You love capturing memorable moments with your camera, and you’ve become quite the amateur photographer–snapping awesome shots at family outings, sporting events, and special gatherings. However, there is one part of your family that seems to be missing from most of your photos– your pets. You adore your pets and you’ve tried to capture them in their most memorable moments, but your photos never seem to do them justice. Pet photography can be tricky, but we have a few tips for you to try next time you want to get some shots of your furry friend:
1. Capture their personality. You love your pet for all their quirky little traits. Photos that capture those moments effectively show the audience your pet’s unique personality traits and tell a story about what you see at home every day.
2. The eyes are a window. You’ve heard the saying “the eyes are the windows to the soul”- well, that’s certainly true when we’re talking about animals. Our pet’s eyes can tell us a lot about their emotions. Everyone has seen the infamous sad puppy dog eyes and the mischievous glint that is ever-present in many a cat’s eyea. Zero in on those eyes and be amazed at the dramatic results.
3. Avoid flash. Flash should never be used with pet photography unless it is absolutely necessary. The bright (and sometimes noisy) flash frightens many animals, and you’ll just end up having a bunch of photos of them running away from you. Even if they aren’t afraid of the flash, it often ruins the quality of your pet photos. Eyes almost always end up red, and many fur colors (especially white) appear washed out and drab with a bright flash.
4. Get on the same level. Photos taken from your normal stance will appear too “human”. If you get down on your pet’s level, your perspective will be that of your pet’s “world”. A tiny kitten sees the world differently than you do, and being in her world will lend a unique quality to your photos.
5. Embrace the close-up. Getting a close-up of an animal is quite challenging, especially if they are movers and shakers. A close view can avoid your pet looking lost in a photo due to their smaller size. If your pet is tough to get real close to long enough to snap a shot, try using your zoom lens to capture a close up while they are engaged in a favorite activity. The zoom lens can also isolate your pet and blur the background to make them the center of attention.
6. Action shot! Another challenge that constant movement presents when photographing animals is capturing a crisp shot. A great action shot is perfect for showing your pet’s personality, but using your camera appropriately is key. A fast shutter speed is required for capturing action without blur, and many digital cameras today have special modes created specifically for this.
7. Location, context, and fun. Choosing a location for your pet photography is important for your finished product. A simple background is often the best choice, as it doesn’t distract from the subject of the photograph-your pet! Your location might have special meaning for you and your pet, and it should be a place where your pet is comfortable. Photographing your pet is a fun experience, and should be treated as such. Bring some of your pet’s favorite toys and don’t be afraid to roll around and get goofy while you capture some shots. Use a treat to hold their attention while you snap away, and get some shots of you and your pet having a good time. Your photos will show the fun atmosphere that you have created with your pet, and capture real moments that will last a lifetime.