So, in the past I’ve shared tips about how to capture special moments at home with your Kids, today I thought I’d branch out and talk about photographing your furry kids. 🙂 I’m sharing my top 7 Pet Photography Tips!
Pets come in all shapes and sizes. Some slither. Others just lay there. And still others never stop moving, i.e. puppies. So, some pets will prove to be a cinch to photograph, other’s will give you a run for your money. Literally. I’ve found myself photographing lots and lots of puppies recently (ahem… Thanks Monica), and quickly learned that I needed to bring my A-game (and wear running shoes!)
Here are my first hand experience Pet Photography Tips
1. Dress Comfortably
Put on some clothes you don’t mind getting dirty and maybe rolling around in and, be ready to bust out your best ninja moves at any given moment. I also bring a few old towels that I don’t mind tossing on the ground. Sometimes the best place to photograph your pet, isn’t the best place for humans- towels help. This image below I got while laying in the wet, muddy grass. No lie. But, I mean. Look at that smile. Totally worth it, right?
I’ll also mention that getting down on this puppy’s level is what gives the impression that she’s looking right into your eyes. It also get the grass in the foreground. Look at that, that was 2 tips for the price of 1!
2. Phone A Friend… AKA Contain, Contain, Contain
Having a Friend/Kid/Husband that can wrangle your Puppy or other various pets is priceless. It’s hard to capture precious moments AND chase them around. Actually, impossible might be a better word. Having a helper who can catch them and return them to a good starting point, or make weird noises to get their attention is invaluable!
So in the first image you can see the crazy dog is making her great escape! Hahaha!
But just seconds later, after my talented animal wrangler caught her, sat her down, and started making very weird high pitch noises…well, look. Perfection. An adorable Puppy Picture!
I know puppies might be more crazy and high energy than an adult pet or another animal, but still two people is really the way to go!
3. Use Props or Noise Makers
For the precious, yet very energetic, boxer Puppy below, a ball served as a helpful eye catcher. She loved playing fetch. So her owner held the ball just above my head for a minute, and boom…she was focused and still…for about 15 seconds! Hahaha! But it was just enough time to capture her cute mug!
For lots of pets, think cats, bunnies, etc… they don’t care about chasing a ball, but a noisemaker can be helpful to get their attention. We all go “awww” over pictures where our furry friends have that cute, curious look going on and creating a weird, interesting sound can easily achieve that. When Monica and I work together photographing her Bernese Mountain Dog pups, she usually is jumping up and down, clapping her flip flops together (true story) and making this terribly awkward eeek, eeek sound that is so annoying, but does the trick every time! So, be creative and willing to look crazy and sound ridiculous.
4. Time of Day is Key
Don’t attempt to photograph your pet, especially with dogs, when it’s hot. Aim for evening, or even early morning. Not only will you both be happier and cooler, but the lighting is so much better! With a fluff ball like this one, it’s easy to get over heated. So keep to the cool hours of the day!
5. Don’t Force It- Capture Real Life
Don’t try to pose your pet for every shot, capturing them exploring or even just laying around yawning can produce a great picture. Casually follow your pet around and see what they do- The key here is to be stealth… a quiet as a mouse, if you will (ha!) Most likely these pictures will really encompass the day to day, real life moments that you love about your animal.
In this picture, the branches of the tree caught her attention- it was just for a second, but because I was just waiting and watching I was able to capture it.
6. Natural Light
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention this in every post I share- Natural light is best for all photography, pets, people, you name it. Outdoors in the shade is my recommendation, but if it’s winter or you have a pet that needs to stay inside, choose a room with lots of windows and the most natural light possible. It doesn’t have to be a room you’d necessarily think of using- Monica’s best lit room is her Master Bathroom. We’ve shot lots of DIY projects in there!
How great is this indoor picture from our friend Terri Klinger? And yes, that prickly little fella lives with their family.
7. Call me- AKA Call a Professional
If you want to capture your own Family AND your Puppy…well, that’s where you call in the pro! It’s so fun to capture a variety of Families and portraits with my job, and pets are not an exception!
And simply because the world just needs more puppy pictures..here are a few more for your viewing pleasure.
All images captured by yours truly. Check out my photography site and follow on instagram for more fun tips throughout the Summer!
Thanks Stacy! And if you missed her post on how to edit your Instagram Pictures, be sure to check it out!