These days, taking a photo is as easy as pressing a button on a smartphone. The quality of our always handy in-phone cameras has increased significantly. Yet, many of us are disappointed with our images and this is especially so when our subject has four legs. Fortunately, there are a few easy to follow steps that will help even the novice photographer capture aww-inspired images of their beloved pet.
A bribe never hurt
I find that nothing helps more in getting the attention and cooperation of my canine and feline subjects than offering up a few scrumptious treats as a reward. This positive reinforcement is a great training technique and works wonders when asking a pet to hold still while you snap a picture. And, hey, they’ve earned it!
Get down on their level
Would you be surprised to know that just like people, pets have angles that are more flattering than others? Ignore your initial instinct to shoot your pet from above and get down on their level instead. You’ll find that there are many more angles and compositions there for the taking, all of which will be more flattering and interesting.
The comforts of home
Your pictures will be much more successful if your pet feels comfortable and relaxed. For many pets this will be at home, but it might also be that they are more relaxed at a certain time of day when there is less activity going on around them. Pay attention to when and where your pet is most relaxed before getting out your camera.
Say goodbye to flash
Nothing ruins an image like the harsh light of a flash. Fortunately, most cameras allow you to turn off this feature. Instead look for an opportunity to take photos of your pet when they are in the natural light coming from a window or when you are outdoors.
Capture what makes them special
People brag about their pets like others brag about their children. And why not? I was beaming from ear-to-ear when I discovered my dachshund-chihuahua mix could do a spin-barrel-roll combination. Our pets have unique personalities and capturing what makes them special will cause us to treasure our photos even more. So think about what it is about your pet that makes you beam and capture it. I bet you won’t have to think very hard!
Get up close and personal
You don’t need a fancy zoom lens to get in close to your subject and, oftentimes, moving physically closer to your subject is preferable. You’ll make your pet the true subject of the photo and chances are that closeness can help to elicit a certain expression or movement (think an outstretched paw or a slight tilt of the head).
Now that you are armed with these easy to follow tips, go out and take some photos with your four-legged best friend!