Even though some of the big holidays are over, it doesn’t mean the camera goes in the closet. There are birthdays and other small holidays coming up and that means you’ll want to capture the occasions. If your pet participates in a lot of family events, taking pictures of her is important too. However, dogs and cats tend to wiggle and don’t understand what it means to sit still for the camera.
Taking pics with your cell phone can give you blurry and red-eye pics. Your regular camera can be better but there are probably a lot of pics where your pet turns her head at the last second or has her eyes closed because of the flash. Outdoor photos are sometimes more successful and sleeping photos look great. But how many pics of your pet can you have of her sleeping?!
Here’s 7 tips for taking pics of your pet:
1: Camera comfort – Pets don’t seem to like cameras. They see a big glassy eye facing them and some may run up and sniff it, then walk away or they may shy away and leave the frame. You’ll never get a decent pic if your pet is unsure of the camera. Try letting your pet inspect the camera and praise her while she does this or offer her some treats. When she’s done checking out the camera, pick it up and take some pics of things around the room so she gets used to the flash, click noise, and sounds. Give her some more treats. If you have a digital camera, just delete the pics later but repeat this a few times till your pet shows no hesitation of having the camera near her, pointed at her, and is ok with it.
2: Patience – Your pet will not understand it’s picture time. She may turn her head towards a sound she hears, chew her toy and move a lot, or just fidget. Be patient. Eventually, she will settle down and you’ll get a great picture.
3: Stay – Most dogs will follow you and sit and stay right in front of you. They may be too close for the shot. If your pet is well-trained with staying, ask her to stay. You move. If she’s good at staying she won’t move. If your cat is too close to you and you move, he might move too. Cats can be tougher to photograph but it can be done as well, let them settle, be patient, and you move to find the right angle.
4: Get down on their level – Pictures of pets are better when you’re on their level. This may mean kneeling down or laying down. It is worth it. Overhead pictures aren’t bad but a straight on shot captures more of their face, features, and expressions.
5: Take many pics – Since many of us now have digital cameras it is easier to take a ton of pics and not worry about the cost. Take a lot of pics. You can edit later when you place them on your computer. There will be one or two in the bunch that are great.
6: Lighting – The flash on cameras can often be too harsh for pets. It’s too bright for them and many times you’ll end up with a pic of your pet with her eyes closed or red eye. Direct sunlight can also be too harsh and create highlights that wash out the color of their fur and highlights. A bright overcast day can work best or lights in your house that cast soft lighting.
7: Contrast settings – If your pet is dark, taking pics of her out in the grass can show her true colors and create a great pic. If she has light fur, a darker background or environment is best. The contrast helps highlight them and make them really pop.