Taking pictures can be pretty fun and satisfying. Taking great pictures of our fur babies is even better. They’re so sweet and have so much to offer. Why not capture as many of those cuteness-overload moments as we can? For anyone who wants to know more about equipment, lighting, and software, check out Part One in this series. For pro tips on how to capture those perfect moments while working with cat- and canine-companions, continue reading.
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Stay calm, happy, and relaxed
Remember when we were kids playing some board game on a rainy day? Things would get intense, and an adult would have to step in and say, “relax! It’s just a game!” Well, let’s keep that in mind while we’re photographing our pets. It can be easy to become hyper-focused on the task. Some of us might even pressure ourselves into thinking we are going to win the cover of Modern Dog and suddenly gain thousands or millions of followers on Instagram with a one-time rock ‘em sock ‘em photo-session with Fido. It’s not impossible, but let’s keep our poor pup in mind. Putting that kind of pressure on ourselves will translate to pressure on our pup, whether we realize it or not. For both ourselves, and our pups, let’s stay calm, happy, and relaxed. It’ll make the whole project more fun, and that’ll end up looking much better in Fido’s sparkling, happy eyes on camera.
It’s also worth noting that just because we are calm, doesn’t mean Fido or Miss Kitty Fantastico will be calm, but it will help. This is why planning, leaving enough time, bringing toys, and rewarding with treats will make all the difference. We can funnel that anxious energy our pets are displaying, while they try to figure out what we want them to do, and keep our sanity at the same time. Watch for concerned looks, flattened ears, and other common signs of stress. Then take a break. Play. Exercise. Reward them. And come back to the photo game in a few minutes, a few hours, or the next day. For those of us willing to plan and have fun, we’ll find our pups and kitties will be much more responsive and will have more fun, too.
Planning with a shot list
A shot list is more than a wishlist of cool photos we want to be able to showcase on Instagram. This should be a thoughtful plan for the types of photos we want to capture and what we want to convey with those photos. For example, an action photo of our pup catching a frisbee in the park means we probably want to convey play. A cat sitting in the window looking outside might convey longing or dreaming. A dog looking up at the camera might convey training or obedience. And a cat on a hike wearing a leash and harness would convey adventure. Whatever photo wishlist we have, it helps to think about the mood we want to express so we can plan better plan the time of day, props, if needed, lighting, location, and timing.
Planning not to plan
This is a tip almost all professional pet photographers share with aspiring pet photo hobbyists. Plan those shot lists and show up with the shot list in mind, but always remain flexible, creative, and spontaneous. Every dog and cat has a unique personality that will come out when they’re relaxed and playful. Work on the shot list, but we should also be prepared to play a new game, try different angles, and take photos that will showcase our cat- and canine-companions doing more than the staged pics we planned. In fact, start bringing the camera on doggy play dates, to vet visits, and anywhere we may bring our fur babies. We’re so much more likely to get unexpectedly fun and unique photos we never could have planned. And, they’ll capture the moment as well as the true personality of our pets and their lifestyle.
Use a wide-angle lens
This can be a lifesaver for hobbyists and pros alike. We tend to focus on close-ups because we want to capture expressions. Or we keep the camera focused on our pets without thinking about other options. Switching to a wide-angle lens during some of the more playful moments can lead to some fun and creative effects. A wide-angle lens from a high vantage point or directly in front of them makes their noses appear magnified, which can be perfect for memes, nose-boop looks, and cute photos bursting with personality. It creates a more immersive experience that is often an instant favorite for posting or framing. For those shooting on their phone, there are inexpensive wide-angle lenses worth buying, even though most phones have a wide-angle optional setting. They make for a great gift to budding hobbyists. While we’re at it, we may as well consider a zoon, or telephoto lens to play around with capturing moments when our fur babies aren’t paying attention to us.
Remember, EcoTreats are all-natural, low-calorie, and delicious to dogs and cats. Plus, they’re wallet-friendly. Use EcoTreats for all your photoshoots. You and your cat- and canine-companions will be insta-famous in no-time.
- “5 Tips For Shooting Awesome Photos Of Cats,” DIY Photography
- “Using Shot Lists Will Make You A Better Photographer,” fstoppers
- “6 Foolproof Pet Photography Tips,” Canine Journal