They seem to be in everyone’s pockets nowadays. The infamous camera phone. Whether it’s an iPhone or an Android most us have the ability to capture those special moments at the drop of a dime. And for many people, camera phones are used to remind us of those cute things done by those we love. In this case I’m talking about your pets. Pets … kids … babies. With some of my friends, the words may sometimes get intertwined.
Outside of keeping the images on our phones, the first place people tend to run to show others these cute shots are social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Unfortunately, I’m not a pet owner. Once I have the space and the time I would love to have a Weimaraner or a Rhodesian Ridgeback but that time is not now. I’m also not a pet photographer but the concepts with pets and people are all too similar. To demonstrate the concepts I discuss in this post about pet photography I will point you to images by Simson Petrol. If you search for Simson on Flickr you will see she is extremely fond of animal photography. So how can we capture those unforgettable images of our pets?
Use Natural Light
You want to avoid flash with your pets for the reasons of not scaring your pet and not creating that red-eye effect that is so often seen in snapshots of people. This is actually more prevalent in animal photos. The light from a flash reflects off the retina of the pet like a mirror. The red-eye is simply the blood vessels in the eye with somewhat of a backlight to them. So avoid flash if at all possible.
Get Your Pet Comfortable First
Whether it is pulling out their favorite chew toy, rubbing behind their ears or focusing their attention on something else you must get your pet comfortable to capture that extraordinary moment. Once that is done, the next step is to …
Get Down At Their Level
So many pet photos are taken from 4 or 5 feet above the pet. It’s not that it’s not cute to have your tiny puppy looking up at you but it’s even more special to be eye level with your beautiful little friend.
Capture Your Pets Personality
Instead of only capturing the rare moments of your pet, look for moments that show your pet’s personality. Things like sitting on the back of the couch, sitting in a rocking chair or sleeping with his paws up are all things that may be specific to your pet. They are the things that make your pet who they are and those are the things you always want to remember about your pet.
Minimize Distracting Objects In The Photo
I know what you’re asking. ‘How can I minimize distracting objects with a camera phone?’ You do it in many of the same ways that you would do it with a full-size camera. Get close to your pet and if at all possible keep the background distance at least 3 times the distance from your pet as your camera is from your pet. The combination of these two things will actually allow you to do something pretty extraordinary with your camera phone … blur the background.
Practice Pet Photo Patience
Remember that most of your pets are not professional models. You have to work around their schedule. Sometimes they may not be in the mood but if you’re willing to wait they’ll give you some of the most memorable images of their lives. And last but not least …
Have Fun With Your Pets!!!