Seven Beginner's Tips to Photographing Your Pet
Humans and their pets share an unbreakable bond that is forever captured and remembered in the photos we take of them. Capturing compelling portraits of your pets is fairly simple but takes quite a bit of practice and attention to details. Here are a couple of quick pointers to start you off.
Focus on The Eyes
A person's eyes are the windows to their soul and can tell a lot about them. Anyone that loves animals realizes that the same applies to their pets. If your Chocolate Lab is tired, he'll lower his head and show an expression of weariness in his eyes. When shooting your pet (with a camera) be sure to try to get their eyes sharply in focus.
Elicit an Emotion
Play with your Beagle—take careful note of what happens. Perhaps she'll bark, howl, wag her tail, jump around a bit, etc. Obviously her behaviour will reflect how good she is feeling. This is the perfect moment to capture her genuine happiness. Snap a photo of her gorgeous smile with her tongue out, standing confidently and watching her tail wag back and forth. Photos like these remind us of the great times with our pets.
Capture The Personality
You know what's great about Maine Coons, just how much they love to rub their head against anything they love—like you! If your cat is showing you or someone else affection, on camera shows just how much of a loving personality it has.
Similarly, maybe you cat has a favorite toy that they always play with. Photographing them playing with it is something that you will always remember about them.
Make Sure that They Are Still!
Nothing is worse than a blurry photo. If your pet isn't in focus or moving around too quickly, then it will be hard to capture a clear photo. When shooting these images, pay very careful attention to the details. If your pet is moving his/her head when shooting the photo, you'll get a blurry image.
Also, take careful note of where your camera is focusing. Manually focusing can help with this.
Chances are that you don't have a pet elephant or a giraffe; or even that your pet is taller than you. In most cases, one's pets are physically shorter than their owner. Because of this, it is always best to get down low to take the photo. If you can, shoot wider and get up close. Alternatively, telephoto lenses can also capture great images. The lower perspective truly captures the animal for who they are.
Stop Your Lens Down
As with proper focusing, control of your aperture (or f stop) can really help to capture sharp images of your pet. As a pointer, try shooting at f/5.6. This will ensure that your image is sharp and that the important parts of your pet are totally in focus.
In contrast, shooting wide open (say, f/1.8) can create some wonderful effects if done correctly.
Composition is Everything
Composing a pet portrait correctly is very important. To do this, you perhaps may want to use the Rule of Thirds. Your camera will enable this as a guide to be superimposed over your LCD screen. If you have a DSLR, then it could perhaps allow the guide to be displayed or you may need to purchase a guide that goes over your viewfinder.