We all know the value of taking family portraits and capturing special family moments. It is so important to capture images of our loved ones, so we can keep and cherish those precious memories even after our own memories start to fade.
Since many of us consider our pets to be part of the family, it is just as important to have great pictures of them too! It can be an easy thing to forget to do, but taking the time to get great photos of your pets now will be a decision that you will always be so grateful you made.
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Britta writes……… The idea for this post was born a few weeks ago when I was visiting my good friend Jennifer at her apartment. I saw that she had two beautiful portraits of her dogs Dixie and Atlas hanging together on one of the walls. I loved the photos, and I thought it was such a wonderful idea to have a great photo of your pet (or pets!) to help decorate your home. I was so curious to find out how she was able to capture these wonderful photos of her dogs, and she kindly agreed to share her tips and photos with me so I could pass them on to all of you!
With Jennifer’s help, I’ve gathered some pet photography tips for two types of photos – a more formal portrait, and everyday snapshots.
Tips For A Great Pet Portrait
- As with any portrait, the most important thing is finding a good source of natural light, like a big window. Using the flash when shooting has a tendency to create “red-eye” (especially with dogs!) and can even frighten or stress your pet. Shooting with natural light will eliminate those concerns and leave you with a beautifully lit portrait.
- A blank stretch of wall in any color can make a great backdrop for a pet portrait. Having a minimal backdrop will ensure that your pet is the star of the photo.
- Use a tripod! The key to getting a great pet portrait is patience and taking a lot of photos, and using a tripod will help keep each shot consistent. You’ll want to set the tripod up, make sure the focus is correct, and make sure the lighting is right BEFORE your pet is in the room with you. Your pet and your sanity will thank you!
- Isolate your pet when it comes time to take their photo. Removing them from other family members or other animals will reduce distractions and maximize their ability to focus on you.
- Holding a treat or a toy by the camera is a great way to keep their eyes facing the right direction. Also, if your camera has a setting where it makes a beeping noise before taking a picture, have that turned on. The beeping sound will help to attract your pet’s attention in the right direction.
- Remember the power of editing. The photos don’t have to be absolutely perfect right when you take them! You can alter colors and cropping afterward to achieve the look you want.
Tips For A Great Pet Snapshot
- Some of the best photos of anyone, human or otherwise, happen when the subject of the photo is happy or at ease. So think of the places that your pet loves, and then take pictures of your pet there. If your pet loves the dog park, take some photos there with your phone or a point-and-shoot. Happy pets make great photos!
- Experiment with the angle of your pictures. Usually when we take pictures of our pets, we’re shooting from our level down to theirs. Try bending over or sitting down to get closer to their eye level, and shooting pictures that way. You might find that your pictures feel more compelling or more representative of your pet this way.
- Try using “burst mode” on your phone or camera to capture your pet in action. This can be a great tool for getting pictures of your pet running or playing.
- Capture their quirks! If your pet has an odd or silly habit, like peeking over the edge of your bed in the morning to see if you’re awake yet, try to get a picture of it. Capturing your pet’s quirks captures their personality, and those are the kinds of pictures that you and your family will cherish forever!