Taking cute photos of our pet isn’t exactly easy. They squiggle, wiggle and don’t know the command, “Hey, stay still!” Too frequently we aim the camera down at them, which results in weird and out of proportion photos with big noses and snouts as the focal point. However, you can learn to take Instagram-worthy photos of your pets with just a few tricks and a little practice. Let us teach you how to photograph dogs and cats, so you’ll have a phone-full of amazing pics of your furry family members!
Get On Their Level
When photographing humans, positioning the camera above their eye level and shooting at a downward angle can help people to appear thinner. However, when learning how to photograph dogs and cats, this is usually the first mistake that needs to be corrected.
Aiming your camera downward at your dog will make its nose, muzzle, and eyes appear very large compared to the rest of their body. Similarly, with cats, the angle will make them look like they are all head with a tiny body. Simply moving yourself and the camera down to their eye level will keep the proportioning correct and the photo will appear more natural. This means you may need to kneel, sit, or lie on the floor. A plus is that your dog will think you’re ready to play, and your cat will be pleased to see another sign of worship.
Lighting is Key
Like in any photography, your light source is key to creating the mood and the focus of your subject. How to photograph dogs and cats outside is fairly simple. You must position yourself and the subject. Always try to keep the sun at your back. Having the sunshine in front of your camera causes sun glares and casts shadows upon your pet. On very cloudy days, the angle doesn’t matter because the sunlight is being diffused through the clouds. This type of light will not cause harsh shadows.
When you are inside, you control the light source intensity. How you want the light to affect your photograph of your dog or cat is entirely up to you. A standing lamp with adjustable arms and white light shades is the perfect tool for this job. This type of lamp is very cheap and can be found at stores like Walmart. If you want a strong cast shadow, point the lamp bulb straight at your subject. If you want a soft light, face the lamp in the other direction so that the shade diffuses the light and softens the shadows. Your choice of the bulb will also determine whether you have warm light in hues of yellow and orange, or harsh white light. Use windows to add more natural light to the room.
Capturing a cute photo of your pet during an activity can be difficult. Constant movement when exercising combined with not being able to hold their attention for long can drive you crazy when learning how to photograph your dog or cat. The secret is surprising your pet and taking the shot within a couple of seconds that you have their full attention. You may want to have a helper nearby who can call your pet and get their attention in other ways while you focus on the money shot.
How we photograph our dogs and cats depends on what mood we want to set and what feelings we want to convey. Close-ups of pets bring you into their world, help you to see through their eyes, and feel what they feel. Side profiles and shots from behind add intrigue and mystery. Perhaps your pet has beautiful, shiny fur and you want to capture every detail up to their eyelashes. Close-ups focusing on their eyes can bring a world of depth into your cute pet photo.
Be patient when learning how to photograph your dog or cat. Every photographer takes about 100 photos just to get a few really good ones. Reward your pet with treats when you’ve had a session. You might even be able to get them to pose long enough for a treat, too! And who knows, maybe someday your furry model will be insta-famous because of your photographic masterpieces.