9 Tips for Better Pet Photos
Cute, adoring and adorable – how can you possibly go wrong with a picture of a cuddly puppy or fur-ball of a kitten? Well, it’s not always so easy to get that purrfect shot. Here are a few tips for your next photo shoot with the four-legged family member.
1 – Use Natural Light:
Set up outside or near a large window with lots of natural light. The light should be coming from behind you or slightly to the side as you face your pet. Avoid direct sunlight as it is too glaring and can alter the natural coloring of your pet. Try not to use the flash since it is hard to avoid red eye, and the flash distorts coloring and shading. (Unless your pet is black, in which case the direct sunlight or even the flash can help bring out the shading and details of her coat more).
2 – Clear the clutter:
Survey the area behind your pet and make sure the background is uncluttered. You don’t want the magazine rack or wild fabric on the sofa to detract from the portrait. If need be, drape solid colored sheets over furniture to help it fade into the distance.
A kitten in a big boot or a puppy in a basket can add a whole new level of cuteness to your shot.
4 – Keep the Eyes Sharp:
Focus on your pet’s eyes to capture their essence – the eyes are the window to the soul. Zoom in for good face shots; and try a 3/4 view as well as directly in front. Experiment with some close ups using the macro setting or lens on your camera – let their face and fur fill the whole frame.
5 – Pick the setting:
Sometimes it is best to wait for your pet to be settled somewhere and go to them. Get down to their level – sit or lie down to get the best angle.
A yawn for the lazy or sleepy pet, a head tilt from your curious terrier, on their back and begging for a belly rub – pick a pose that shows of who she really is. Mix it up and try a variety of poses.
7 – Enlist a helper:
An assistant with a supply of toys treats is a valuable asset. They can hold and then let go just as you snap, or get the pet’s attention with a toy. Try surprising your pet a bit by letting them settle into a comfy position or play by themselves for a moment, then when you have the shot set up have your assistant call their name or shake the treat bag to get their attention and snap the shot as they look up.
Have your helper take some pictures with you in the shot, too. Even if your face itsn’t in the shot, a photo of you stroking your pet or lieing next to her on the floor can add a whole new element to the end results.
9 – Patience is key!
Just like taking photos of small children, plan on taking many shots and having lots of patience. It can take 20 snaps of the camera to get one good photo. If your camera has an “action” function that will snap a series of photos, give that a try to capture just the right image as your pet rolls over or plays with a toy.
Our furry family members are unique members of our family. Creating portraits of them can be fun – and you will be so happy that you took the time to include them in the family photo album!