Pets are important members of our homes. It is only natural that we would want to capture their images for memory’s sake.
Unlike humans, they do not sit and pose for photographs. They move, feel uncomfortable, or get spooked when you are taking the photo.
You need a few things to take a good photo of your pets:
- Good plan
- Readiness for any unexpected turn
- A good dose of patience. You’ll need it.
Based on our experience taking photos of personal pets, here are five things we would like to share with you. Follow these tips and you will be on your way to mastering animal photography soon!
How to take a good photo of your personal pets in 5 steps:
- Read their body language
It is essential to know and interpret their behavior. Ask yourself:
- Are they angry or sleepy? Are they tired or bored?
- Do they obey your instructions? Will they sit on command?
- What things make them stay still?
- Is there any quirky detail that would look great on the photo? Maybe your pet raises one eyebrow when curious and you’d love to capture that expression.
Take photos when your pets are most relaxed. This could be after eating, sleeping, or a long day of play. You want them still. It will help you take good shots without running after them.
- Stay at your pet’s eye level
Get down on all fours or your stomach. This will help you capture them at eye-level. Eye-level portraits are more personal and appealing.
If you are taking a photo of a horse, get on his eye-level. But shoot from a safe distance so that you are not in harm’s way.
Remember to focus on the eyes. Keep the background blurred and zoom on the face. The Aperture Priority (AP) setting on a zoom lens can work here.
- No flash
There is nothing that can spook your pets than your camera flash. It scares them and gives them red-eye on the photo. You also risk washing out the background or your pet’s color when you use flash.
It is best to use natural light, even if you are shooting indoors. If you still have low light, try opening the aperture to allow in more light.
- Capture them in action
Take photos when they are playing with a toy, rolling from one side to another, or are playing with a family member.
Play around with different settings if you have a digital camera at home. You could try using the shutter priority mode. You can also use continuous focus so that you can take many shots while pressing the shutter button.
If your pets are not hyperactive and prefer to sleep all day, do not worry. Take some pictures when they are resting. This is their natural state and would look candid in the picture.
Whether active or passive, the goal is to capture their true essence or personality.
- Use the right lens
We recommend using a wide-angle lens if you are shooting outdoors. The wide lens is good because it will capture the surrounding.
A telephoto lens can help you if the pet is far, and you don’t want to interfere with the action. It is also useful for taking pictures of shy pets who do not like your proximity. Use it to capture your pets playing with family members or engaging with the environment.
Your pets will come close to you and try tapping the camera with their nose, paws, or tongues. So, use a polarizing filter. It will protect your lens from moisture, fur, hair, and dust in the environment.
- Keep a bag of treats with you.
- Be patient. It may take a while to get your pet to relax in front of the camera.
- Control your movements. Be slow and gentle so you do not spook your pet.
Taking a good photo of your personal pets is a mix of technique, timing, and patience. Capture your pets at eye level and take lots of close-ups, where possible. Choose a time when they are most relaxed or playful, and take as many shots as possible. Be extra patient in case they get shy in front of the camera, and remember to give lots of treats.