We often forget that our pets are an integral part of our family and that they are with us for only a short time. We take photos of our family, selfies for our social media, but do we take images of our pets or animals we care for. Your pet is important, especially if you have young children as they learn how to care and look after another living creature. Besides playing with them, they may tell their pets all their secrets or just use them for a hug when they are sad. There is nothing better than having a nicely framed image of your pet on the wall or table.
Focus on the eyes
Some people say that the eyes are the gateway to the soul, but in our case an out of focus eye is the difference between a great pet photograph and one that gets deleted. When photographing your companion, always focus on their eyes as this can make or break your photo. Set your camera to spot focusing and place the indicator on their eye, make sure you have a good depth of field so that their head is in focus, especially when taking the photo directly toward the front of the animal as their nose could be out of focus and could be a distraction.
Those quiet times
Sometimes the best image is the one when your pet is quiet or at rest, because you will find that you can take your time in generating that great composition without your subject wanting to play or seek attention.
A good tip…
Be on their level
Make sure you are at their level when taking the image, Shooting from a higher position or standing will distort the image and make it look unnatural and less engaging. Whereas, bending down, kneeling or even laying on the floor can improve the image as the camera should be at their level. Remove any clutter or unnecessary objects from around and behind your pet, make sure there is enough light and if using a flash be extra careful not to aim it directly into their eyes.
What equipment should I use?
This depends on what you are going to use the image for. If using just for social media then maybe your phone is all you need, but for larger images then a DSLR is definitely the way to go. Using a DSLR will give you a sharper ,clearer image. The type of lens will determine the image you can take, from action shots to portraits.
For a sharper image
A higher shutter speed may be required for animals that are constantly moving, or if you are capturing your pet running or jumping.
An off-camera flash (Speed-lite) is essential for indoor or low light photos as the on-camera / popup flash gives you very little control and could hurt or damage your pets eyes if the camera is pointed directly at them.
You do not always have to plan to get the perfect image, just have your camera to hand. Whether out walking, playing or just chilling in your house there will always be an opportunity to take impromptu images of your pets.