If you are a pet owner, there’s a good chance you consider your beloved pet family. And if you’ve ever attempted to capture your companion in action, you know how daunting the task can be.
Pet photography can be a lot of fun, but there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes. Pets are often very active and patience is required to get the right shot.
Below are a few tips & tricks from some very talented pet photographers and avid olloclip users who know what it takes to capture their pet’s personality in the best light.
Tip 1. Let them explore
Pokee loves to explore, so I let him sit in a coffee mug or a watermelon and simply let him roam around like he wants. I mostly take a series of photos of him moving around and just hold the release button of my iPhone for a few seconds and then choose the best ones later. That way I’m able to capture the moment best and e.g. capture Pokee sticking out his tongue!
Tip 2. Keep it short & sweet
Whenever Pokee is in a very good mood I try to take a couple of different photos that I post throughout the week. When I post a photo of Pokee in a coffee cup on a Monday, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I took the photo on that exact day. I take one or two series of photos of each motive. A shooting with Pokee takes about 10-15 minutes and I get a couple of good photos. You need to make sure the shoots don’t take too long, otherwise your hedgehog might get grumpy.
Tip 3. Use natural light
Taking photos during daytime is important, because the lighting is so much better during the day. This can sometimes be a problem, because hedgehogs are nocturnal. However, this doesn’t mean that Pokee never wakes up during the day. He wakes up a couple of times and searches for a new sleeping place or changes his sleeping position or looks for food. That is the best time to take him out of his terrarium and take some photos with him, because most of the time he’s super relaxed when he wakes up by himself. I almost never wake him up, because he would be more grumpy and that would make it almost impossible to take good photos. I also don’t want to interrupt his sleep.
Tip 4. Give them treats
However, sometimes Pokee is still a little moody - all of us have bad days every once in a while - so do hedgehogs. It helps to rub his belly for a while or feed him a couple of meal worms, he loves them so much! If he could talk he would definitely say something like this, “Human, I want more meal worms!” or “No, don’t stop, one hour of belly rubs isn’t enough.”
Tip 1. Try a different angle
Most cat photos are shot from our human point of view, looking down on them. Cats love sitting in high places. When the opportunity presents itself, shoot from below. It’s nice to see them looking down on us for a change. They also have pretty adorable chins, which doesn’t hurt.
Tip 2. Don’t always shoot the entire cat
Sometimes it’s best just to concentrate on one or two feature. In this case, the eyes and whiskers are the focus. And the clean composition draws even more attention to them.
Tip 3. Try to frame your cat in the background, rather than in the foreground
Look for opportunities when objects create a nice frame and draw your eye to the main subject. Also, the fact that the cat isn’t looking directly at the camera gives this shot a nice candid quality.
Tip 4. Aim for clean compositions
A lot of cat photos are shot at home with busy backgrounds. Cats have beautiful features. If you can capture them in minimal environments, it will give the image a strong quality.
Tip 1. Get an attention grabber
Dogs, and most animals, are very easily distracted. Make sure you have something your pet is very interested in to capture their attention. I recommend squeaky toys, clickers or simply their favorite treat. Most important, don’t forget the reward. Let them play with the toy or give them the treat for a job well done. It’s the best way to keep your best friend smiling when you need a great photo next time. Companies like Pooch Selfie (https://poochselfie.com/) have even taken it a step further by mounting a tennis ball right to the top of your iPhone.
Tip 2. Find well balanced light
Lighting is so key in any type of photography. To avoid harsh light or shadows, when shooting outdoors you should always look for nice well balanced light preferably in the morning or evening time with light is the softest. If inside, lighting is much easier to control and make sure you see even the finest details on the darkest furry face.
Tip 3. Stand back
The olloclip telephoto lens is ideal for shooting pets. With its shallow depth-of-field, its acts as a great portrait lens by allowing you to select focus on your pet and achieve the slightly blurred out background people have come to love. Also, with the telephoto lens, you are able to now stand back a bit and make sure your shadow won’t end up in the frame of the photo.
Tip 4. Don’t be camera shy
Because pets move, it’s a numbers game. Take LOTS of photos, because at the end of the day your iPhone is shooting digital. You can simply delete the shots you don’t love and keep the winners. It’s always difficult photographing a moving and uncooperative subject, so you’ll be glad you have lots of options to choose from.