Over the years I have photographed hundreds of dogs (no exaggeration) and when I am in England, it is still my favourite type of photography!
We all love our pets dearly but let’s be honest, they can be a nightmare to photograph! Often they want to be right up in your camera, licking your face or maybe they don’t want to know you at all! Whether you are using your mobile phone or a camera, here are 5 tips to help you take better photographs of your pet...
1. Use a trusty assistant – Request the help of someone your pet is comfortable with. Ask them to stand behind you, holding a treat or squeaky toy just above your head as you take the photo. This way your pet should be looking and concentrating so it should be easier to get a shot of them looking straight at the camera.
2. Consider your background - It’s really worth taking a few moments to consider what is going on around you and behind your pet. Try to avoid things in the background that will distract from the photo of your pet. Look for an area that will give the idea of where the image was taken or that conveys a feeling. If you would like the setting to look very natural perhaps go to a park or woods.
I also love photographing dogs in front of bright backgrounds, they can also work really well! Keep your eyes out when walking around town for interesting graffiti or coloured walls.
3. Get down to their level – One of the most important things to get sharp in portrait photography are the eyes. Get down on a level with your pet so you are at their eye level. It will completely transform the look and feel of the image! And if they are doing something they shouldn't be doing, it will show off their true character!
4. Lighting – Lighting is always important in photography but especially so if your pet is an indoor one. Try putting them in the brightest part of the house, preferably when it is sunny. This photo was taken next to a full-length garden/patio door. It was the only part of the house bright enough to do Morgan justice!
5. Catch the funny moments – Don’t get stressed when things don’t go quite to plan, just see it as an opportunity to get some natural and funny images, sometimes they are the best anyway. In this photo, Rocco is wanting to do his own thing, but that’s ok!!! It makes for a lovely relaxed and fun photo that captures a moment in time!
All these tips can also be applied to photographing other types of pets or even children. Don’t forget the important thing is to have fun and practice. Why not try these tips one at a time and once you’ve nailed it, move on to the next one. And even if you do not have your own pet why not give it a go with a friend or relatives cat or dog.
If you would like to improve your pet photography beyond the basics please give me a bell, I’d be happy to help you with the next stage.