Photographs of your pets are a great way to capture your love for them and can allow you to share that affection with friends and family. Bruce Weber, the legendary photographer, has some advice for taking great pet photos.
1) Get down to their level.
One of the most important things you can do as a pet photographer is get down on the same level as your subject. This puts them at ease and allows you to capture their personality in the photo.
2) Use natural light whenever possible.
The best photos always have great lighting, and the best type of light is soft, natural light. Turn off your flash and move your pet into a spot with nice light, whether it’s a window or a doorway.
3) Shoot from the dog’s eye level at times.
There are some instances when photographing from a regular height can take away from the photo. For example, sometimes it’s more interesting to get down low and shoot them from their eyes level when photographing dogs. This will allow you to capture some cute or funny moments that your dog might be having while looking at something on the ground.
4) Learn dog body language.
You should always be aware of your pet’s comfort level during a photoshoot. If they start to get antsy, it’s time to end the session. Pay attention to their body language and look for signs that they’re getting uncomfortable, such as ears back, tail between legs, etc.
5) Use props sparingly.
While props can be fun and add some character to your photos, you don’t want to be too much. So stick with a couple of props or use them in moderation to keep your photos clean and simple.
6) Get down on the ground to take pet portraits.
Many people are uncomfortable taking photos from this perspective, but it’s important if you really want to capture something unique about your pet. Of course, the best way is to sit on the ground, but you can also use a small stool or stepladder.
7) Use their favorite toy to get great pet photos.
Getting dogs to look at the camera is next to impossible, so don’t even try it. Instead, get them to look at something they love by using it in your photoshoot. This can be their favorite toy, a treat, or even just your voice.
8) Pay attention to backgrounds.
The background of your photo can make or break the shot. Make sure you choose a background that doesn’t distract from your pet, and that will compliment them nicely.
9) Shoot in bursts.
When taking photos of active pets, the most frustrating part is when they keep moving during a photoshoot. The best way to avoid this is by shooting in bursts. Hold down your shutter button for bursts of photos instead of trying to take one great shot.
10) Try not to “pose” your pet too much.
Even if you’re using props in your photoshoot, you don’t want to force your pet into too many unnatural poses. Let them be themselves, and you’ll get better photos.
With these tips in mind, you’re sure to take great pet photos that will capture your pet’s personality perfectly!