People have had pets for thousands of years. And since the camera was invented, pets became the subject of our photographs as well. Famous photographers like Elvis Dzebic are regularly asked to snap shots of people’s pets. Of course, with almost everybody owning a DSLR nowadays, they also want to try snapping themselves. To do this properly, simply follow these 10 tips.
10 Top Pet Photography Tips
- Breathe and relax. Concentrate on nothing but what you are trying to do – photographing your pet. The bills can wait a couple of minutes, as can the housework. Deep breath, study your pet, and think about what you are trying to capture. Focus on the moment!
- Get to know your camera. Grab the manual and help yourself figure out what the different settings are, and which setting is best for your particular environment. Photographing a dog in action outside, for instance, requires a different setting than photographing a resting dog inside your home.
- Make sure the shutter speed is at 1/250 of a second at the very least. You should know how to do this, since you checked your manual! If you are using point and shoot, use your speed dial. This is what will give you clean, crisp, non-blurry images.
- Stop to look at the background. Too many pet pictures are ruined because the background is hideous.
- Make sure you’re as close as possible to your pet. This makes the picture look much more realistic. Plus, it gets rid of anything in the background you don’t want in your frame.
- Focus on your pet’s eyes. Try to get down so that you are at eye level with your pooch or cat, if that’s what your photographing. If your photographing a horse, you may be able to stay upright.
- A winning shot is a simple shot. It should focus on just one thing. Do you want to take a picture of your guinnea pig’s water bottle, or of your guinnea pig? You won’t be able to get two subjects in a good picture, unless both subjects are pets.
- Avoid bright light. Bright light is great for a scenic image, but terrible for a pet. Aim for late afternoon or early morning, which will stop the harsh glare. Even better is a day when it is a bit overcast, which can make it look as if your pet is in a light box.
- Get some props together, which really improves the entire expression of the image. A bright cloth moving in the breeze, a battery operated toy, a whistle, anything that attracts the attention of your animal will work. Remember that, if they get bored with it, you will need something else.
- Know what your flash range is, and don’t get out of this range.
Other than that, you need to have a bit of fun. The beauty of a DSLR is that you can take as many shots as you like, so you’re sure to grab at least a couple of good ones in there.