If you’re like most pet owners, then pet photography of Fido or Kitty is one of the ways you express your love and recognize your pet (or pets) as a member of the family. With the help of the tips in this article, you can capture the best possible photos of your pets being playful and loving and looking healthy, happy and beautiful.
Your first thought for pet photography may be a formal, full-body pose. You should certainly try to take some pet photographs of that type, but pets are like humans: they are not always comfortable posing formally and those photos don’t always reveal the unique personality of your pet. In fact, you’ll shoot better pet photographs if you first forget about the camera and concentrate on studying your pet, its personality, energy level, favorite activities, what it does during a typical day, etc. You’ll discover the clues to the best places, times of the day and other factors that will make Fido or Kitty a star of your pet photography.
For example, pet photography may be easier if your dog or cat likes to rest often in one specific spot. You’ll then be able to determine in advance the best time of the day to shoot it there, in terms of lighting, background, etc. Your pet may be the very active type. It shows its personality when aggressively playing with toys, exploring the backyard or running through the dog park with other dogs. Taking spontaneous, candid pet photography when they are unaware of your presence is likely to produce the most creative and memorable images, but that kind of pet photography requires a bit more energy on your part.
Regardless of the personality of your pet or the kind of pet photography you’re able to take, there are some specific tips that are critical to shooting better pictures of your pets. Maybe, the most important is to photograph them at their level. This is where some of your energy is required. Go where they go! Kneel or lay on the carpet with them. Crawl across the grass in the park to photograph your dog digging or playing with another dog. Lay in front of the doghouse in the backyard. Stand on a ladder to photograph your cat on a shelf or on top of tall furniture. When you enter their world, you’ll discover that you can be much closer, so you can capture a precious or unique facial expression. You can make this a bit easier by using a zoom lens.
Another important method to improve your pet photography is to be interactive. When you’re on the carpet or grass with your pet, start to play with them, generate a little excitement. With the small size and lightness of digital cameras, you can include one of your hands with a favorite toy in the frame, while you shoot very interactive pet photos with the other hand. What can set your pet photographs apart from most others is to add family members and friends to the pictures. This is another way to use the interaction between humans and pets to make them more relaxed and occupied, so you can take some of those excellent spontaneous pet photos.
Pet photography can also be improved with a few technical methods. A flash may help, but it could also startle your pet. You may want to see how it reacts to a flash before using it during a photography session. If you have a very active pet, then learn how to shoot your digital camera at higher shutter speeds, so you freeze that action. Those could easily become some of your favorite pet photos. Try a wide-angle lens that will allow you to be even closer to your pet and take some very creative pet photography.