Dog owners aside, most pets don’t really listen to their owners. Sure, cats will come for a treat, but often it’s dependent on their mood! So, what’s a pet owner to do when you want some good pet photos? I’m going to share five tips for great pet snapshots (this is a revised list from way back in 2006).
Now, I can’t promise these tricks will word without fail, but they should help you get more used to the idea of photographing something that won’t sit pretty for the camera, like people. Hmm, scratch that — a lot of kids don’t want to sit still for the camera either, right? I’ve covered that in other posts, so today, let’s stick with the topic at hand. Pets. Here are my 5 tips for great pet snapshots!
Step 1: Introduce your pet to the camera
This tip is an obvious one, but sometimes even I have to remind myself of it. The first few times you pull out your trusty camera, your pet probably will be excited or fearful — remember, even though you know what a camera is, your pet either thinks it’s a cool new toy or a one-eyed monster.
Give him some time to get used to the thing before you start clicking away, it usually helps.
Step 2: See how your pet reacts to having his picture taken
Try taking a FEW pictures with him nearby — and see what happens. You may have to distract your pet away from the camera by dangling an enticing toy.
When I initially tried to photograph our cats, I had to resort to distraction — those cameras just look like too much fun! Once your pet is used to a camera being around, you’ll find many cute photo ops…
Step 3: Keep your camera handy!
This of key importance — chances are if you haven’t prompted your pet to do something cute, you won’t have your camera ready. I know, it’s amazing that “hold on kitty, let me take a picture” doesn’t work.
When your pet is sleeping or has just woken up, he’s a whole lot easier to photograph than when he’s playing with that fun toy. Know your pet’s behavior and take advantage of his lazy moments.
Step 4: Get closer to your pet
Sometimes getting on eye level with your pet can make the difference. These pictures I’m sharing of Jake were taken quite low to the ground, from a short distance.
Instead of taking a far-away picture that shows your pet as a furry dot, take some time to sneak up a little closer. With patience and persistence, you’ll get some really great snapshots.
Step 5: Try not to use your flash
You know that “red-eye” feature on your camera? Well, just like people’s eyes don’t always photograph very well with that flash on your camera, neither will your pet’s.
If possible, photograph your pet while he’s basking in the sun, or while outside in your backyard. That way you’ll have enough light so that your pet’s eyes will look normal.
Have more ideas for getting pet photos?
I’m sure you’ll think of some great tips to add to this list — as you find more, feel free to comment or let me know! Hopefully though, I’ve given you enough great ideas to get started — remember, the most important thing is to make sure that both you and your pet have fun.