Snap Those Paws: Tips for Pet Photography

pet photography

Patricia Aleckzandra Tenioso |

Like us humans, pets have unique characteristic that can be interesting when captured in pictures. They can provide a wide range of photographs – from cute to dynamic. Animals can make interesting subjects creating interesting photos as well. That is why it is fun taking their pictures. Yet, photographing pets can be challenging. This is one of many reasons why owners take their pets to professional pet photographers.

While it is true that a lot of people chose to bring their pets to pet studios, there are also people who would want to take the photos by themselves. With a little preparation and plenty of patience, you should be able to achieve similar results yourself. Here are few tips to capture some striking photos of your “bestfur for life”:

pet photographyTip #1: Use Natural Light. If possible, always use natural light when photographing pets. Avoid using harsh flash. This may harm both your pet and photo. Flashes may scare your pets or get them nervous and hide. Harsh flashes may annoy your pet causing it to be vicious and irritated. Flashes can also create red-eye problems with some animals. Avoid using flashes on tanks and metal cages or beams because it can reflect the flash making an unsightly white hotspot. Prefer outdoor light as much as possible because it is the best natural light option but avoid direct sunlight. Direct sunlight may cause alteration in natural color and increase in contrast between shadow and light which may hide some features. If you will take photos indoor, try to position your subject near well-lit windows or in a room with plenty of natural light coming in.

Tip #2: Characterization. What best way to photograph your pets is to show them their character? Shoot for candid shots of your pet to show their natural behavior. Think of behavior that makes your pet unique from others. If you’re an owner of a lazy dog, capture your pet yawning. Capture the most interesting expression or pose of your pet. To get this, keep them as comfortable and at ease as possible. Have their favorite treat or toy ready to get their attention. Do not be afraid to make funny faces or noises to catch their attention.

Tip #3: Be Quick. You need to be quick to capture their moments. Unlike humans, pets do not know why they pose for the camera. Animals can be easily distracted outdoors. So, one should be patient enough and quick to get better shoots for their subject. One way of photographing them is to take as much picture as you can with them. This will provide more option of pictures and varieties of shoots.

pet photographyTip #4: Go Micro.
Show details of your pet – whether it’s his green and blue eyes, or pink cute nose. Focus on the little things about your pet and make them the star of your photo. One good part to take a picture with is its eyes. Animals can have very expressive eyes. If doing such shots, make sure that you keep the photo tack sharp to highlight its emotions. Close-up shots of pets make good animal portraits. Of course, do not expect your pet to behave. Have someone to help you out on holding them or making them still in pictures.

Tip #5:  Level with Them. In other words, use your pet’s eye perspective. Get close and get low. Standing up or looking down at your pets may cause photos to look in a “human perspective” making them look like snapshots and not portraits. Don’t be afraid to lie down on the ground to have more interesting photos. Get as close to their kevel as possible.

Tip #6: Know which Equipment. There are different camera bodies and lenses you can choose from when selecting the right equipment to use. Be knowledgeable with what lens to use at a specific shot. If you are taking shots that requires you to shoot far from your subject, use a telephoto lens. For good portrait shots, you can use a standard lens which can work quickly in low light conditions without needing a flash. Knowing your equipment also means being familiar with the correct setting of your camera. Use a fast shutter speed to capture your pet in motion while a standard lens if aiming for good portraits and it can work in low light conditions without needing a flash.

Tip #7: Have Fun. Experiment with different angles and light. Play with them and have them dressed in your favorite superhero or favorite movie character. Try out different camera angle or change perspective when taking shots of your pet. Take photos from above, below, in front, or even behind. Get your creative juices working to produce interesting shots. Photograph parts of your pet that you love from different points of view.

pet photography