In today's household, pets happen to be an important part of the family as they tend to be a source of happiness and joy to both kids and adults alike. Your dog or cat is sure to make a perfect subject for a pet portrait that is to be hung glamorously in the living room. As a photographer, you know that taking great photographs is not all that easy. It takes patience, time and knowledge.
Capturing great shots of your pet is more challenging. Unlike humans, pets don't even have an idea of what's going or that you're trying to get them to strike the perfect pose. Pet portrait photography is sure to be a rewarding experience as all the photographs of the pets are 100% natural, making the shots awesome. Regardless of whether you want to add pet photography tips your business or just feel like capturing a treasured photograph of your pet, there are quite a number of things you need to know before showing up with your camera expecting award winning portraits.
As I mentioned earlier, there are quite a number of points to put into consideration when taking a photograph of your dog or cat. A lot of experienced photographers have an idea of how to create the perfect scenario to capture an excellent photo. However, if you're not experienced, you might not know about the tricks and tips that can deliver award winning portraits that can be hung in the hall or living room. Here are some excellent tips that will help kick your pet portrait photography up the notch.
Tip 1. Patience and Positivity
When it comes to pet portrait photography, one thing we must realize is that the task demands a lot of patience. You should know that waiting for that perfect expression or pose that depicts the character of the pet may take a little time. Sometimes we get lucky, and it happens every fast, then there are other times when it feels as though we will never get the PERFECT SHOT. Now, the latter can be frustrating but try as much as possible to remain positive.
Speaking of patience and positivity, you ought to know that if you hasten the shoot and become frustrated, the end results will suffer. An attitude filled with positivity is felt by pets, and in turn, they make the job a whole lot easier as they become more comfortable with having a camera in their adorable little faces. If you sense any feeling of impatience or frustration within you, try to take a break and get back to it when you feel more relaxed.
Tip 2. Opt For Natural Lighting
Taking pet portrait photograph outside gives you the opportunity to get the best natural light for the photo. Take your pet out for a couple of shots at dawn or dusk, doing this can create great natural shadows and light. Cloudy days are also a plus. Taking shots on cloudy days provides mild lighting on your subject without the harsh shadows. So cloudy days are perfect for pet portrait photography. Never take shots at high noon, as this is the harshest time of the day to take outdoor photos. For a bonus, natural light will also ensure that you don't get 'red eye' and will also make your pet feel comfortable throughout the photo shoot.
Tip 4. Adjust Shutter Speed and Aperture
In the course of taking portrait photographs of your pets, ensure you have both the shutter speed and aperture at optimal settings. If you want a nice blurred background, you have to go for a very wide aperture.
Tip 5. Shoot Repeatedly
Shooting continuously can help you accomplish a couple of things. First and foremost, it makes the pet get used to the sound of the camera. Secondly, it gives you the opportunity to capture candid shots in between formal poses. You might be astounded at some images you captured when you review them later in the day.
Tip 6. Composition
Most of the time we can get carried away with the thought of getting that perfect expression or excellent shot that we pay little to no attention to what is around us or in the background. Endeavor to make a visual check via the viewfinder to see if you are utilizing the rules of good composition. Is the background uncluttered? Are you making use of your thirds? Does the background complement the subject?
For example, it may be unwise time shoot a black dog with a dark background. In essence, if you discover that your location is not working as planned, move around to the other side or change locations altogether. Doing this can make a significant difference between a regular shot and a stunning portrait.
Tip 8. Try Different Angles
The eyes of the dog or cat are the most important part of the photograph. The inner character and soul of the pet can be dramatically captured by getting down to their eye level. Taking great shots from above by standing on a chair or something solid can also produce unique photographs that are sure to be absolutely stunning. Just try to be adventurous. Experimenting with various angles may also produce exceptional portraits. Remember, focus all your energy on the eyes.
Tip 9. Pay Your Model With Toys and Treats
Most photographers find the use of pet toys and treats unnecessary in stimulating the pet to play along throughout the photo shoot. Well, the use of toys and treats can come in handy in some situations, and it may turn out to be a problem in others. For instance, the toys and treats can help you capture more striking images, but on the other hand, some pets may become hyperactive and become difficult to work with. So the use of toys and treats solely depends on the personality of the pooch, observe and decide whether or not to use the props.
Tip 10. Have Fun!
The bottom line is for you to remain positive and enjoy yourself. You can't expect to take great shots if you're not enjoying the adventure. So have fun, and the pictures will turn out to be beautiful and stunning.
There are quite a number of things to remember in a very limited time frame when you're working with pets. Taking quality pet portraits is challenging, to say the least, but extremely rewarding in the long run. Capturing the essence and character of your client's favorite family pet turns that portrait into a priceless