Pet photography is a hazardous task, especially for beginners. It takes a lot of patience, understanding of animal psychology. But if you follow some basic tricks to handle the pets as well as your gears, it pays off.
Here are the top 4 pet photography tips for beginners:-
Choose the correct posture:-
Try to capture actions or movements of the pet rather than a mere sitting pose, as it looks more natural and fresh. Every animal tells a lot through its eyes, and it is easily understood from the pictures. So, try to focus on the eyes of the pet. Whether it’s the disgusted look in the eyes of a German Shepherd (after giving 100th shot maybe!), or the surprised look of the rabbit who probably saw a camera for the first time, every photo of yours will tell a story.
Plan the shot ahead:-
You should plan the theme before the shoot considering the pet you will be dealing with. You can experiment with the camera positions and click from their height. To motivate the pet to do what you want it to do, it’s always advised to use some ‘rewards’ like a bone for dogs or toys for cats. These keep your model engaged, and less uncomfortable with the shoot. These rewards can be excellent props too. When you take pictures of a cat playing with wool, it not only makes your task easier because cats love to do this but also makes the photo extremely beautiful. Also, notice whether there is any additional thing popping into your frame. However aesthetic that looks, if it is not relevant to your theme, get rid of it. You can of course remove it during post-processing, but the pet would feel comfortable shooting in a less cluttered environment.
Make the pet listen to you:-
Make sure you build a comfort level with the pet. Show it some love and affection, give it some treats frequently. Never force them to do what you want, rather motivate them. Remember that they will only cooperate with you when they like you. You may need additional time for this rapport-building. So be prepared for that in advance. Instead of ordering them aloud, try to communicate with them non verbally, with your gestures. If you want a dog to sit on a chair, place your hand slowly on the chair, and say ‘sit’ calmly, twice or thrice. Don’t say it again and again in different tones, it will make the poor fellow confused. If commanding 2-3 times on a low-pitched voice doesn’t work, take a break and try again after some time. Nothing can be worse than making the pet irked during the photoshoot, so adjust with its schedule and temper. You need to be more patient while capturing their moments of action and move slowly with them to get the most natural shot. You may also like to take a lot of photos before you get the perfect shot. Be careful about your movement though, because the pet would most likely change their position or expression quickly when they find you moving.
For pet photography, it’s good to use a + or - exposure as the white or black fur of the pet can affect the exposure otherwise. Click with a narrower aperture. Generally, a 35-70 mm lens is considered good for pet photography. Using a flash can make the pet annoyed or afraid. If you are to use flash anyway, remove the flash marks from the eyes of the pet as this makes the photo look very ugly.After reading the blog, you're not feeling that nervous to begin your journey as a pet photographer, right? When you be friendly with the pet, you will realize that the entire process of pet photography is nothing but fun.
Written by Sanga Basu, Content Writer, WPC