Tips and Photo by H.N. James
You can Google “pet photography tips” and get a range of responses, from authors who assume you have pro-gear to those who recommend using what you have, including a mobile phone camera. There are some things I do, though, that you can too — no matter what kind of camera you’re using or your photographic skill level.
1. Photograph your pet somewhere that they are comfortable, happy and relaxed. This may be a favorite outdoor location or somewhere in your house. Keep your pet’s personality in mind and photograph them doing their favorite activities. If they’re very curious, you can set up an exploration zone with interesting objects or treats in them.
2. Be relaxed yourself! And have patience. Spend some time playing with your pet, petting it, or wait until they’re just waking up from a nap and are sleepy.
3. Watch your background. Look around the location where you’re planning to photograph your pet and keep it as simple as possible. Double-check for objects and clutter in the background that you might not want in your photograph. Get down on their level. Photograph them at their eye level, which may require crouching or even lying down.
4. Use treats, toys and noises to get their attention. You might want a helper for this one. Someone can hold up a treat beside or behind you to get the pet’s attention.
5. Make sure the eyes are in focus — just as you would with a photograph of a human. There are several ways to do this and pets like to move around! One way is to get the focus where you want it, then grab the pet’s attention with treats, noises or a toy. This is another time a helper is useful.
H is a music and portrait photographer living and working near Nashville. To see her work, visit https://www.punkrockphotography.net/home