Our pets are adorable and it’s no surprise we want to capture their beauty, but they aren’t always cooperative and it can be difficult to get a nice photo of them.
We’ve laid out some top tips below that will help you capture the shots that will get you more fur and less blur!
I realised when I started writing this blog that I should perhaps write tips for taking photos using your phone and tips for using a camera. All of the tips collectively will make you capture that show stopping shot.
We use a DSLR Camera to capture our images here at Wishbone Weddings but I know lots of people use their phone.
Its said that the best camera you can have is the one you have in your hand.
Photography Tips using your Phone
- Take lots of Photos, this is the first rule of photography.
The more you take, the better your chances of getting a few amazing shots.
- Pay Attention to your background is there anything that could take that shine away from your photo, for example a dirty bin or plug sockets etc.
Simple backgrounds like a sandy beach or green trees, make your dog stand out more.
- If you want action shots it’s best to take your photos before the 3 mile run, if you want a serene portrait make it after.
- Most phones will have an option to use burst mode, which means they take a few photos in one click of the camera, one after the other. This is good for fidgety pets who don’t stay still, or if you’re trying to get an action shot of your pet. You can go through all the photos your phone took afterwards and pick out the best (least-blurry) one.
- Tap to set focus and exposure!!
If you tap a spot on your screen (in this case, probably your pet’s face), that is where the camera will focus and meter for proper exposure. Most of the time, your camera is pretty good at guessing, but you want better photos ALL the time, so help it out and let it know what part of the scene is most important to you. For portraits, whether they are of pets or people, focus should almost always be on the eyes.
- Try to have a steady hand hold your camera as still as possible to prevent blurry photos. Try hold your camera phone with both hands and keep your elbows tucked in against your sides, for extra stability.
You can introduce unwanted movement just by tapping the screen to release the shutter.
Did you know that on most smart phones, you can use the volume buttons on the side as a shutter button? That will allow you to hold the phone much steadier, with both hands. (Also great for a cheeky selfie)
- Something we are always on the look out for are stray hairs, eye gloop, shoe string saliva. After all our Wishbone Wedding Adventurers need to be looking their best at their parents wedding.
- There are hundreds of editing apps, try them out see which one works best for you. Experiment and find your style.
Photography Tips using your camera
Wherever your pet is, you want your source of light to be your side of the camera not right behind them. If you take a photo of your pet say, in front of a window with light coming in from behind them, you might find they end up looking very dark and almost silhouetted.
Window light can create a softer light and has a tendency to bring out the sparkle in your pet’s eyes much better than artificial overhead lights can.
Just remember try to make sure that you are the same side as the light so it lights up your pet’s beautiful face.
When heading outside, look for a spot of full shade to prevent awkward shadows. (On a cloudy day, this soft, shady light is everywhere).
Getting down on your pets eye level will create a more personal pet portrait, as it brings out unique personalities and highlights a more intimate perspective. If you shoot from your eye level, the pet will look smaller and it will be harder to look into those eyes in the shot.
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.
Forget The Flash
Pets are more sensitive to bright flashes they may be spooked by it or feel unsettled which is the last thing you want.
Treats & Toys
My absolute top tip – food bribes.
Does your dog have a favourite treat or toy?
Maybe even a word that grabs their attention. Rewarding sit and stays with treats or holding their favourite toy up near the camera not only does it help you to get those lovely shots but your pet will be enjoying himself too. Make it fun give them some treats play with them and keep sessions short.
Use a fast shutter speed, Continuous focus and burst mode
Since many pets have a hard time sitting still, use a fast shutter speed. Set your camera to shutter priority mode or set a shutter speed of at least 1/250 if possible, and even faster for action shots of a game of fetch. Turning the burst mode on will take a sequence of fast shots to up the odds of getting a perfectly-timed shot. Prevent soft images by using continuous autofocus mode, not single.
Practice when your pets sleeping
It might sound creepy but you could take photos of your pet when they are napping as they will be nice, still and settled. Just try not to disturb them. Turn off your shutter sound if possible.
I hope these tips help. Happy Snapping!