We love our pets, and we certainly love to look at them. Our social media pages are covered in furry faces. Our phones and tablets are mobile pet photo galleries. Just ask any pet lover what their current desktop wallpaper is, and you will likely be bombarded with 27 photos of Fifi doing the exact same thing from 13 different angles. We love sharing all of our pets’ cute quirks, and we enjoy when others do the same.
So you’ve turned this fun fixation into something tangible, right? You have appointed yourself “Pet PR Extraordinaire”. Your four-legged friend now has his own Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr pages. Now it’s time to turn up the cute factor and decorate those pages with countless photos of your mutt’s irresistible mug.
Capture your pet in his natural environment.
When your pet is at ease, he is more likely to do all of the things that you love most (translation: all of the things you’ve been dying to photograph!). Go for shots of him lying in his favorite spot, peering out the window, or playing with his favorite toy. For cats, the “good morning” kitty-stretch-and-yawn is a contender among best-loved pet photo ops.
Engage your pet.
Trying to get your pet to be still for photos will likely drive both of you crazy. Instead, play with him, talk to him, and capture him in action. If he catches onto your wily shutterbug ways and freezes up, hold the camera out for him. Let him sniff it, inspect it, and even lick it. The more familiar he becomes with that strange black flashing contraption, the more comfortable he will be when you’re snapping shots of all those precious moments.
Speaking of the black flashing contraption…
Take advantage of natural or ambient light.
Turn off that flash! You don’t like a camera flash in your eyes, and neither does your pet. Besides making everyone see stars, the flash can really ruin the quality and tone of your image. Put on your favorite sunglasses and draw back the drapes. Take the dog for a walk or let the cat lounge on the coffee table under your favorite lamp. It seems counterintuitive, but a cloudy day can really lend itself to creating phenomenal lighting for photographers. Diffuse lighting is the way to go for any portrait, including those featuring your cat or dog.
Be creative! The beauty of hobby photography is that there are no rules, and you’ll always have that trusty “delete” button to fall back on if you don’t like the results. This is a fun opportunity for some quality time with your best friend and a great way to spend the afternoon. It’s also very special one-of-a-kind décor for your home or office and a creative solution for filling all those dusty old frames that have been taking up your storage space. All you have to do is point and shoot!