Ten Tips for Great Pet Photos
Vacations mean photos, so dust off your camera and prepare to capture the memories! And what are pictures without pets in them? No one here claims to be a professional photographer, but we have learned a few tricks as we’ve posed Ty and Buster around the country. These tips will help you hone your pet photography skills, so you’ll be framing up the perfect shots on your next vacation.
1. Camera Comfort – Imagine having a big, black, one-eyed monster staring at you and you’ll quickly understand why some pets are camera shy. You’ll never get a good photo if your pet thinks the camera is scary. So, set the camera down and let your pet sniff it while feeding them a few treats. **I suggested leaving your lens cover on for this activity!** When they’re done exploring, pick up the camera and take a few pictures of things around the room so they can get used to the sounds the camera makes and give them a few more treats. It shouldn’t take long before you’re getting a curious reaction whenever you pull the camera out.
2. Be Patient – The most important variable in capturing a great shot of your pet is not the camera you’re using nor the number of years of experience you have … it’s patience. No matter how focused your pet is on everything EXCEPT having their picture taken, eventually they all settle down and give you the perfect sidelong glance.
3. Get In There – Put on the long lens and take close up shots of your pets – they make the best portraits.
4. They Stay, You Move – Inevitably when I call the dogs over to take their picture, they get too close and I can’t get the shot. The solution is obvious. Your pet should stay where they are and you should move to get the proper distance.
5. On The Level – Pictures of pets are much better when you get down on their level. That may mean laying on your belly in the grass, but it will be worth it. See the difference?
6. Light It Up – There is nothing better than soft natural light for photos of your pets. Direct sunlight is too harsh and the flash on your camera may frighten you pet. Bright overcast days produce your best color and the right balance between light and shadow. And learning how to use your camera’s manual setting may give you some surprising results in lower light.
7. Don’t Look Now – Do you have one of those pets that won’t look at the camera no matter what you do? You could try using a squeaky toy or holding a treat in your mouth … or you might consider it an opportunity to get creative. We’ve taught the boys that “pay attention” means look at the camera, but I also take a lot of pictures of them looking away. It’s perfect for capturing a feeling, and when you look back at the hundreds of pictures you’ll take of your pet over the years, you’ll be reminded of this quirk in their personality.
8. Shoot Now, Edit Later – With digital photography there’s no reasonnot to shoot a lot of photos. In fact, if your camera has a continuous shoot or burst mode (takes several frames each time you push the button) these are great options. You can still get just the right shot, even if your timing is off a tick.
9. A Study in Contrast – Putting your pet on a contrasting background is a great way to show their true colors. Pictures of Ty on the beach are nice, but put him in the grass and he really pops!
10. The Eyes Have It – They are the windows to the soul after all. Get a clear, crisp picture of your pet’s expressive eyes and it will be a keeper for sure!
Remember, picture taking should be fun for you and your pet. Professional quality photos are not the goal here – it’s about preserving the memories. Don’t judge your results too harshly, because as long at there are pets in the picture, no one else will either!
Do you have any tips you’d like to add or a question about taking pictures of your pet? Please join the conversation below.
Remember to come back every Friday for our weekly Photo Challenge, where we post a picture of the dogs in a pet friendly destination and you guess where they are. Every week one winner receives an 18-month wall calendar with photos of Ty and Buster posing all around the country.Planning a pet friendly trip of your own? We’ll make it easy: Pet Friendly Hotels | Pet Friendly Destinations | Pet Friendly Activities