Pet Photography Tips: How to Take Amazing Shots
Taking great photos can be a challenge no matter what the subject, but with pets it can be even more frustrating! Dogs and cats are a little simpler to photograph as they can often be bribed with treats and such; small pets can be troublesome to photograph because they are easily spooked, distracted, and bored. The next time you want to have a photoshoot, be it for blogging, social media, or just for your photo album, try using some of these pet photography tips. You will be posting amazing shots in no time without all the hassle and fuss! The best part about all of this is that you will all get to have an enjoyable time!
Give Yourself Space
The space can be the most influential factor involved in taking great pet photographs. Choose an area in your home that has lots of natural light; artificial light can really stress pets, especially small ones, who are not used to having bright spot lights on them! You also want to make sure that you have your backdrop figured out! Don’t get your pets out and then realize that there are stacks of laundry in the background or an ill placed mirror reflecting back an image of you in your PJ’s with your camera! Tri fold poster boards work great for this or just hang up a plain colored sheet to help block out any unwanted clutter! Finally, choose your base; we often use the bed in our spare room with a cute and fuzzy themed fleece blanket or pad to make sure there are no messes and an easy clean up!
Take All Shots Wide
The most useful thing you can learn as a photographer when dealing with pets is that you can edit! Using online or purchased software programs to edit your pet photography is one of the best pet photography tips I can give you. Take all of your photos in a wide view. You can crop them down to the size and structure you want later. This will help by keeping the camera at a safe distance from your small pets. We have lots of bunnies here at Charlie and the Pips and they get startled from the shutter clicks if the camera is up close in their face. If we want a nice up close shot we take one wide, crop it down, and apply a selective blur to give it a macro feel without stressing out our fuzzy friends!
Bribery is Your Best Friend
We are not above bribery when it comes to offering pet photography tips! Bribery can really help you get what you want from your pets of all shapes and sizes. We’ve found especially with our Guinea Pigs that treats and also photographing them with their buddies really helps. They like to be around each other and when they can huddle up they don’t feel so startled by the camera and the light, etc. The same goes for other pets; they can be bribed into the position that you want. Try using treats to get them to stand up tall, lay down, or hop up onto a prop!
Calm is Key
You won’t find a more practical pet photography tip on this list. Calm is key in all photography sessions for people and pets alike. If you remain calm you won’t stress out your subject. If the environment is calm and distraction free you won’t have to worry about keeping everyone focused and on point. Try using a quiet room in an area that is away from phones, television, busy roads, and other animals. We have all kinds of pets here at Charlie and the Pips so it’s sometimes tough to get away from everyone else. Take your pets to one area to photograph and keep other nosey nellies out. Ruger the German Shepard is in love with a few of our bunnies and he gets absolutely worked up when he can’t be around them. We always refer to the bribery section on that one and give him a bone to chew while we take photographs of his bunny buddies!
Props: Keep it Simple
The chances are that props in any situation are going to be a little bit tricky to work into the photo shoot. As far as our pet photography tips are concerned we recommend keeping props simple. You can use edible objects for some pets because they will keep them entertained and focused as well as serve their purpose as a prop. If you have elaborate props make sure you are prepared to be a little disappointed. It won’t always turn out the way you hope and it makes take some creative editing to get things just the way you want them. Remember that editing can be your friend and that in the long run, less is more. Your fans want to see your adorable little fur balls, they’ll love photos that are not cluttered up with tons of props. We’re all for party hats but you might not need a full blown birthday scene to convey the message you’re aiming for, it’s as simple as that!
How do you make the most of your pet photography sessions? Do you have any tips or tricks that you like to use to get the perfect shot?