Do you want to click some great pet photos? Wondering if you can do it by yourself or need a pet photographer for the same? I understand your difficulty; hence I will help you with your pet photography session.
Animal photography can sometimes be challenging because you can’t instruct them to act in a certain way. Yes, some pets are obedient, but not all pet owners enjoy the same privilege :P. So, you will need to apply some tricks to get the most amazing pet portraits.
Know your Subject and Aim for Candid Poses
A photographer always tries to get friendly with the subject before shooting. This makes the subject comfortable and also helps him to capture its distinct personality. The same goes for pet photography. In fact, it becomes more important to know the pet if it is not yours to plan the shoot accordingly. If the pet is very energetic, you must capture some playful shots. If he is very loving, you can capture some pet and owner shots to depict their friendly relationship. Make the photo shoot really fun and fast going as the dogs tend to get bored very quickly, so don’t waste time in adjusting your camera. You will get some fabulous pet photos if you click some candids rather than making him pose for you.
Use Natural Light
This is the First Rule of photography. Lighting should be proper for all kind of pictures. The most feasible option is shooting outdoors. The best time is after sunrise and before sunset. The golden light at these hours will look amazing in the pet photos. Cloudy weather makes the environment bit dull, but it still gives you some cool & windy pictures for your pet’s portfolio.
Proper and Safe Location
Choose the location wisely. It is the key to a proper photo shoot. Make sure that the place is safe for your pet. It should not be at risk from itself or from the environment. Also, choose a quiet location where you can work undisturbed. Take a round of the site to get familiar with the place and decide some nice spots for the shoot. The background should be clean and clutter free for pet photography.
Clear Away The Distractions
A lot of clutter in the photo session space will divert your pet’s attention. This will hinder the process and your cute companion will be engrossed in the stuff around rather than the camera. An uncluttered setting exhibits more aesthetically pleasing photos and reduces post-processing work.
Is the water hose too loud and distracting? Does the neighbor’s voice carry all the way over to the photo shoot space? This can be chaotic for your pet and result in substandard pictures. To achieve some amazing pet portraits from photos, keep the volume down and the environment zen.
Focus on Eyes
Dogs and cats have glittering and interactive eyes. A close portrait with a focus on the eyes gives an emotional touch to the picture. You must Highlight the distinct color of the eyes and different expressions that look really cute in photos. A simple puppy face might turn out to be very alluring.
The best way to obtain some fantastic photos is to bring along a few of your pet’s select favorite toys. This can be a great break from all the posing which may tire your pet. And we all know that a tired pet is not a happy one. You can use this to get a few cool candids as well. It will help in establishing the thought that a photo shoot is fun!
Reward your Pet
Get the dog to strike poses and bribe them with treats. Make sure to bring some treats with you like a sausage or a bone or a tennis ball that you know your pet really enjoys playing with. These will help you to get the pet’s attention. It’s all about keeping the pet’s focus on what you want so that you can get that look at the camera or maybe away from the camera.
Action Shots at the Beginning of the Session
The pet would not be in a mood to settle down and pose at the beginning of the shoot. The energy level is high, and it’s the best time to get some action shots clicked. You might need some help for these clicks because engaging the dog in some activity is itself a task. Play with him, make him fetch for a ball and capture the moment instantly. Call your pet from a distance, and shoot with a fast shutter speed camera settings to capture details in motion.
Another thing that you can try is running in shallow water. Dogs usually love to play in the water. So, make him do that and capture the same. The splashing water gives a candid and happy pet photo. 🙂
A lot of pets enjoy hiding in their special places. Get your camera in these spots and shoot some amazing pictures that capture your pet in their natural state. Cats, especially, enjoy hiding underneath couches or inside cupboards. Your pet chameleon will be a delight to shoot when given free rein.
The Background Game
While clicking some classic pet portraits from photos, use a plain and neutral background. This will enhance the facial features and a strong contrast will illuminate your pet in the foreground.
Ask For Help
Juggling a camera while making sure your pet is calm, cool and happy can be quite a handful. Invite over a friend or two who are animal lovers and with whom your pets are comfortable with. When shooting outdoors, you will need a friend to look over your pet and make sure they don’t run away or get into dangerous situations. Another tremendous advantage of including someone else is that they can play with the model and entertain them to help you capture the expressions you’re looking for. Get them to help you shoot some pristine pictures.
Use Props to Experiment in your Pet Photography Session
Do you want to get some crazy fun pictures of your pet? Try some props. They instantly lift the energy of the image. A prop can be anything like a hat, or a pair of goggles, or even a ball of wool. These props add that extra zest in the photos and make them absolutely different and playful. The best part is that there are no hard and fast rules regarding which props to use. Just use your imagination, be creative and go crazy experiment
Interact & Communicate
Though your goal to get some beautiful pet portraits from photos, the focus should be your pet. They don’t have a clue about what’s happening and may feel confused and frustrated. Make sure you spend enough time petting them and playing, even if that means you miss a few picture opportunities. Show some affection, put the camera down for a few minutes and let them feel loved.
Change your Perspective (Low and High)
You must find a top spot and shoot downwards. This might sound bizarre but trust me you will be amazed by the results.
Such shots not only create a sense of curiosity but also bring cuteness and innocence in the pet photos. When the dog looks up into the camera, his eyes look very inquisitive and attractive. After all, being small has its own advantages. These might be your favorite clicks of the entire pet photography.
Get down in the doggy world, lie on the floor looking straight into the dog’s eyes with the lens. This way the images have far more impact than you standing over the dog and shooting downwards. Take your lens down to eye level for a dog’s eye view. Eye-level shots are very engaging. You can also move your hands to get his attention and try to bring out that smile for a perfect shot.
Now, while lying on the floor, it can be cold, wet and if you are not comfortable, it will affect the quality of the photo. So, remember to get outdoor gear, a good jacket, good waterproof trousers and also some boots and gloves if needed. It’s essential to stay protected.
Wide-Angle Pet Photography
You can also try some wide-angle shots. These are basically some shots of your pet with its surrounding environment. Use a Lens with a short focal length to get wider fields of view. Place your camera at a lower angle and click the subject with its background. For example, a picture of your pet sitting at the beach/lakeside. It will give the impression that the dog likes to stay near the water.
Give Them Space
You must try to give the dog his comfort zone. If you roam around him with a camera pointing to his eye, he won’t be comfortable. You will not be able to get the desired shots at the desired angles. You must give him some space and stand at a distance. This will provide him with an area to play around and do all the activities that you wish to capture. You will need a high zoom camera for this purpose. It will help you get close shots by zooming in while standing away from the subject.
Relax with them in their habitat
When you cat explored every nook and cranny in your home every day, he basically owns the place. Take photos of them in their chosen areas: being naughty as they scrounge for leftovers or when they are lounging majestically on your chair.
While these tips will definitely help you with your pet photography session, the most important thing is to have fun while doing it. Play with your pet, enjoy clicking pictures and make him familiar with the process. You might not be able to get it right the first time, but don’t worry, it gets easier as you practice. If you have some more tips, then you can share with us. Once you have captured your paw, you can actually cherish the moment for eternity by converting it into a handmade portrait painting.
Also, tell us which tip was the most useful for you?