Tips for taking the perfect photo of your pet in 2017

Tips for taking the perfect photo of your pet in 2017

Tagged in: Author: Dr Robyn Chandler

For many people the start of a new year is all about creating, and of course capturing, new and happy memories. So to help kick-start your 2017, we’ve put together a few tips to help you take that perfect image of your favourite furry friend. Read on and get snapping…


Tip #1: It’s all about the eyes


People are naturally drawn to the eyes of a subject. They show your pet’s character and personality, creating a connection with the viewer. Try to keep them in focus rather than whatever’s closest to the lens, such as your pet’s nose.


Tip #2: Au naturel


It doesn’t get better than going natural when it comes to lighting. Early mornings and late afternoons aren’t called ‘the golden hours’ for nothing and usually provide for beautiful, softly-lit, relaxed photos, while the brighter midday hours are good for action shots.


Tip #3: Flash point


If you are going to use a flash, try not to use your built-in one. This usually shines directly into your pet’s eyes and may cause them alarm. You’re also likely to end up with red-eye, and the resulting shadows around your pet may make for an unattractive photograph. Instead, try shining a lamp upwards to bounce light off the ceiling – this will give a more diffused, natural light.


Tip #4: Get down to their level


Lowering your angle and getting eye-level with your subject can help create a really nice intimate shot. You can also use a sandbag or a few books to help steady your camera. Don’t forget to make sure you’re dressed for lying down on your belly (and probably being pounced on by your excited dog in the process)!


Tip #5: Fill the frame


Make sure you get a close-up shot with your pet being the largest and most important thing in the composition. Don’t be scared to experiment with a close-up of even just one aspect of them, such as their head, paw or eye.


Tip #6: Background check


Try to make sure that the background of your intended photo isn’t unattractive or distracting to the eye. For example, a beautiful image of your cat snoozing on your sofa could well be ruined by a dirty sock or empty soda can in the background. Pay attention to what else is in the shot - a busy background will detract from the pet as the focus of the photo. Look for attractive locations or blocks of colour such as a green lawn or a blue sky. If you want to take your photography to the next level you can also blur the background of your photo by using a large aperture value or AV (small “f-stop” number), keeping your subject in focus. To do this effectively, set your aperture value as low as it will go, get close up to your subject keeping the background as far from your subject as possible. This will result in a sharp photo of your pet, which pops out from a blurry background.


Good photography is mostly about preparation and patience. Try a few of these basic tips to take your new year’s photography to the next level, and watch this space for our next set of photography tips to capture all your perfect pet memories.

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