For many of us across the globe, pets play an important role in our lives and are often thought of as one of the family. Photography is a great way to cherish our furry friends, and to capture moments that’ll give you that warm fuzzy feeling for years to come. Like family photographs, the aim of any pet portrait is to represent your pet’s individual character and the reasons why you love them (maybe don’t photograph them munching on an expensive pair of shoes!). While the pros make it look easy, if you’ve ever tried photographing your cat or dog, you’ll know it’s no walk in the park. But don’t worry! Follow these simple tips to pet photography, and you’ll be taking pawsome shots in no time.
A successful pet photograph will explore a particular aspect of the animal’s personality. The best way to do this is to take a leaf out of David Attenborough’s book, and catch snapshots of your pet in their natural habitat! For example, take a picture of your cat having a nap in his favourite spot, your pup fraternising with the locals down the pub or some energetic action shots on a dog walk. Getting a posed image of your pet can be an arduous task, and often produces generic and awkward looking images. It’s good to remember that the more photos you take of your pet, the more natural they will behave in front of the lens, so get snapping!
Capture the bond
The special bond between domesticated animals and humans is a big part of why we love them; a dog is a man’s best friend after all! So, don’t be afraid to add a human element to your pet pic, and like all the best portrait photography, the more natural the better. An easy way to represent the connection between people and pets is to include a hand in your image, stroking or patting the pet, and to produce a powerful and timeless image, try converting your photo into black and white!
When photographing pets, most people either simply point their camera down for close ups or photograph distance shots from standing eye level. Photography is all about exploring new and hidden perspectives, and if you photograph your pet from these same ‘human angles’, you’re unlikely to get a shot that stands out from the crowd. So, get down on the floor and photograph your canine companion or feline friend from THEIR eye level, and see the world from their perspective. Warning: watch out for the slobber! If you’re feeling experimental, have a go at taking a side profile shot, coupled with an aesthetic backdrop; this setup can produce an image of bags of character and is sure to make you top dog on Instagram!