Does your pet have its Instagram page? Maybe you’re thinking of starting one and gaining thousands of followers so they can become a “pet influencer.” Or maybe you just want to take some nice-looking pet photos of yours to have as a keepsake. You don’t need a fancy camera to take great photos of your pet. Most digital or phone cameras in today’s market offer high resolutions, so you can get professional-quality shots with just about any device! Here are 5 simple tips on how to take great pet photos:
1. Get down on your pet’s level
When we take photos of our pets, often the angle is down towards them. But you should always be on an even plane with your pet and shooting from there! Try shooting from different angles to see what works. Shooting from below their level creates a sense of them towering over you, which is an interesting effect.
2. Use natural light as much as possible
It’s always best to shoot in natural light because it gives a natural feel to the photo and you won’t need to spend too much time editing. An auto setting on your camera will take care of the exposure and shutter speed needed for the environment when photographing your dog or cat. Make sure the light source is not directly behind them, as this will cause a shadowy image. For best results, photograph them when light surrounds or is directly above them.
3. Be aware of their surrounding
Find the perfect background that doesn’t distract from their natural beauty. Of course, if you're taking their photo at the moment and you can’t avoid the background, turn the “Portrait” setting on your phone or digital camera. This will blur out any noise in the background and only focus on the subject—your pet! If you’re taking their photo in your home, remove any distractions like garbage out of the frame.
4. Animals are unpredictable
Pet companions are unpredictable in their movements, so if you don’t time your shot well, you can end up with a blurry photo. Does that sound familiar? If you want them to look at you and the camera, make a funny noise or whistle. You can even hold up their favorite treats. Take the shot as soon as they look at you. If you have a “Live” or “Burst” feature on your phone or digital camera, you can take a stream of photos with just one click. Then you can choose the best photo from the stream. Snapping photos while your pet is asleep is an easy way to practice pet photography. Just turn off the sound effects!
5. Creat engaging compositions
There are a lot of rules about composition so we’ll keep it simple. It’s important to leave more negative space. Instead of filling the entire frame with your pet, leave some room around them. This will cause a less suffocating image and give it a more dramatic effect. Be mindful about cropping your pet and make sure their ears, toes, and tail are not accidentally cut off in the photo.
Pet photography can be a fun and challenging endeavor. By understanding some basic photography techniques and embracing your creativity, you can create stunning images of the furry members of your family. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty–just start taking photos and experiment with different angles and effects.
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