Have you ever tried pet photography and wound up with a candid view of their backside?
Getting your pet to cooperate for a photoshoot can be tricky business, but these 6 pet photo ideas will help you get that perfect shot. After all, the family photo isn’t complete without them!
1. Know your pet’s personality
Where does your pet feel most comfortable?
Go to them where they’re comfortable and likely to stay put for a while and find a way to make that context interesting.
Maybe your cat loves napping near the window midday. Try catching a photo of them in the sunlight during the afternoon. If you want a playful shot of your dog, where does your dog like to play? The park? Your backyard? The basement?
Trying to get an action shot of your lazy cat or mellow photo of your hyperactive dog might result in you banging your head against a wall. Plan your shoot and fit it to your pet’s personality.
2. Get in close
One mistake many amateur photographers will make is to keep the context similar to how they might shoot a family member, forgetting that this is an entirely different situation. Your pet is probably smaller than a person and that means they need to be photographed differently.
Get closer. Don’t let the scenery swallow up your pet.
This will also help you figure out the best angles on your pet. It can be tricky. Many beginners struggle knowing where to focus. Pet photographer Josh Norem suggests you focus on the eyes. If they eyes are out of focus, the shot will never look right.
Not only will getting in close help to get the proportions right, you won’t see the emotion and special looks your pet gives if you’re too far away. The emotion on their face can be more difficult to read further out. Get in there!
3. Try a wide-angle lens
Get in close to capture the details and scale of your pet, but try a wide-angle lens. This will allow you to both get in close and create a little more context.
A wide-angle lens may also offer you some opportunities to get creative as you play with it, creating some fun distortion around the edges. Get a close-up of your pet’s face and get a little more of them in with this technique.
4. Get on your pet’s level
Much like the suggestion in step two, taking your pet’s proportions into account is going to help you capture them better.
When you take a picture of a friend you generally get the lens at face level. Do your pet the same favor. Get down on your knees and take a photo at their level. Lay on your stomach if you have to.
It’ll change their proportions and give you a lot more personality in the photo than if you stand above them and shoot down. Shooting from where you stand will make it look like you’re just pointing and clicking and not getting that expressive portrait you’re looking for.
While you’re down there and since you’re already getting in close, why not try experimenting with some different framing. Catch just a piece of your pet’s face. Take a close-up of a paw. Play around and have fun.
5. Mind your lighting
Lighting is always important in photography. You have to have the right lighting to get the right shot. It’s as important as anything else you can think of in photography.
It can be tricky to organize these things with pets. You need the light, but if you use a flash you might scare your pet. Try using natural light from a window or taking the shoot outside. Natural light looks great and most pets love being in the sun.
6. Get creative!
As we said when we talked about family portraits, be creative, be expressive and don’t take yourself too seriously.
Now that you’ve captured that perfect shot, you have to display it right.
Get yourself a Nixplay WiFi Cloud Frame and you can bring in photos straight from your social media or Bluetooth-enabled smartphone. Even better, with all the great shots you got, you won’t have to choose just one with the frame’s playlist feature.
It’s one of the only frames that’s going to come with support to make sure everything goes right when you’re preparing that photographic tribute to your furry friend.
Bea is Nixplay’s Social Media Manager. She enjoys drinking coffee, reading about wars, and writing stories. Send her a message at email@example.com.