Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Simple Tips for Photographing Pets

I've owned three dogs as an adult, and the pictures I have of the one who passed away are dear to me. Though I'm not a professional photographer, I think I've managed some good shots. If you're trying to photograph a pet but aren't a photographer interested in all kinds of fancy settings, maybe I can help you get a shot you'll like of your pet. Since mine are all dogs, they'll have to do for our examples, though I think this would work just as well on cats... or other animals!

More important than the camera settings or the fanciness of the camera, in my opinion, are simpler things:
  • Take the picture from close up
  • Get on the pet's level
  • Choose a time when the pet is acting like him or herself
  • Look for details
  • Take several pictures
  • Try some with the animal in different places relative to the sun or light source 

Case and point that you don't need a fancy camera: I took this picture of my pit bull mix on my phone halfway through a Rollerblade adventure, and it's one of my favorites.

Since we were out being active together, she's acting like herself (not posing for a treat), and the shot is cropped nice and close to include little besides the dog.

Just today, I laid down on the grass with her and waited around, clicking pictures as she got comfortable. I'm a huge fan of silly dog pictures--because dogs have a sense of humor, too!--so I love this shot of her yawning.

 Granted, there is certain amount of risk involved in getting on the same level as a rambunctious 10-month-old hound, but I feel like this shot ended up being worth it.
As for the dog who died, I bought my nice DSLR camera just days before we lost her. This is one of my favorites of her. The light showing up the way it did was accidental and caused by the sun being behind her. In some of the other pictures above, you can see the effects of the sun shining from different angles. That's part of the reason to try different angles and take lots pictures to see what turns out.
Since the camera was new and the dog was sick, I took time to notice details about her, too. She collected the dandelion seed on one of our last walks together. And in the picture with her eyes, I love that I can see myself reflected (at least, in the higher resolution photo I have, not sure how well it'll show up here).
Happy picture-taking!

Your Sister

No comments:

Post a Comment