To many of us, our pets are almost part of our families. And there are those photographers who are sometimes commissioned to photograph pets, be it for commercial or personal uses. Photographing pets is usually not the simplest of assignments, especially if the pet is not a trained animal. When you have an un-cooperative pet at your hands, these tips could help you come out with some good images –
A. Avoid Flash – Pets can get alarmed and run away from a burst of light of course, so try and use natural light alone. If indoors, use large windows for side lighting, and if outdoors, try and shoot in the morning or evening light…
B. Focus on the eyes – We know this is easier said than done with a fidgety pet, but any good portrait needs sharp focus on the eyes. You could have the owner/trainer hold the pet for a tact sharp focus, or you could have them engage in some sort of activity – with a ball or a ribbon?
C. Shoot form the pet’s eye level – This goes for photographing children too. Amateur photographers sometimes tend to shoot from their own eye level. Instead, go down to the pet’s eye level even if it means lying flat on your stomach! This creates much more of a connect with the viewer.
D. Wait patiently – Shooting pets is as candid as it gets. So try and get a composition and lighting in place, before you start shooting. The last thing you want is to miss a great pet portrait because your exposure was off! So, get everything ready and wait for the right moment and expression.
E. When in doubt, shoot more – We strongly recommend you try the camera’s burst mode to get exactly the right frame. Shooting pets is not something you can really rely on your model for, so shoot in burst mode. It does mean going through many more image sin post production, but will reward you with that perfect moment captured.