dog wrestling with a favorite toy or your cat with his paw in the fish tank.
Once you’ve captured that perfect moment, you’ll want to display it using on the best quality canvas or framed print. Can’t decide on just one photo? Try incorporating your top five or six photos into a photo collage.