I know it’s been a long time again! I have been ever busy with boys, photos and life. So I know I posted awhile back about sharing some tips on pet photography, and so I wanted to talk about that today!
I LOVE pets.. cats, dogs, horses, love them all! For some of us, they are just like our kids, family members and friends. Of course we want to take some amazing photos of them to remember! Pets can be tricky. They can be wiggly, squirmy and they don’t take direction overly well. Especially cats I have noticed :-D. I have put together a little tutorial for you on some simple and very easy steps to taking a professional looking photo of your pet. I would LOVE it, if you would share some of the images you take with your pet using this tutorial… In fact I might even give away a free pet session to the best one! You can send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will share the top picks on my blog!
I hope you enjoy!
What you will need:
– Poster paper
-Tacks or tape
-Nice blanket or rug
So what I start out with is locating a place in my house that has good natural light. Typically the light shines in through my window onto my couch during the day so I know I want to use my couch area. If the sun is overly bright, I might want to close my curtains or hang a solid white sheet over my window as a filter. I then decide on my color of poster board. Typically I like to try and match the pet’s coloring with the coloring of the poster board in some way. For example, a cat with green eyes, would work well with a dark forest green poster board because it would draw you into the color of the cats eyes. For a solid white cat, you don’t want to use a background that is too dark, and definitely not black because it will end up washing out some of the detail in the cats face and coat. You would want to use a nice vibrant color such as a blue, purple, or pink. Blue typically works best with white. For a solid black cat or dog you want to stay away from using a solid white background as well and use something that compliments their eyes, or highlights. Most black cats tend to have blue, silver or grey highlights naturally so I would try to use one of those colors so that it draws the color into the natural highlights that are there.
Next I take my poster board and tack or tape it to the wall or against whatever I am using as a background. Here you can see I have used a purple blanket over my couch and a pink poster board to take photos of my kitten Winifred.
Next, be prepared to have patience. Pets move around a lot, so whether you are shooting with your iPhone, a point and shoot or a pro camera you want to be on your toes! It’s good to have a little assistant who can hold up treats directly behind you or get your pet’s attention. With a simple point and shoot and even some of the professional cameras the “action mode” is still a great choice for a wiggly puppy or kitten.
Set your pet up with the poster board directly behind them and try to get them looking towards the natural light. This will instantly constrict their pupils drawing more vibrancy and color into the eye. Be prepared to keep placing your pet over and over and over again on the same spot and keep them at arms length. This can be tricky! You can also try holding a treat up for them with one hand and shooting with the other or throwing something over your shoulder to get their attention.If you have a smaller puppy or kitten sometimes using a prop like a basket or planter pot will momentarily keep them still while they are trying to figure out what they are doing in the basket to begin with! You can start to incorporate props like flowers, baskets, bowls, etc to add that little something extra to your photo too. Above all remember your patience, because you will need it! Sometimes I have lucked out with pets who will pose willingly for a shot, and sometimes it may take dozens of frames and moving the pet back onto the spot you want them in. Don’t be afraid to keep snapping when you see a yawn, or a weird face, because those are usually the best shots!
In the end you should end up with a fairly decent looking photo of your pet! I hope this was easy for you to follow and I hope you will be able to take some nice photos of your pet to remember forever!
Again I would LOVE to see the results of anyone using these techniques! You can e-mail YOUR pet photos to email@example.com and I will put them up on my blog!
Love & peace – M