The lighting is perfect. The wind is just right. The Santa hat is balanced beautifully. The camera is ready and your finger is itching to snap the shutter. Taking pet pictures is SO EASY!
All the elements have come together perfectly to create a beautiful portrait of your best friend. Hang on, the model is licking his unmentionables again. Now he’s scratching. He just noticed a bird – and he’s off!
Sound familiar? Taking a good pet photo is an extreme sport. Here’s how to get the best pet photos this festive season.
1. Patience is a virtue when pets are involved
We bet Kate Moss has never been thaaat excited to see a photographer. But pets love to explore, and they get excited when they see their favourite human. It’s hard for them to strike a pose when you’re that close. All they want to do is come for some love and scratches!
Grab your pet’s favourite blanket and toys for the pet photoshoot. Make sure that your pooch or kitty is comfortable and calm before you take on the role of pup-arazzi.
Taking pet pictures is an art, not a science. It might take a few minutes, so be patient with your poser.
2. Get your camera settings juuust right
While you wait for your model to get ready for their shoot, make sure that your camera’s ready to roll. Taking pet pictures requires your camera to be set up properly. So you can capture the furkids’ best side, obviously.
Here’s where the extreme sport photography comes in. CreativeLive suggests that you use a fast shutter speed (1/250), continuous focus and burst mode for your pet pics. It will capture any movement purr-fectly. You’ve gotta be quick with those pet photos so that you capture the reindeer ears and Christmas tinsel in all their festive glory!
If you’re using a phone, it’s best to switch the flash and camera noise off as it might frighten your pet. It could also potentially hurt their retina, plus it can result in creepy reflective Halloween eyes.
3. Get the right level and angle for rocking pet photos
Get down to eye level with your pet, so the lens can see the world through their eyes and highlight their beauty. Using natural light will bring out the colour of their eyes. Then you can gaze into them in real life and in pet photos.
“To really make those puppy dog eyes pop, make sure the camera focuses on the eyes by using single-point autofocus area and moving the focal point over one of the pet’s eyes”, says photography expert, Hillary Grigonis.
TIP: Never take a picture of your pet from high above or below. It flattens their form. Yes, even if your pet has a bit of lockdown weight and could do with some flattening of their form.
4. Get that four-legged model’s attention
It’s not like you can tell them to say “cheese!” or ask them to look directly into the lens. Well, you could….but it’d likely result in nothing. That only works on the human kids. Sometimes.
That’s why it’s important to catch your furkid’s attention in other ways. Snap your fingers, call their name, get a squeaky toy to do the hard work, or tempt them with a healthy treat. Why a healthy treat? It might not be very festive, but check out our blog on diabetes in dogs and cats to understand more.
And while you’re at it, make sure you’ve read up about Christmas dinner and pets so you know what toxic treats to avoid giving them this festive season.
Back to getting their attention, here’s a tip: Dogs are known to respond to cat sounds; cats are known to ignore, well, almost everything. Cat owners will know this already. Maybe try doing a silly dance or opening a tin of tuna?
5. Frame the best one
Don’t be shy with taking pet pictures this Christmas. Go mad and snap away until you’re satisfied that your pet photoshoot has been a success. Make sure that you’ve got at least a dozen pet photos or so that you loooove. Then you just have to choose your favourites for framing!
Remember that the job’s not done until you’ve rewarded your pawed poser. They’ve worked long and hard for their modelling debut. Surely they deserve a treat?
Pet insurance – the Christmas gift that keeps on giving
Treating your pet to their very own pet insurance policy truly is the gift that keeps on giving. We think it’s the best Christmas gift for pets. Year after year, your insurance will be there to cover mishaps, escapades, and sick days.
Taking pet pictures – over to you
Have any pet photo tips that you’d like to share? Let us know the secret to a successful pet photoshoot in the comments!