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Taking photographs of your pets

How you can take great photographs of your pets

Taking photographs of your pets can sometimes be as difficult as shooting a moving kid. With a few simple tricks, it won’t be impossible for you to capture amazing, professional-looking photographs of your important family members.

 

Pet rabbit

How do you get your pet to cooperate?

The trick is patience, and being ready for that special moment when it happens. You may want to have a friend / assistant to hold a favourite toy right next to your camera so you can lead the animals vision to where you are. If you are using your camera phone, you may be able to hold a toy with one hand while taking the photograph with the other. Using the toy to make a strange noise will sometimes be enough to get your pet to look at you for a brief second, and take a photograph. You want to have the focus locked in their eyes.

Let them play

If you’re struggling to get your pet to stay still, then why don’t you let them play quietly. Once you are ready, call or whistle your pet. That will surprise them and, in that moment, you will have caught their attention and will be able to capture a photograph in a nice and alert posture.

Natural light vs flash

Natural light is best when taking photographs of your pets. Try to go outside, or if it’s not possible, be in a room well lit by a large window.
 
Be wary of using a built in flash directly at your pet, especially without some sort of diffuser. It will put the light right in your pets eyes, cause red-eye and can cast shadows around them. It won’t be the best picture, and it may also frighten them.
 Spaniel Puppy

Blurry or clutter free backgrounds – how can you take those beautiful close-up portraits?

Blurry backgrounds are achieved by using a wide aperture, being close to your pet, and having them as far away from the background as possible. You could take a photo of them outside, or lying on a plain blanket.

Keep the eyes sharp

Your pets eyes can be very expressive so make sure you focus the camera on them.

Be at their level

It is really important that your pet feels comfortable and at ease, so go to them, don’t force them to come to you. Why not take a photograph from a different viewpoint? Take some photographs sitting on the floor or lying on your tummy to see how they look from a different angle – it’s the place where they see the world from!

 

Can you use your phone camera? 

The best photographs of your pets can be taken with a DSLR but that doesn’t mean you can’t use your camera on your phone. The problem with automatic point-and-shoot cameras is the time between when you press the shutter button and the picture being taken, the shutter lag. It can be a few seconds on some cameras, which is too long unless you have a very patient animal. To counter this, set your camera to burst mode so you can take many pictures at once, and at least one of them will be a fantastic shot!

So, why not go to a place well lit, full of natural light, turn off your flash, set your camera to burst mode and have fun photographing your pet.

 

Let me know how you get on,

Hannah

 

P.S. Have you thought about displaying your fantastic photographs of your pets in a slightly different and stunning, talking point way? Your gorgeous photographs can be beautifully turned into embroidered sketches, an exquisite keepsake, which you will absolutely adore and admire.

Pet Portrait of horsePet Portrait

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