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Home arrow Photography Tips arrow Photographing Pets
Photography Tips For Photographing Pets

Buy-n-Shoot.com site contributor:
Total-Image Magazine By Shelton Muller


We all love our pets - whether they’re goldfish or golden retrievers. But they can be very hard to photograph. They move, they disobey, they fidget, they get distracted - and all in all behave like complete animals. But when it comes to taking their picture, this may be an advantage.

Know your pet

Every animal has its own personality. They each respond to different situations, noises, activities and people in their own way. Understanding your pet’s personality and using its own responses will give you opportunities for unique pictures of your pets.

Avoid flash

If you are indoors, use ISO 400 film and window light if possible. It’s a more natural kind of light, whereas flash always looks artificial. If you’re concerned that there’s not enough light, take one photo with flash and one without.

Get down to their level

Photographing your pets from a standing perspective can sometimes be demeaning to your animal friends. Try lying down on the floor so that you’re at eye-level with your pet. It’s a far more interesting perspective - and shows the world from your pet’s eye view!

Experiment with lenses

If you have an SLR camera which has interchangeable lenses, experiment with lenses that make the pet look a little different than they would in an everyday picture. Telephoto lenses are great for taking natural photographs as they play - especially if the photos include your children. On the other hand, wide-angle lenses are always interesting - especially with curious pets who enjoy putting their faces close to cameras!

Food for fantastic photos

Pets love food and treats help pets stay in one place so you can take several pictures. When you’re ready to take the picture, call their name to distract them from the treat. You can also take the picture while they’re waiting for their treat or to play with their favourite toy.

Make different and unusual noises

Sometimes the most interesting and revealing pictures happen when you make unusual noises - whistles, croaks, or even really bad singing! Dogs will often tilt their heads with questioning expressions. This may not work for all dogs, however. Cats, on the other hand, tend to react when you use a word or sound that you usually use to get their attention.

Shoot outdoors

Photographing outdoors is ideal - especially with dogs, because they have more room to play. Shooting outdoors also takes away the need for flash - which can be an ugly light, even for dogs! You can also move with the animal and take their picture wherever they decide to take you. This allows for photographs that reveal more of their personality.

Show they’re part of the family

Some of the most memorable pictures we take of our pets are those that show how they’ve grown into fully-fledged members of the family. Pictures showing their interaction with family members or at family events will be more interesting and precious, because they not only reveal your pet’s personality, but also how much joy he or she has brought to your family.

Always have the camera handy

Some of the best pictures of your pets can be those that are taken spontaneously. Timing is the issue and you need to be ready all the time. When your pet does something worth photographing, grab the camera and begin taking pictures. Take as many pictures as you can, because you’ll rarely get the perfect shot in one go. Photographs can include everything from chewed slippers and mangled newspapers to a playful tug of war, frisbee or ball game.

Be mobile

Dogs and cats and other pets are not inclined to sit and smile just because they’re having their picture taken. Not even humans do that! This being the case, it often helps to bend to their ways and photograph them exactly as they are. Move around with them. Pets are usually photographed best in their most comfortable environment and doing what they love to do.

 
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