Make your photo shoot a fun experience for both you and your pet, and your photos are likely to reflect it! A good photo shows off your dog or cat to its best advantage, without confusion, and which means a faster adoption!
Here are our top 10 tips for getting your pet camera-ready:
1. Treats are Just the Trick
Use food to get their attention. Holding a favorite dog or cat treat just out of view will keep your pet focused on looking into the camera. Keeping treats on hand will also let you reward your pet for being a good model!
2. Be Playful
Make your pet’s playfulness a central feature of your image. Include their toys, or if your pet is not too large, take a picture with them sitting on top of you or in your lap. Also, don’t use photos that show too much of the whites of your dog’s eyes: it tends to make them look sad.
3. Lighting Matters
Lighting makes any photograph WORK and, when it comes to pets, it’s especially important. When photographing dark-colored pets, avoid strong back-lighting, such as a bright window. The light source should be behind you or to the side. Also, avoid a white background in . With white pets, too much light will cause you to run the risk of over-exposed photos, so try to find a location out of direct sunlight and definitely avoid a flash which can startle your pet and wash out the photo. To avoid washed-out pictures, shoot in the mornings or evenings, on slightly overcast days, or in the shade on a bright day.
4. Consider the Angles
Have a male dog? In this case, a degree of modesty may be called for. Make sure you’re not revealing too much. If he’s “over exposed” in your photo, it’s all anyone will see.
5. Tell the whole story
Mix up your framing. Take some tightly cropped facial shots but also make sure you take 3/4 body shots as well as full body shots of your pet. This way, you end up with pet photographs that give potential adopters a full perspective of who your pet is.
6. Neatness Counts
Make sure your dog or cat is the center of attention with no distractions behind or around them. A simple background without clutter is ideal to SHOW OFF THE PET. Sometimes the best locations are the plainest ones – a large patch of green grass, for instance.
7. Get on their level
For the cutest and most appealing photos, get down to eye-level with your pet –even if that means lying down on the floor to get the shot! Getting down on your pets’ level means the viewer enters their world and gets a glimpse of what life looks like from their point of view.
8. Get in Close
The closer the shot, the more intimate and personal it will feel. It’s not always easy, especially with pets who are active and always on the move, but it’s worth making the effort to capture their personality and facial expressions. It is likely that what you find most lovable, adopters will too!
9. Ready, Set, Shoot
You cannot take great photos if you do not have a camera with you. As long as you have access to your smart phone, you are able to capture those spontaneous and unique moments you might have otherwise missed. Better to take too many, than not have any!
10. And…. Action!
Use burst mode on your smartphone during action shots. Burst mode takes several quick photos, instead of just one. This lets you choose from a few photos to capture an un-blurred, sharp shot of your pet in motion. This can also lead to a wonderful sequence of shots that work well together.
BONUS TIP: Timing is everything! If you’re looking for action shots, have your photo shoot before you head to the dog park. If you want a sweet, sleepy portrait of your cat, wait for nap time.