Shooting pets can be one of the most rewarding types of photography one can do, but it’s not as simple as it may seem; they move – and very quickly!
One way to solve this problem is to restrict the areas into which your subject can bolt. Ways to accomplish this task are to place kittens in baskets and puppies in buckets, nestled into wingback chairs, placed on picnic tables, or even on stumps tall enough to make them think before leaping.
Kitties are just as difficult to corral and wrangle; but they too can be confined to a specific area, giving you enough time to photograph them before they have a chance to remove themselves from their portrait sittings.
The fence concept is a great way to allow your kitty to be free to move about, back and forth, but always at the same distance from the camera, give or take a few inches.
Peeking from tall boots or even sitting on top of their dog houses might also work.
Getting help from the pet owner, or even a friend if it’s your own animal, is a must for shooting animals. Not only will it make the shoot go easier, it will be a lot of fun.
Remember to focus on the eye nearest the camera. It’s difficult to do close-ups that aren’t looking squarely and directly at the face, in which both eyes are in focus. When presented that choice, just remember to focus on the eye nearest you.
If you have a friend or family member around, they can also distract your pet with either a toy (squeaky ones work great with dogs, but can scare cats away) or small treats. The best treats are ones that can be gobbled and not chewed. Rewards are quick, and you waste no time waiting for them to finish. This kind of assistance should also allow for some more or less candid photography, as your pet is now paying attention to the food and/or toy provider and not worrying about you and the camera.
Other tips for shooting your pets might be to include other members of your family. The interactions can be fun and provide some idea of scale.
For pet dogs you could try throwing an object (ball, bone, frizby, etc) that they can fetch and bring back to you and get a great mid motion shot as they are returning to you. You might have to do this several times to get the right shot depending on the shutter speed on your camera which may go off too early or late on initial attempts.
8 Simple Tips to Persudage Your Pets to Pose
1. Command and Reward – pets love praise as well as treats
2. Incorporate Play – some pets are extremely playful and arent able to sit or stand in one position for even 10 seconds. Work with their active personality.
3. Keep the Set Small – some pets frighten easily, so help them feel safe and secure in a smaller setting away from excessive chaos.
4. Use Props – props act as a distraction for your pet, so make sure to have plenty of familiar favorites on hand.
5. Get Pre-Photo Excercise – an overly-energetic pet can make it difficult to get even one good shot. Burn off any excess energy.
6. Play Music – relaxing music can ease the photo-shoot and help your pet to focus.
7. Kneel Down – Put yourself in your pet’s position, it can be a bit intimidating to have a human towering over you.
8. Go Candid – After you’ve snapped your posed pictures, take a few candid shots when your pet isn’t looking.
Once you’re done with the photo shoot, preserve the memories of your pet in a keepsake photobook, calendar or photo gift.
5 Ways to Make Your Family Pet Part of Special Occassions
Your precious pet is a beloved part of your household. When it comes to special occassions like weddings, reunions or birthdays, why leave them behind. These five simple ideas can help you incorporate your pet into special occassions.
1. Make your pet part of your wedding. Have your pet greeting guests, act as ring bearer or sit at the alter as part of the wedding party.
2. Celebrate holidays together by integrating them into festivities; hang and stuff a stocking for your pet at Christmas or fill an Easter basket with pet friendly goodies.
3. Hold a pet friendly reunion. Its great to see family at an annual reunion, why not include your non-human family members. Arrange games that pets and people can play, set up a pet-friendly buffett.
4. Host a pet party and celebrate your pet’s birthday or adoption day.
5. Give a small gift at birthdays or Christmas from your pet to say “Thank you!” for the love and attention they receive.
Related Articles/ References:
- Tips for Photographing Pets by Frank Siteman
- Five Ways to Make Your Family Pet Part of Special Occassions
- Personalised Gifts for Pets at DigiGifts