How to Take Better Photos of your Pets

There's no better time than quarantine to practice your pet photo-taking skills.
I know a ton of my followers are fellow pup parents like myself. Even if you have a cat, or other type of pet, chances are, they are apart of the family.

Not everyone has amazing photo skills, especially when it comes to phone photography, but I wanted to give you 4 easy tips on how to get better pet photos at home. There's no time like now to get your practice on! Follow these four steps and I promise you will see improvement:

1. Lighting

The first, and most important, tip is to find good lighting. Lighting is the wand in the magic that is photography. Quote me on that. (can you tell I'm doing a Harry Potter marathon in quarantine?) When finding a spot with good lighting, you want to always find a window when inside. Natural light is the most flattering light when taking photos. It shouldn't be too harsh and will illuminate your subject in a flattering way. If you are outside, you will want your subject to not be looking into the sun to avoid squinting and potentially blown out highlights. For the outdoor example below, the left photo is with the sun to Benny's back, so it is behind him. In the right photo, he is looking right into the sun causing a squint and less definition in his coloring.
This indoor example shows how bad the pup looks when you put the window behind him. When using window light, you will want YOUR back to the window so that the light is on your dog's face.

2. Posing

When posing an animal, it can be very difficult to get them how you want them. My trick is to take photos when they are calm and sort of sleepy. After a good play time or walk would be perfect! This way, they are less energized to fight you on the pose. (Left side, sun behind Benny. Right side, sun in Benny's eyes) DISCLAIMER: Benny is VERY used to having his photo taken, so please don't use him as a your judging point for your poses with your dog!

3. Getting attention

To get Benny's attention, I use two tools. The first is his favorite treat. When I'm getting ready to snap a shot, I will show Benny the treat and then bring it up to my camera lens. This way, he is fixated on the treat and appears to be looking right at the camera. To get that little head tilt that we all love, find your dog's "trigger" word. For example, when I say "cheese" to Ben, he cocks his head. This is because cheese is his favorite thing in the world. For your dog, it might be "Walk?" or "go for ride?"

4. Location

This tip is two-fold. When outside, find a location that is shaded, not in direct sun. This is due to lighting! But secondly, when shooting in a location where there may be many background distractions (living room), reposition yourself in how you are taking the photo. In the example below, Benny was sitting on the couch in front of our shoe rack. I stood above him more to show only the blankets and couch so that it was less distracting.

I hope these tips help! Share your improved pet photo-taking skills with me on your IG and tag me so I can see!


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