Pet Photography – 6 Tips for Capturing an Animal’s Personality

Photography by Jean-Michel Leclercq – All Rights Reserved

Pet photography is a great way to capture beautiful photos of your pet or someone else’s if you’re a professional photographer. Whether you’re a professional pet photographer or just an amateur enthusiast, starting with a decent camera is key.

Although you don’t need the latest and greatest to take good photos of your pets, being familiar and comfortable with your camera that will take beautiful pictures is important.

Once you have a good camera to work with, take these six tips for capturing a pet’s personality with pet photography:

1. Keep the eyes in focus

It’s just as important to keep the eyes in focus in pet photography as it is in people photography. The eyes of a pet can give just as much personality to a photo as the eyes of a human being. Of course, it can be harder to keep a pet’s eyes in focus, particularly if they’re constantly moving. It takes practice and patience, but you can do it.

2. Capture your pet in his natural poses

If you’re a pet owner, you already know what poses and positions your pet loves best. Photograph a sleepy pet with a yawn on his face, and an energetic one in an action pose. If you’re a professional pet photographer, you can figure out how to photograph pets by talking to the owners.

It may also help to know a little bit about the most popular pets, particularly the dog breeds you’re most likely to photograph. According to the AKC, the Bulldog, Boxer, Labrador Retriever, and German Shepherd are some of the most popular American dog breeds, so these are breeds you’re likely to run across often. Get to know the typical personality characteristics of these common breeds so that you can capture them in photos even better.

3. Don’t stage too much

Photographing a pet is similar to photographing a toddler. You simply can’t put them in a picture-perfect pose. It’s easiest to photograph a pet when they’re sleepy or playful, depending on the mood you want to capture, and it’s never a good idea to try to photograph a hungry animal.

One of the best ways to get good shots is to surprise a pet, either by having someone in the distance call to him while you’re standing close by or by waking him up from a nap and snapping some shots right away.

4. Use natural light

Of course, it’s always best to use natural light for your photos whenever possible, but nowhere is this truer than with pet photography. Pets are even more prone to red-eye from a flash than humans are, and natural light will help prevent this while capturing your pet’s personality as much as possible. If photographing indoors, choose a warm room that’s well-lit through the windows, and photograph outdoors in the morning or evening for the softest lighting.

5. Get up close and personal

It’s not easy to take pet photos up close, but these close-up photos that capture every detail of a pet’s face, fur, feathers, and other features are the best. Pets who move often or who are particularly curious about the camera are even harder to photograph close up, but it’s worth your patience and time to get a few good close up shots during a pet photography shoot.

6. Try props

While props aren’t always essential to a pet photo shoot, they can help capture your pet’s personality, particularly if the props are things that your pet wears or plays with often. Photograph a dog in his favorite bandana or a cat playing with her favorite toy. Minimalist props used carefully will make for the best possible pet photos that really capture a pet’s personality.

Pet photography is a fun way to capture a pet’s personality for all time, whether you’re a professional photographer offering services to local clients or an amateur practicing your skills on your pet. These six tips will help ensure that your pet photos are as full of personality as your pet is.

If you don’t have a lot of money to invest in a good camera at the moment, consider using a cash back credit card to buy one so that you can pay it off over a few months. For a comparison chart, click here. After all, there’s no better time to photograph your pet than now. You don’t have to spend a fortune on a camera, and a cash back card could allow you to use some of your reward money to purchase extra accessories for your camera.