When you bring a pet home, one of the first things you’ll be tempted to do is take a picture and share it with your friends and loved ones. Unfortunately, as any pet owner can tell you, animals aren’t always the most photogenic.
Sometimes, you’ll even need some basic editing knowledge to make the shot look good. Tap or click to learn some essential photo editing tricks. Animals are living things, and photographing them means finding a balance between composed and candid shots.
It’s never going to be 100% perfect, but with enough patience and some basic know-how, you can get pretty close. If you’re an animal lover who wants to take the best photos possible of your darling companion, read on for our guide on some of the best tricks for pet photography.
Give them space
Small animals, like rodents and rabbits, tend to be afraid of noises and sudden movements. Larger pets, like cats and dogs, may also be a bit skittish around unexpected noises and motion.
This is because in the wild, many of these animals operate on a fear of larger predators. This can make it difficult to get them to sit still long enough for a photo, and can lead to disaster when the flash goes off.
This is where distance shooting and time lapse shots can be useful. Keep your subject in frame, but give them enough space so they feel comfortable and safe. If you invade the animal’s “personal bubble,” they’re likely to move at best or lash out at worst. Take a subtle approach for their sake.
Have fun and play
Motion shots are fun and add dynamism to any photo. One example is a dog who may like to run and explore, so throwing a toy or ball will get it up and moving in time for a shot.
Sometimes animals can be stubborn and refuse to leave the couch/bed/top of the refrigerator. But that doesn’t mean a shot is wasted. Try to get your pet excited or playful, and if that fails, a candid shot of them in their comfortable area can go a long way.
The only bad shots are the ones you don’t take. Well, that and blurry shots. If your pet is lazy and just wants to relax, that’s still a great opportunity for a natural shot. Candid moments like these can be charming and funny, or even serene and calming.
Whatever your pet is doing, just make sure to enjoy their actions and keep enough distance between them and your camera.
All in all, keeping your distance is key to better shots — even in a studio setting. Not everyone will agree on the best ways to photograph a pet, but sensing a natural moment and taking the shot regardless of the situation works just fine.
In the end, patience and calm is the best way forward for you and your companion. Happy shooting!
Looking for more photo tips and examples of pro-quality shots? Visit Dreamstime for inspiration and pro photography advice.