How to Take Good Pictures of Your Pets!
8 November, 2017
Guest Blog by Sloan McKinney
So, you want to take some pictures of your family pet? While it’s a great idea to capture some beautiful images of the four-legged member of your household, there are some things you’ll want to keep in mind if you want pictures that are definite keepers and social media-worthy.
You don’t have to be a professional to get great results — you just need the right strategy and technique. For pictures of your pet that you’ll be proud of, check out the following tips:
Consider Your Pet’s Personality
The first thing you’ll want to do is reflect on your pet’s personality what makes your cat, dog, ferret, or other animal what it is? If your pet loves nothing more than to eat and to lounge around its food and water bowls, then it makes sense to incorporate this into your pictures by, for instance, snapping pictures when your dog is eating, drinking, or relaxing in its favorite spot. If your pet is a bundle of energy, then perhaps the perfect backdrop for your pet photos is the neighborhood park.
You’ll get to take pictures in an environment where your pet’s personality will shine through, which will lead to authentic photos that tell a story. A good way to determine your dog’s personality is to consider its breed. French bulldogs, for instance, are known as companion dogs, have a reputation for being mischievous and clownish, and love to be the center of attention, and are quite comfortable being around people. So, take into account the inherent characteristics of your pet’s breed, and use this data to take some interesting pictures.
Up Close & Personal
Since pets tend to be smaller than humans, it’s important that you make an effort to get up close before taking pictures of your pet. If you’re too far away, your cat, dog, or other animal will end up melding into their surroundings rather than serving as the chief component. While you’re at it, crouch down so that you’re at eye-level with your pet. If this is difficult, put your pet on the sofa or on another surface that makes it easier for you to get down to its level to capture how things look from your pet’s vantage point. This will make for better pics.
Lighting is also of importance. However, given that pets can be easily distracted and even startled, you’d probably be best served by avoiding the flash feature on your camera. In addition to these potential problems, using flash can ruin your pet pictures by creating a red-eye situation where your pet will be depicted with what looks like red eyes. You can avoid the need for using flash if you take your pet pictures outside where you’ll benefit from natural light.
While it can be fun to observe your pet’s antics and busy lifestyle, this movement can be frustrating if you’re trying to take some good pet pictures. One way to capture great photos of a dog that is always on the move is to select a quicker shutter speed on your camera, which will essentially freeze your pet’s movement to capture nice photos. Whatever camera you have, find out how to choose the fastest shutter speed to make the most of your photo shoot.
Beware of Background
Be purposeful when selecting the background for pet pictures. If you’re using a point-and-shoot type of camera, position your dog no fewer than 12 feet in front of what you want to use as a background. This will ensure that your dog, cat, or other animal will be more in focus than the background. Also, ensure that the background is a different color than is your pet — so, for instance, don’t take pics of a white dog in front of a mostly white background. Otherwise, your pet will almost meld into the background, which won’t make for the most compelling of photos.
With these tips, you’ll be well on your way towards taking good pet pictures that you’ll be proud of. One more recommendation would be to take way more pictures than you think you’ll actually need since it will give you more options when you start to sort through the ones you’ve taken.
Sloan McKinney is a journalist based in Southern California. After writing about pop culture for a number of years, she has recently begun writing for a new audience. Inspired by DeAnthony, her cat, as well as her dog Max, Sloan now hopes to help other pet owners guarantee their animal companions happy and healthy lives.
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