6 Tips for Better Pet Photos

We love our pets, they’re part of our family and our everyday life. Those cute little kitties and crazy canines bring us a lot of joy and happiness. Here are 6 tips to help you capture those little personalities for a lifetime of memories.

  1. Patience is a virtue – Unless your pet is very well trained, the odds of them doing exactly what you want when you want them to are very slim. Take your time, relax and go with the flow. You can encourage them to get in certain positions, but you’re better off letting nature take its course. Try photographing them during normal activities rather than creating a photo session. To get their attention, try squeaking their favorite toy just before you press the shutter button. Simply calling their name or making an unusual sound may help to create an inquisitive expression.
  2. How low can you go – So many people photograph their pets from a standing position. This is how we normally see them so we think this is how they should be photographed. Let’s try something different. Get down on the ground so you’re eye level with them. It will give you a new perspective and give your photos a sense of intimacy.
  3. I’m ready for my close-up – Now that you’re down on the ground, try moving in closer or zooming in on your pet. Fill the frame with that cute fuzzy face. It helps to eliminate distracting backgrounds and adds warmth to your photos.
  4. Don’t distract me – Busy backgrounds can decrease the impact of your photos. As mentioned above, getting in closer or zooming in will help but also try adjusting your aperture to soften the background. Try using the largest aperture setting (smallest f-stop number) your camera and lens will allow. The smaller the number the shallower the depth of field and the softer or more blurry the background will be. The soft background will help focus the viewers attention on your furry subject.
  5. It’s play time – Our pets love to run and play so capture them having fun. Does Fido love to fetch the ball? Have someone throw it and follow (pan) the action with your camera. Do this a few times adjusting the focus and exposure then fire away. Fast shutter speeds will stop Fido in mid stride where slower shutter speeds will give your photos a sense of motion by blurring the background. This takes a lot of practice and some planning but can be lots of fun too.
  6. How big is your memory card – You’re never going to get the perfect shot the first time, or the second time or the third time for that matter. Take lots of shots. As many as you can and as many different ways that you can. Try different camera angles and exposure settings. Try different activities with your pet. Experiment and have fun! In the end you’ll have a memory card full of images and a few great memories for a lifetime.

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