Love taking pictures of your four-legged best friend, but can’t seem to keep him interested long enough to take the winning shot? This guide will help you with tips and tricks for photographing shy pets and how to get them comfortable in front of the camera this holiday season.
Almost all of us have at some point wanted to dress our pets up for Christmas, and while it can be a fun way to make memories and share photos with family, not all pets are. comfortable having their picture taken or wearing a sweater. . It is very important that you bond with your pet so you know when they become uncomfortable and when to stop.
• Read more: Best pet camera
My seven month old Double Doodle puppy, Tilly, is very energetic but also extremely calm and at ease when he spins with me. It certainly took some time and training to get her used to standing still, wearing the odd Halloween prop, and looking straight into the camera – but practice makes perfect!
Having done this from a young age with Tilly, she now associates a photoshoot with getting treats and attention, and she doesn’t mind having a lens close to her. As long as you respect your pet’s limits and make shooting a fun experience for them with treats, hugs, and pats on their heads, taking festive photos should be a snap (maybe. literally even!).
1) be as quick as possible
Most pets love to get the attention of their owners, but can also be easily overwhelmed and stressed by receiving too much fuss, especially from several people. It’s a common trait for dogs to sometimes disappear and hide at a party or gathering if everything gets a bit too much, and the shoots can have the exact same effect on them.
It is important to be as fast as possible when shooting, both to keep your pet engaged and relaxed, but also to not miss top shots. As a result…
2) Use a fast shutter speed
Pets can be easily distracted and agitated. This makes shooting at a faster shutter speed absolutely crucial for getting the best photos. With just a few moments where your pet can look directly into the lens or perform an adorable tilt of their head, you sure don’t want to miss them!
Even though shooting at faster shutter speeds means having to crank up the ISO, a little noise is a worthwhile price to pay for getting the split-second action shots of your uniquely acting pet.
3) The bokeh is bark-tastic (sorry)
It’s generally a good idea to shoot with a wider aperture when photographing pets, which allows you to let in as much light as possible for shooting at fast shutter speeds for sudden movements. The other benefit of wide-aperture shooting is bokeh, which when paired with pet photography bokeh, results in dreamy portraits that frame your furry friend beautifully.
Be careful, however, as so often when using string lights with pets, I have found that when placed too close to the subject (such as draped around their neck or directly behind them) your pet companionship may be absorbed by the shallow depth of field and they, too, will become blurry with the bokeh.
This one certainly goes without saying, but be vigilant at all times using lights and make sure your pet does not get tangled or nibble on cables which can overheat or become dangerous. The safety of your model should always be the top priority, but especially if he’s your best four-legged friend.
4) follow their example
When shooting with calmer or maybe a little older pets, try to shoot at their level and keep up with their pace. If your subject decides it’s time to lie down, drop to the floor with them and capture images from a lower angle. You might be surprised at how good they turn out.
With my older Golden Retriever, I used to find it much easier to keep her interested and engaged if I got into her position and gave her treats while taking a photo. If your pet doesn’t want to be followed or seems anxious, give them some space.
5) ask for help
Patience is an absolute virtue in the world of wildlife photography. Try not to get discouraged if your images are not as you initially hoped; Animals can be a difficult subject to work with and it is always helpful to have someone else to help you who can get your pet’s attention while you are busy shooting.
Having someone right behind you and calling out your pet’s name is the best way to get them to look in your direction. Holding a treat or toy next to the lens is another great tip for getting that eye contact that creates a winning portrait.
6) Try using a phone camera
Some animals can be very curious – you’ve heard of what killed the cat, haven’t you? Let them sniff out any lenses or camera bodies you intend to place near them. It can help your pet ignore autofocus and shutter sounds and stay in position while you shoot.
For more nervous or nervous animals, it may be worth ditching the camera altogether and opting for smartphone photography instead. A phone is something your pet might be used to already, they’ve likely seen you use a phone more often than a big camera, so this might be a less intimidating approach to taking a photo of your pet. company.
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