Apart from taking breathtaking pictures of nature and mouthwatering meals, how can we forget capturing the beauty of our cute pets? Our social media feeds are incomplete without posting their pictures. They make us laugh and forget most of our problems with their adorable antics and expressions but capturing those silly moments and showing them to your other animal-loving mates can be quite tricky. For that purpose, we have got 5 best tips for photographing your faithful companion, so you can treasure those very special moments forever. let’s have a look at them.
1. Keep Your Cool – Patience is the key to good snaps
No matter how lovely your pets are, they will still remain animals and you can’t just ask them to sit and hit a pose for a picture so it’s better to exercise patience. Unless your pet is a highly trained actor who knows how to sit still for a longer period of time, you need to try some other tactics. If your little one is too excited and jumping about or running away because he is the center of attention then remain calm, he will automatically realize that it is not the play time and then once he relaxes, you can make the most of the opportunity.
If you are shooting on a professional camera then you can switch to higher shutter speeds to capture them running or moving without getting a distorted picture. If you are capturing them on your smartphone then you can shoot a smaller burst of 5 to 6 pictures to get at least one nice photo. The more you practice pet photography the more you will notice that you won’t need to apply this burst tactic if you are patient and willing to wait for the right moment.
It is quite rare that you will get the perfect shot in the first try, so rather than getting discouraged, train your pets to remain calm and also have some cool because it will certainly pay off.
2. Pay your Pet – Take help of some props and treats
Bribe your pets with their favorite things so they can work according to you. If your pet is trained to sit and stay then paying a little something in the form of his favorite toys, food or props would make him eager to listen for that treat. If you are photographing someone else’s pet then make sure you first ask the owner for permission to feed the pet because you never know what food isn’t right.
To capture your buddy in action you can throw him his favorite toy, if your buddy is a cat then let him attack a stuffed mouse and freeze that moment with the help of camera lens by using sports photography mode.
If you want the attention of your pet, then you must first reward him with his favorite thing. The biggest trick in pet photography is making your pets think that they are making the decisions when it is really you who will be controlling their actions by letting them do what you want.
3. Set your Camera to the Right Settings – Light and shutter speed
To bring out the best out of pet photography it is necessary to have the right gear for it. If you have a DSLR or a smartphone with a nice camera then you can achieve greater results. The same lighting that is favorable for humans is favorable for animals too. It would be better if you utilize the daylight because you will get a bright picture with high details in that condition. If your pet has black fur, then make sure you have appropriate lighting condition because his fur won’t look that good in the dark.
Shooting with a DSLR gives you a lot of options and settings to choose from according to the situation. If your pet isn’t asleep and you want to click some photos outside, then increase the shutter speed. When shooting indoor, choose 1/125s or faster and bump the ISO. Never compromise on the shutter speed with photographing fast-moving pets because it will be directly proportional to distorted pictures.
To get the best pictures, you need to consider the weather too. An overcast day is ideal for photographing your pet outdoor because it is smooth and consistent everywhere that allows your pet cat or dog with heavy and darker coats to look way better.
If you want to use flash for photographing your buddy pet then it is recommended that you use an external flash and place it in an upward direction, so the beam of light doesn’t go right to the face, especially eyes. You can also use a piece of wax paper in front of the flash to diffuse and make it smooth.
4. Go For the Eyes – Focus on them
When photographing pets, most people do this mistake of pointing the camera at the animal and auto-focusing him. Pets like cats and dogs have snouts, and when you focus on their whole face, you will get blurred eyes because the camera always focuses on the near object, which in this case, is a snout. So rather than getting a useless photo of your beautiful pet, choose to manually focus on the eyes and hit the click button to capture adorable pictures.
Use a small aperture (deep depth of field) if you want a clear picture of the face than just the nose. Use a faster prime lens for your camera and turn the dial to Aperture Priority (AV) mode and select a wide aperture to make your animal stand out from the background.
Open the settings of your DSLR and select spot metering to focus on the eyes in a much better way. Using a flash is not recommended because it may scare your pets and the picture won’t turn out to be softer too.
5. Try Out Different Angles – Get to your pet’s level
You are used to seeing your pets from above especially the little ones such as cats and dogs, so how about trying different angles to capture them from a different perspective? Position yourself to their level and you will love how the pictures look. You can also try different angles such as from the side, above, below, and behind because your pets are generally smaller in size than humans that give us an edge in playing around with interesting angles rather than being restricted to only one or two.
It may require some stooping, bending, and kneeling but you will really get impressed with the outcome. If you take pictures from above, you will have shots that are too distant and will look like you haven’t focused on your subject.
Consider getting knee pads if you have a moody pet that will make you kneel for a longer time to get the perfect shot. These knee pads can also prevent any soreness that can occur.
Pet photography can get you some cool shots ranging from cute to dramatic. Using toys and props for photography can be a good solution to make them have fun. If your pet is bored with photography, give him something to eat so he can look much relaxed. Take as many pictures as you can, and among them, you may find the perfect photo you were looking for.