The art of photography deals with capturing a moment in an effort to freeze time.
Photo once clicked immortalize a frame forever. It is one thing to capture a portrait, but an entirely different ordeal to capture live animals and babies. The difficulty in capturing ‘petographs’ (photograph for pets) lies in the uncertainty of their movements and mastering the right time to capture.
When we capture a landscape, for example, we are choosing the frame, the time, and the subject’s position. In contrast, when we capture pets, we have no control over their movements most of the time.
To optimize these factors and get beautiful shots of our adorable pets we need to keep in mind certain factors and points. The details of which are provided below.
Hope you find these pet photography tips really handy and useful. Take a look below:
- Go for digital cameras that can help you control the different settings for fast-moving pets. It makes the matter easier.
- Choose a location that has less distraction for the pets. If they are in new surroundings give them ample time to inspect it before delving to shoot.
- Always study the pets you are going to photograph so that you are accustomed to their behavior. Observing them minutely for some minutes will also be beneficial to chalk out the shots. They can be very unique.
- Choose natural daylight for photography of your pets. Sunlight helps to brighten the tone of the picture manifold times. A golden retriever will shine in the sun.
- While scheduling the shoot make sure the pet is in good health. A wary looking pet will never give good shots. Make sure the subject is lively and in a good mood also.
- Use a lens with a wide aperture to take wide-angle shots such that there is more depth in the photos. Blurred background and the focused subject will make up for a great photo.
- Use a zooming lens…this will make it easier to stay away from the pets. You will be able to take more candid shots then they won’t be distracted by you.
- Keep your shutter speed high that will allow the frequent movements of the pets to be easily captured.
- Try to keep the comfort level of the furry friends intact. Either shoot them in their own areas or take their favorite people along while shooting them.
- If you are a new face-first try to create a bond with the pets. Nothing can get worse than instigating irritation in your subjects. Surely you don’t want fidgety pets for your shots.
- Keep lots of pet treats handy. Treats can get your furry friends really happy and excited…enabling you to capture candid shots easily.
- Don’t use flash on the pets directly…the harsh light can easily agitate their sensitive eyes and also create scary reflections.
- Bend down to the level of pets…that is the best way to capture them- through their level of sight…it adds character to the photo and speaks a story.
- Make use of polarising lens to reduce the glare from natural sunlight.
- Try to darken the sky so that in broad daylight your pet shines brighter than the sun.
- If your pet has a dark fur then slightly overexpose the frame to capture the depth of their silhouette.
- If your pet has light fur then slightly underexpose the frame to get a better contrast in the frame.
- Choose a shadowy location to bring out the nuanced details around your pet.
- To capture photos indoors, use ample off-camera light source…this will create a soothing interplay of light and dark effects.
- To capture the pet in action, use a sports-suitable camera that is well equipped to capture fast moving subjects.
- Use Burst mode for action shots to quickly capture a range of motions of your pet. This will save the time wasted in readjusting your camera setting every single time.
- Use ‘continuous focus’ to keep your lens focussed on your constantly fidgety subject.
- To capture authentic expressions of your pet, randomly click some images and sort out the best candid at your leisure. Shoot them when they are relaxing and yawning for some uber adorable clicks.
- If your pet is larger than the average cat or dog, a horse for instance, then use a long lens to capture them.
- Using a wide aperture to click a horse will create a lot of distortion in the image. avoid wide aperture for larger animals.
- When you encounter an active pet, quickly go for the action shots. When you find the pet calm, that’s when you get the best pet portrait.
- Try not to overexcite the pets just before the shoot. Don’t pet them too much. Try to act normally especially if you are a stranger to the animal.
- For a really composed portrait make sure the pet is not in a playful mode. When they are tired from playing that will be your best call to take portraits.
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- Don’t agitate the pet by constantly forcing them to repeat a posture or pose. This will reflect on their body language and facial expressions. Remember, the key to great pet photography is to capture them in their natural demeanor, not a forced one.
- The best way to capture somebody else’s pet is to first let them get comfortable with you. Allow them to sniff you and let them get accustomed to you and your equipment. Then click them with ease.
- Keep your cleaning cloth and solution handy in case you find a curious nose poking at the lens now and then.
- Always be well equipped with protective covers for your shooting gears in case of any untoward incident. You never know how goofy a pet can turn!
- If you are shooting a proud animal like a cat, the best shots can be taken while you move along with them. They are exquisite creatures who can get finicky in no time…so just go with her/his flow.
- When you focus on the pet, please be considerate towards the background also. A great pic can get totally ruined if you have a clumsy background.
- To obtain a really attractive composition for your pic, try to find a prop that matches the fur color of your furry buddy and marvel at the instant drama!
- To take memorable shots focus on the sharpest feature of your pet. For instance, if he/she has dramatic ears then take a close up shot of the same while defocussing the rest of its body.
- Create an entire album but capturing your pets in their everyday activities. It can be tiring but of your plan your shoot over a span of few days then in no time you can develop your own pet store.
- Place your pet in front of a mirror to capture funny shots while they try to play with their own image.
- Use props like an umbrella or a ball or even a colorful piece of cloth to take cute pet shots.
- For larger animals try placing a flower/leaf tiara over their heads to capture mesmerizing pics.
- Utilize the effect of light and shadow especially when you shoot indoor. Although you need some trick to keep your pet in the perfect spot. Well, as they say, keep trying until you succeed.
- Have you ever tried to capture a pet while they are wet?..if not let me tell you, those shots turn great. You just need to keep your camera ready while you are bathing your pet. Capture them while they try to shake off water from their coat. And voila! You will get yet another candid and dramatic pic for your pet album.
- Use the zoom mode for capturing little pets like guinea pigs or rats. Going too near them can scare them so keep your distance and take candid shots.
- If you are on a whole day photo session with pets please allow them their privacy. Don’t overwork them just for the sake of your best shot. Try to keep them as relaxed as possible.
- A great shot is guaranteed if you focus on the eyes of the lovely souls. The eyes of animals are like an ocean of perspectives.
- Try to analyze the character of your subject. If you come across a playful dog then trying to capture them sitting quietly will not bring out an honest effect. So always capture them in their own characters.
- Use the macro mode when you are capturing a particular feature of your pet. This will help to highlight the desired area.
- When you want a visually pleasing bodyscape of the pet, try to defocus the background, and when taking the shot move closer to your pet. This will give a bouquet effect.
- Use a natural frame, for example, a tree branch when outside or a window sill while inside, to improve the texture of your photo.
- Pet photography is an interesting genre. There are a lot of things to learn and try. If you find any of the tips useful then let us know in the comments. If you know anything more about pet photography we would love to share that as well.
What do you think about these pet photography tips? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.