For most of us our pets are much loved members of our family. If you are looking for a thoughtful gift for a friend or family member why not give them something featuring an image of their pet. Anyone can take a picture, but here a few tips on how to capture a great image which will create a great gift.
Tip 1: Make the pet the main subject of the photo.
Depending on the nature and the temperament of the pet, will effect the type of image you take. Pets can often be like people; you can get easy-going, fun loving pets; as well as extremely easily irritated and aggressive ones. So make sure you are aware of pets behaviour before you even switch your camera on, and only go up as close up to he or she will let you.
If you have a zoom lens at hand, then this is a great time to use it to achieve great results. For times when pets just like their own space, or when we get close all they want to do is play, using a zoom lens at a distance can help you achieve great results. With this method your pet won’t realise you are taking pictures of them and you will be able to capture a very natural image which truly shows your pets character.
Tip 2: Location, location, Location.
Not only does it apply to buying a house, it is important when trying to capture a great image of your pet. The location will effect the reaction you will get from your pet. If your pet is sitting in his or her favourite spot, they we’ll be a little more relaxed. If you choose your back garden or local park the chances are your pet will be on the move, exploring trees and bushes and generally running around. Choosing the right background is extremely important in making a great image so choose one carefully. The background should enhance the main subject not distract from it.
Tip 3: Capture the exact moment – freeze the action.
Whether it is a cat walking over a wall, a bird in flight, or a dog digging up your prize winning rose bush, capturing an action shot can be a tricky job. There are a few tricks which will help you capturing the right shot. The first is to adjust your shutter speed, the shorter the shutter speed the better. The second is set your camera to burst (or continuous) mode where you can capture multiple images over a very short period of time. This will allow you to capture the right image at the right time. Third and most import tip, is to have patience. Some pets will respond to commands, but others completely ignore you and do their own thing. Sometimes you will just have to wait until your pet enters your chosen spot before positioning itself so you can take your photograph. Do not be too disheartened when your first attempt at capturing the right image fails, take a break and try again. The trick is not to get too frustrated with the whole process. Personally a short tea break always helps me!
Tip 4: Let there be light!
Light is the predominant element in the process of photography, so the lighting of your pet is a very important aspect that should be carefully considered. When photographing animals I believe harnessing natural light is the best approach. Anything that a pet is not used to can be frightening for them so consider what equipment you need wisely; such as electric lighting, reflectors, flash guns etc. The colour, texture, and size or your pet needs to be taken into consideration also. Capturing a bird in flight could be enhanced when there is an element of backlighting. This can draw attention to the shape, texture, and colours of the birds wings. An animal which is pure white in colour will have to be photographed with a different approach to one who is predominately black in colour. When you choose to photograph your pet outdoors the lighting conditions can vary greatly in a short period of time so shooting in burst mode will allow you to capture the right image.
The use of flash is something that you have to consider with extreme caution. You must be aware of how your pet would react before use. Flash can frighten your pet so please spare their feelings, for a sucessful shoot you must make your pet feel as comfortable as possible. Even if your pet, like my dog featured in these images, doesn’t mind the use of flash, only use the level of flash that is necessary. On most occasions flash at full power is not needed and it may ruin a perfectly good image.
Tip 5: Make it a family affair!
Our pets are big parts of our family life so why not involve other family members with the photograph. Group photos with your pet at the centre can be effective. Is there always one person who is left to take the dog for a walk? Why not capturing them doing it? Like other members of our families, we have a relationship with our pets so why not show it!
Tip 6: Most importantly make it fun!
Use everything that you can to keep your pet comfortable and willing to work with you. Have their favourite toys at hand, a bag of treats in your pocket, when he or she has be good reward them – keep them engaged and on your side! If your pet like to play throw and fetch with a tennis ball, scratch at its favourite place on its scratching post, or go for a run on a wheel in their cage, capture them doing it! Only you know what your pets loves to do so to get great photographic results encourage them to have some fun!
I hope you have enjoyed reading today’s post, if you would like to find out more information at ReClick Photo and the work I do the. Please visit our website at www.reclickphoto.co.uk.
Thanks for reading!
Hugh at ReClick Photo.
P.S. The ReClick Photo January sale finishes 31st January 2016 – don’t miss out!