Salisbury MD Photographer
Anyone think of thier pet as part of the family? I know we do. We currently have 1 dog, 3 cats, and 6 chickens. I am always taking the camera out even using just my cell phone to get pictures of them being thier normal crazy selves. These 10 tips will help you get the best photos you can get of your fuzzy fur babies. Please enjoy all my photos of the pets we have had over the years!
1. Start with Your Pet’s Personality
Think about what type of personality it has and then attempt to capture some of that in your shots. For example if everyone knows your pet as a sleepy set up your photo shoot around it’s bed or where it goes after a meal and you’ll have every chance of capturing a shot that sums up your pet. Alternatively if your pet is always on the move it might be better to do your shoot at a local park where it’s racing around, jumping for balls or playing with other animals.
2. Think about Context
Choose a place where your pet will be comfortable and at ease. For example you might have a place that you and your pet have had some special moments together that will mean a lot in the future as you look back over your photos. Lastly consider the background of your shots. Ultimately you don’t want your backgrounds to be distracting from your photo. Most of the time your best locations are the plainest ones. A large patch of green grass, a well lit room with white walls and plain is ideal.
3. Get in Close
Pets come in all shapes and sizes but in most cases they are smaller than a human and as a result they tend to end up getting a little lost in photos unless you make an effort to get up close to them. Of course getting close is not always easy, especially if you have a pet that likes to move around, but it’s worth making the effort.
4. Get On Their Level
Get down on your pets level where you can look upon them eye to eye. Images taken standing up and looking down on their level not only leave you too far away but they have a very ‘human perspective’. Getting down on your pets level means you enter their world and get a glimpse of what life looks like from their angle.
5. Mix Up Your Framing
Pets, like human subjects’ look different from different angles and framing them in a variety of ways can bring out different perspectives to your shots. In your photo shoot take some tightly cropped facial shots but also make sure you take three quarter body shots as well as full body shots. In this way you end up with a series of shots that give viewers of your photos a full perspective on who your pet is.
Light makes any photograph what it is and when it comes to pets it’s especially important. In general I wouldn’t use a flash as they tend to frighten them. The other issue with flashes is that they can create spooky red-eye problems with some animals. Natural light is a much better option than using a flash and so where possible outside photo shoots or inside by a window work best.
7. Include People
One of the best things you can do to add context to a shot is to include the special people in the life of your pet in the image. Shots with the owner or other family members interacting with your pet can make the images incredibly special for years to come. Candid shots are my favorite to really capture the character of the pet and evoke emotion.
8. Freeze the Action
Many pets present a challenge to photographers because they are active and always on the move. The key with any subject that’s on the move is to freeze their action by using a fast shutter speed. Most digital cameras these days will allow you to do that.
9. Be Playful
Pets can be playful little critters and rather than attempting to contain this to get them posed for that special shot it’s often very effective to go with their playfulness and make it a central feature of your image. Include their toys and stimulate them to look at you by making a noise.
10. Catch them Unawares
Posed shots can be fun and effective but one thing I love to do is to photograph them candidly. They are so much more like themselves when they don’t know you are there!