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Pet Photography – Taking Stunning Pictures of Pets
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Pets are very prominent members of our families around the world. They bring us much love and laughter in ways no human can. So it is vital in pet photography that our pictures of pets are carefully thought out. People share their pet portraits more than they do of their own children. Here are 7 quick pet photography tips that will help you make the pet portraits worth sharing. You might even take a pet photo that will go viral!
Always shoot from eye level or below
Unless you happen to have a horse or giraffe for a pet you will need to get down to your pet’s eye level before attempting a pet portrait. By being at eye level or lower your eyes will naturally meet in the photograph making for a much more interesting pet photo. If you shoot a cat or small dog while you are standing not only will you be too far away but you will just see their back and miss the personality of their face.
Focus on the eyes using a shallow depth of field
The eyes are where you want to focus. Use a plain background and a shallow depth of field to keep the background out of focus. The face and especially the eyes should be sharp and clear for a stunning pet portrait. Pet photography requires patience as your subject is not always cooperative. Have the camera ready at all times during your shooting day (if you have the time) as your pet has different energy levels during the day, just like you.
Take Lots of Pictures and Experiment
Take as many pictures of your pet as you can during your photo session. It will take quite a few to find just the right one to keep. Experiment with camera settings, angles, lighting and even background colors if you are able to. The more creative you are in your pet photography the better your pet portrait will be.
Fill the Frame
Get close up physically or with a zoom lens until you fill the frame with your pet’s face or body. Avoid far away shots that do not show your pet’s features or personality
Take Advantage of Back Lighting on Fur
Making pet portraits is no different than any other portrait photography, they all require proper lighting. Avoid flash if possible. Not only does it harm your pet’s sensitive eyes but it alters the natural colors in their fur. Use plenty of other lights or natural light. Back lighting will highlight the fur and give your pet a soft warm glow.
Wait for unusual poses, stretching or yawns
Once again patience is a virtue in pet photography. We all have seen the funny pet photos of kittens yawning, chipmunks stuffing their cheeks and dogs doing crazy things. These photos took time and patience to get just the right instant to take the picture. If you know your pet’s personality you will have a good idea of when the right time is.
Try Black and White
Black and white photos can capture a feeling or personality that sometimes does not come through in color. Try photographing your pet using the black and white setting to see what you are missing.
Capture interaction with a toy or friend
Some of the most cherished pet photos are pets interacting with other pets, children or their owners. Photograph your pet doing what it enjoys most even if you have to put your camera on a tripod and use the self-timer to do it.
Pets and children grow up too fast and too soon. Use these pet photography tips and take pet portraits every week if you have to until you get just a few that really capture who your pet is. You will know it when you see it. Not only is pet photography a whole lot of fun but it can be very therapeutic too.