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How to Photograph Pets? Tips and Tricks

how to photograph pets

Pet photos always look cute. Also, with them, you have the opportunity to practice photography in general. Another plus is that you don’t need a specially equipped studio to take good pictures. Last but not least, you can spend time with your pet and get to know him better. 

If you want to learn how to take great pet photos, you are in the right place. We’ve put together the best tips just for you!

Before we get started, we want to mention photo editing. If you are interested in the best photo editing apps for PC, head over to Skylum’s blog! There you will find lots of useful tips to improve your photography skills.

Tip 1. Get to Know the Pet

If you are renting your pet, there is no problem here. You’ve obviously been together for more than a year, so you know everything about each other. If the pet is not yours, however, you should definitely get to know it. After all, you want him to trust you and not be afraid, right?

Here are some tips to help you:

  • Take your first pictures next to your pet’s owner. That way he’ll be a lot less nervous.
  • Talk to the pet in a quiet and gentle tone. He will understand that you are not something to be afraid of. You can also play with him. Don’t raise your tone in any way, because this can make all the effort go to waste.
  • Do not make any sudden movements. If a cat or dog wants to sniff you, don’t push them away or twitch when they approach.

Tip 2: Use a Quick Camera

Pets are like children: they can’t sit still in one place for long. That’s why you need a camera that can take at least seven frames per second. 

Remember that unlike many types of photography, a tripod won’t be useful. The reason is, again, the pets’ mobility. They won’t sit and wait for you to take the perfect photo.

Tip 3. Don't Be Afraid to Take Pictures of Moving Pets

When your pet is running or jumping, it can be very difficult to get a good shot. In order to do that, you should use “Continuous/AF-C” (on a Nikon) or “AI Servo” (on a Canon). That’s what will give you the opportunity to take sharp pictures of moving dogs or cats.

As cliché as it sounds, your best friend should be in continuous mode. As long as you keep your finger on the shutter, the camera will take pictures.  Surprising as it sounds, this is how you can get great pictures without a lot of prep time.

Tip 4. Focus on the Eyes

The golden rule when shooting portraits is to focus on the eyes. This applies to pet portraits as well. It is through their eyes that you can see the full range of emotions they are experiencing. In order to put emphasis on them, you can follow this sequence of actions:

  • Position the focus point in the center of the frame.
  • Move the camera so the pet’s eye is at the focus point.
  • Half-press the shutter button to lock the focus.
  • Smoothly take the picture.

Tip 5. Choose the Right Lighting

We don’t recommend using a flash when you take pet photos. It is much better to shoot in natural light for this purpose. Think about your pet: would they really like a bright flash right in their eyes? Besides, it can traumatize them, which is very dangerous!

A great way to capture a photo is if your pet is lying down or sitting facing the sun. If you are photographing in a dimly lit room, turn on all the lights there and then adjust the white balance.

Tip 6. Get Down to Eye Level

Of course, you’re most comfortable taking pictures when you’re standing up. However, this is the most common mistake when it comes to pictures of pets. If you lower yourself to their eye level, you will be looking at them as equals. This means you’ll get more candid photos. Just wait for the pet to lie down, get close to them, and shoot.

Tip 7. Reward Your Pet for His Efforts

You can use different treats to get your pet to adopt the right posture. You can also use them as a reward. Give them only when the pet has done something right, otherwise, he will stop obeying you at one point.

Closing Thoughts

Now you know how to take great pet photos. However, even this will not help you get instant results, because this type of photography, like no other, requires patience. We recommend not to be afraid and practice, and then you will definitely succeed!

In order to edit the finished picture you will need the best photo editing apps for PC. You can read more about them on Skylum’s blog. The experts talk in detail about the pros and cons of each application, so you are sure to find the best one for you!

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