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How to Guide: Taking Photos of Your Pets

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Pets are important family members. With unconditional love and unquestioning devotion, it’s no wonder that we cherish our furry friends and hold them so close to our hearts. Photos of pets can be used to create lasting memories to carry with us after they are gone.

Technology has come a long way and made it easier for pet parents to capture both candid and posed shots of their animals. Whether you’re taking a photo to post on your dog’s Instagram or using it to create a custom painted portrait like this one from Instapainting, quality matters. Here’s how to take great photos of your pets.

Use Natural Light

Using natural light is the secret to any great photo, whether it’s of your favorite human or your canine companion. Interior lights often cast harsh shadows or hues that aren’t complimentary to anyone. Additionally, the light can be inadequate and degrade the quality of the finished product; this isn’t ideal if you’re hoping to have your image expanded and framed.

While natural light is preferable, really sunny days can make for challenging photos. Either opt to take your images on a cloudy day or diffuse white light for the best possible shot of your pet.

Capture Their Personality

Every pet has their own unique personality that we come to know and love. When taking a photo, try to convey that personality through your image. If you have an active, outdoor-loving chocolate lab, try to get some action shots of him doing what he loves. If you have a sassy cat who rules the roost, aim for a photo that shows her at her snootiest.

Many people choose to dress their pets up and do a glamour style shoot. Be sure to keep your pet’s comfort in mind and give them time to get used to any accessories you’re considering.

Patience is Prime

Chances are, your pet isn’t going to be entirely cooperative and may challenge your creative vision. However, it’s important to remember that this likely isn’t something that your pet is used to, and they can get uncomfortable when they detect your stress. It’s important to be patient and to understand that getting the perfect shot might be a long process.

Get on your pet’s level and spend some time with them. Offer comforting words, loving touches, and a few treats, snapping photos when it makes sense to do so.

Use a Tripod

Whether you use a camera or an iPhone, stability will make a big difference in the quality of your photo. It may even help you get a shot that you wouldn’t be able to otherwise. Use a small tripod with a remote so that you can help get your pet situated and snap reactive photos.

If there’s a spot your pet loves to visit that you want to capture, leave the tripod there for a few days until they get used to it in their environment.

Adjust Your Settings

Take some time to learn about the settings on your device and take a manual approach to your photography. For example, adjusting the shutter speed can help you get high-quality photos in lower light or capture action shots without worrying about a blurry effect. Taking practice shots and researching photography basics on your device will be fun, informative, and result in better pet photography.

Reward Them

If you’re planning on making your pet a model for your photography passion, make sure they’re paid handsomely. Reward them for their cooperation with treats or a new toy. If you start to get stressed out, take a break and give yourselves some time to unwind.

Remember, this should be an enjoyable experience that celebrates your special relationship with your fur baby. Experiment with different shots and styles until you find something that speaks to you.

By Joanne Carter

Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website— TheAppWhisperer.com— TheAppWhisperer platform has been a pivotal cyberspace for mobile artists of all abilities to learn about, to explore, to celebrate and to share mobile artworks. Joanne’s compassion, inclusivity, and humility are hallmarks in all that she does, and is particularly evident in the platform she has built. In her words, “We all have the potential to remove ourselves from the centre of any circle and to expand a sphere of compassion outward; to include everyone interested in mobile art, ensuring every artist is within reach”, she has said.
Promotion of mobile artists and the art form as a primary medium in today’s art world, has become her life’s focus. She has presented lectures bolstering mobile artists and their art from as far away as the Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea to closer to her home in the UK at Focus on Imaging. Her experience as a jurist for mobile art competitions includes: Portugal, Canada, US, S Korea, UK and Italy. And her travels pioneering the breadth of mobile art includes key events in: Frankfurt, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Paris, Brazil, London.
Pioneering the world’s first mobile art online gallery - TheAppWhispererPrintSales.com has extended her reach even further, shipping from London, UK to clients in the US, Europe and The Far East to a global group of collectors looking for exclusive art to hang in their homes and offices. The online gallery specialises in prints for discerning collectors of unique, previously unseen signed limited edition art.
Her journey towards becoming The App Whisperer, includes (but is not limited to) working for a paparazzi photo agency for several years and as a deputy editor for a photo print magazine. Her own freelance photographic journalistic work is also widely acclaimed. She has been published extensively both within the UK and the US in national and international titles. These include The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Popular Photography & Imaging, dpreview, NikonPro, Which? and more recently with the BBC as a Contributor, Columnist at Vogue Italia and Contributing Editor at LensCulture. Her professional photography has also been widely exhibited throughout Europe, including Italy, Portugal and the UK.
She is currently writing several books, all related to mobile art and is always open to requests for new commissions for either writing or photography projects or a combination of both. Please contact her at: joanne@theappwhisperer.com