With warm weather fast approaching, camera buffs are dusting off their lenses and photographing everything that moves, including their pets. But it isn’t that easy, professional photographers say. Taking photographs of cats and dogs is not the same as shooting the family vacation or grandma’s birthday party.
Cats and dogs have minds of their own and their priorities do not include standing still for a portrait.
Here are some tips on how to photograph pets if you want to take a picture of your pet yourself:
• Shoot at the pet’s level and not at yours. That means getting down on the floor with your pet and shooting at them, not down at them by standing above them. By seeing them head on there is no distortion because they’re looking at you, not up at you. From above they appear to have a big head.
• If you have a fancy camera use a long lens when photographing, not a wide angle lens. Wide angle lenses tend to distort the image.
• If you have a simple point and shoot camera, read the instructions. Many of these cameras can’t take a clear image within a distance of six feet. Many of these cameras are also notorious for cutting off heads and feet, so pay attention to what’s inside your frame. What you see through the view finder isn’t what you necessarily get afterwards.
• Always have your camera ready, even on walks. You never know when your pet will do something that you want to photograph and capture forever.
• Bribe it with food. Cats and dogs won’t listen to you, but they will with the right incentive.
• Pay attention to what else is in the picture and how you have framed it. Like chairs or trees or rocks or pillows. Think of your picture as a painting with an uncluttered foreground and clean background. The basic rule when photographing pets is KISS – keep it simple stupid.
• Pets, like people, get bored fast when getting their picture taken. Give them a break and pick a time when they’re alert and playful. You can also use squeaky toys to get their attention and to make their ears stand.