Have you ever tried taking pictures of your pet dog or cat? Did you find it easy and fun? Or was it difficult? Taking pictures of pets is certainly not easy especially if it not your own pet. Dogs are cats, for example, are usually mobile and won’t stay in one place. Hence, getting a perfect sharp shot is almost impossible.
There are tips, tricks and methods though that professional photographers specializing in pet photography to get the perfect pet pictures for their clients. If you want to become as good as these professional photographers, here are some pet portrait photography tips for you.
Get to know the pet
Pets, like human, vary in characteristics and personality. Some pets are easy to handle while others are fidgety, difficult to deal with and will only follow their master – the owner. Well, in portrait photography, you have to get to know the pet dog, cat or any other animal before you will take pictures of them. Ask vital information from the pet owner like what does the dog like to do, what it eats, what makes it tick and what makes it angry. Know also what rewards the pet likes so you can prepare better.
Give focus on the eyes and facial expression
Pay attention to the eyes of the pet when taking portrait shots. If you desire to get more wonderful pet portraits, then suggest to the pet owner to have the pictorial before the usual nap time of the pet. The pet will be less mobile by then and it will be easier to make it stare at the camera.
A prime lens is best for portraits thus attach one when taking close up shots of the pet. It can help make the eyes look sharp and expressive while giving a nice blur to the background.
Choose a good location with sufficient natural light
Light is vital in making a capture image look brilliant no matter what form of photography you are into, whether pet, lifestyle photography, wedding or a different one. You need enough light when trying to shoot photos of your pet hence find a good location where natural light from the sun can get in. If shooting outdoors, you can try to find a shade or diffuse the so the pet won’t squint or feel uncomfortable.
Pets, especially dogs, are observant. They observe the people around them. They can sense if you are uncomfortable and are planning to do something to them. Just relax, be patient and use non-verbal gestures when trying to make the pet obey. You can allow the pet to run around and use a long lens to take pictures unnoticed. To freeze movement, you can choose the shutter priority mode in your camera or any equivalent setting (depending on camera brand). This can help you get sharp images even when the pet is in action.
Be patient and enjoy the session
Pet photo sessions differ from pet to pet. It will all depend on the pet’s mood so you will have to be really patient while trying to find the right trick that might work. You can also prepare some toys or food that can motivate the pet to cooperate. You can ask ahead the owner for some info.