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7 Professional Photography Tips for Capturing Memorable Moments with Your Pet

As an animal-obsessed photographer and devoted furbaby owner, I live to capture the bond between humans and animals. Not everyone understands how one can be so deeply attached (some might say obsessed 😍) and connected to a dog, cat, horse, or even pig...but I certainly do! What can I say? Animals are so easy to love, so accepting, and authentic.


That's why capturing that connection is such a priceless way to preserve the bond and joy you share. I've heard so many stories of people who had this "soul-connection" with their dog, and they kick themselves because they never got one great image of it. Sadly, for many of them it's too late. Don't let this happen to you, because one day you will look back and yearn for just one image that captured what you had together.


Here are my professional tips for making sure you have at least one great image of your baby to keep forever ❤️


1. Understand Your Pet's Personality:

Before you start a snapping away and dressing them up (sorry cats 😾), take the time to understand your pet's personality and behavior. Every pet is unique, and knowing what makes your furry friend comfortable and happy will help you capture their true essence in photos. Make it a fun and enjoyable experience for them and it will come through in the final images! Do activities that make them so happy it's impossible not feel it in your heart 🥰. That's the place you want to start.






2. Use Natural Light:

I personally prefer natural light, nothing against studio photographers, this method is beautiful too. But for someone doing this at home, utilize the warm and forgiving beauty of natural light ☀️


Avoid harsh overhead lighting and opt for soft, diffused light for a flattering and soft appearance. Early morning or late afternoon sunlight can create a warm and inviting atmosphere, setting up that perfect shot!


3. Get Down to Their Level:

To capture more connection and engagement in your images, get down to their eye level. I especially love this for the shorter of the furbabies! This sweet little corgi was only 2 months old and barely 1 foot tall when took this picture. I had to get as flat as a pancake to make sure the angle was right.


Truly get down, lay on your belly, get into a low squat, or take a photo of them when they are on an elevated surface like a bed, stair, or bench. Imagery that is taken at angles that are not typical to our everyday view creates more interest and impact 🧐.




4. Capture the Action! 🏎️

Pets are full of life and personality, and there is nothing more exciting than to capture their zoomies, and spin moves!


If you are using a DSLR or mirrorless camera make sure your shutter speed is cranked way up to avoid motion blur. I shoot in burst mode at 1/2000th of second with most my actions shots, depending on how quickly my subject is moving and how I want my end image.


With a high shutter speed, make sure you compensate with a shallow depth of field, and a higher ISO-but not so high it becomes a cloud of noise. Play with the exposure triangle until you see something you like.


If you're using a cell phone, you may have some trouble getting a clear image, but to improve your chances, shoot in bright light, ideally outdoors and try using a burst mode if you phone has it and keeping your hands as still as possible.


Whether it's a playful jump, a joyful run, or a curious exploration, these candid moments can result in dynamic and lively photos.





5. It's all about the Eyes:

The eyes are the windows to the soul, and they play a crucial role in pet photography. Ensure that your pet's eyes are sharp and in focus to create a connection with the viewer and convey emotion in the photograph.




6. Use Noise-makers, Treats, and Toys:

Engage your pet during the photoshoot by using treats, toys, and novel noises. These can help capture their attention, create natural expressions, and add an element of fun to the photos. I love using duck callers, squeaky toys, tennis balls, or even a small tupper-ware with treats or kibble that I shake. You can also make funny noises while you shoot or use buzz-words like "walk, treat, car-ride" if you get desperate. But keep in mind, you may have to pay up later ;)



7. Be Patient:

Patience is essential when photographing pets. Never rush them, scold them, or push them in a way that scares or intimidates them, it's not only hurtful to them but they wear their emotions on their sleeves and it shows in the images :( This is meant to be a fun experience that connects you together :)


Allow your furbaby to feel comfortable and relaxed during the photoshoot, and be prepared to take breaks pretty often, they need time to sense their surroundings and see that everything is okay.


A calm and patient approach will result in better photos and a positive experience for both you and your furbaby.



Conclusion:

Capturing memorable moments with your pet through professional photography is a rewarding and heartwarming experience. By following these expert tips and techniques, you can create great images that celebrate the unique bond you share with your furry companion.


Embrace the joy, spontaneity, and love that pets bring into our lives, and let your photos tell the beautiful story of their time with you ❤️


And if you'd rather pay a professional to do this, you know where to find me ;)


-Shay


P.S. Share your favorite photo of your pet! I'd love to see them!


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