If you are a pet parent, you love taking pictures of your pets. However, often, they come out looking nothing like the photos professional photographers take. The good news is that we can all learn to take cute pictures with our pets without needing expensive gear. Whether you are using your phone or a camera, here are 7 tips to help take your pet photography to the next level.
TIP #1 – PATIENCE
If there is anything I have learned from taking photos of pets is that you much be extremely patient. Pets are not like humans where you can usually tell them what pose you want them to strike. With pets, you may have the perfect shot in frame and right before you take the photo, your pet will move because at the end of the day, a pet, especially if you have a cat, will always do whatever they please. To not be disappointed and give up, you must understand that it is going to be a high failure process and be willing to be okay with that.
TIP #2 – BACKGROUND
One of the most important factors when it comes to taking great pictures, in general, is the background. I have seen many great photos ruined by either a very busy background or something like a trash can or socks on the floor. Before you start taking photos, always make sure that there isn’t anything in the background that could ruin the photo.
TIP #3 – LIGHTING
Lighting is a key factor when it comes to having a successful photoshoot. Our first recommendation is to take advantage of natural lighting. The light from the sun bounces off the camera subject and makes sure that the object is more in focus from the front than from the back, which in turn helps produce high-quality photos.
For those without great natural lighting coming into the house, a ring light could be a good alternative. Just like natural lighting, a ring light helps cast an even light onto the subject and reduces shadows in the face while illuminating the eyes. Another benefits of a ring light is that you can use it at any time. Without natural lighting, you are limited to only daytime, but with a ring light, you can have a photoshoot any time of day or night.
TIP #4 – GET A TRIPOD
Whether you are taking a picture of your pet or with your pet, a tripod is an accessory that could come in handy. Having your camera or phone on a tripod increases your chances of taking a great photo because the tripod minimizes the risk of any movement. Most tripods come with Bluetooth remotes that can be connected to your phone so you can either take photos of your pet or you can just set up the tripod and go play with your pet while the tripod takes photos for you.
TIP #5 – USE FAST SHUTTER SPEED
When you use a fast shutter speed, you can eliminate motion from fast-moving objects. Using a fast shutter speed is very crucial when it comes to pet photography because many pets have a hard time staying still for extended periods of time. For example, if you’re wanting great action shots with your dog’s favorite fetch toy, a shutter speed of 1/1000 and up will help you get that perfect shot! If you don’t have a camera, don’t worry! You can always download apps such as lensbuddy to allow you to get these setting using your phone.
TIP #6 – GET ON YOUR PETS LEVEL
A common mistake people make when photographing their pets is taking the photos from a standing perspective. While these types of photographs may be cute and funny, they do not showcase the personality of the pet. When you get to your pet’s level, you can fully focus their eyes while showing more in the background. Connecting the foreground, midground, and background, helps give a sense of depth and forces the viewer to move their eyes around the photo.
TIP #7 – GIVE THEM A TREAT!
If there is anything that will make your pet comfortable and engaged during the process, it is treats! Rewarding your pet with treats will motivate them to keep going and can also help get candid shots of them enjoying it; and to be honest, who wouldn’t be motivated by food to keep working?
Pet photography is very much like human photography. The only differences is that, unlike humans, pets will not always follow your commands. With just a camera, or phone, and a sprinkle of patience, we can all be on our way to taking and sharing amazing photos of our pets.
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