Bite Size Tips: 5 Tips For A Compelling Pet Photo


If you or your friend or someone in your family has a pet at home, chances are that there are hundreds of images on mobile phones or cameras of your furry friend – pets are part of the family.

If you want to capture incredible images of your pet that go beyond just the normal snapshots you make every day, you will have to creatively put your thoughts and techniques into photographing them – as you would do for any other portrait. You need to check your composition, maintain sharp focus, check for the right lighting conditions, get the exposure right and, it doesn’t stop with that, as pets will not stay still for you to easily photograph them.

Here are 5 tips that can help you make compelling pet photographs

1. Get The Focus Sharp On The Eyes

This is very important, as the eyes are the most expressive part of any animal and tell you a lot about the pet. By capturing the eyes in sharp focus, and taking into account their facial expressions, you will be able to capture their mood and emotions. Get closer, or use a longer lens to fill the frame for a beautiful portrait.

Image by Fran_F

2. Get Down And Shoot Low

Unless your pet is a big animal, it is always best to get down, approach them and shoot from their level in order to capture them in their world and this way, the pet also feels comfortable and engages with the photographer. You also need to be very patient, let them play, do something that will alert them / catch their attention and click those moments.

3. Capture Their Loving Personality Or Character

Pets, especially cats and dogs love to show their affection in various ways and it is one of the best moments to capture as it shows the true personality and bond between the pet and its owner. Or, if your pet has peculiar characters, like being extra lazy or hyperactive, capture what they love doing to show what makes them unique.

Image by Wilkernet

4. Treats And Compliments

You cannot command the pet to do things or stay still while you can easily click away a few images, instead, stay quiet, invoke interest and motivate them to pay attention by giving them treats often or when they give you a perfect shot given them their favorite toy to play with. Also, don't forget to give them a break in between a few shots

5. Use Natural Light Always

Pets can get intimidated by studio lights or light from a flash and can withdraw from having a fun time and expressing themselves; it can also cause red-eye. So, as much as possible, have the shoot done outdoors in bright shady areas or if indoors, choose a room with plenty of light or get the images made near a large window.

Image by Spiritze

Are there any tips you think that will work well for pet photography? Please share them in the comments section below.

If you would like to take your photography skills to the next level, be sure to check out Advanced Composition Guide by Photzy.

About Author

Dahlia is a stock photographer and full time educator at Light Stalking. You can find her on Gurushots and see some of her more popular articles at The American Society of Media Photographers. Get to know her better here.

Use shutter prority, fast shutter (over 1/250), and continuous shutter to improve your chances of getting a decent action shot.

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