Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Another Entry In The "Pets And Kids" Photo Contest

Stella & Leah (as the scarecrow)

A Terrific Article On Pet Photography Tips By Reader Carol Brown...Just In Time For The Photo Contest!!

52 Tips for Better Pet Photography

 Whether you love pets, photography, or both, pet photography is a fun hobby or profession to take on. Of course, photographing pets offers a unique challenge, with difficult subjects, lots of action, and the need for lots of patience. Read on to find 52 tips that will make you a better pet photographer.


From patience to always being ready to shoot, these tips offer the basics in better pet photography.
  1. Practice patience: You'll probably have to wait and take lots of images to capture the perfect photo, so be patient.
  2. Get organized: Your pet may have a short attention span, so be ready before you get started.
  3. Don't delete: Wait to see what photos look like on film or on your computer.
  4. Always have your camera ready: Get impromptu shots by always having your camera ready to shoot.
  5. Spend time experimenting: Try lots of different shots with experimentation until you find what you love.
  6. Don't hold back: Using a digital camera, you will be virtually unlimited in how many photos you can take.
  7. Use treats: Have treats ready to entice your pet.
  8. Be enthusiastic: Pick up your camera with the same enthusiasm as a leash.
  9. Start taking photos early in life: If you get a puppy or kitten, get lots of great photos while they're still young, and you'll get them better used to the camera.
Setting & Timing

Give yourself the best situation for pet photos using these tips.
  1. Follow your pet's routine: Know when your animal likes to eat, nap, and play and schedule your session for playtime.
  2. Pay attention to contrast: Be sure that your background offers a good contrast on your pet's fur or skin.
  3. Stay out of bright sunlight: Direct sunlight can blow out your photos.
  4. Use natural filtered light: Cloud cover will help you get flattering light.
  5. Avoid on-camera flash: An on-camera flash will reflect from your pet's eyes, so use lighting that is natural or off camera.
  6. Make it a surprise: Get candid photos by catching your pet when they are unaware you are shooting.
  7. Use comfort items: Use your pet's favorite toys and treats.
  8. Pay attention to your background: Carefully choose the setting of your photos and think about what's on display in the background.
  9. Go outside: Natural, outdoor light typically looks best.
  10. Go somewhere familiar: If you take your dog somewhere new, he will most likely be distracted and want to spend time exploring rather than taking photos.
  11. Capture your pet's unique personality: Take photos when your pet is doing its regular activities.
  12. Think about uniqueness: Consider what makes your pet unique.
Perspective & Mood

Check out these tips to create a unique perspective or mood.
  1. Get lower: Shoot from the floor or place your pet higher up for perspective.
  2. Tell a story: Tell a story long or short with your pet photos.
  3. Get silly with props: Have fun with props for a silly mood.
  4. Wait for funny expressions: Keep an eye out for emotional faces.
  5. Be friendly: Give your animals love and attention during the session (and beyond!).
  6. Try different angles: Experiment with different angles for a new perspective.
  7. Capture action: Don't try to get your animal to sit still for every photo-action shots are fun too!
  8. Be playful: Make your photo shoot fun for your pet.
  9. Capture your pet in their element: Catch your pet doing what they love to do, whether it's catching a ball or lying in front of a window.
  10. Move yourself: Bring yourself to your pet, not the other way around.
Behavior & Look

Follow these tips to influence your pet's behavior while shooting.
  1. Experiment with attention: Use several different methods for getting your pet's attention.
  2. Let your pet play: Instead of making your pet sit still, allow them to play a bit.
  3. Groom your pet: Before you take photos, be sure to clean and groom your pet.
  4. Use an assistant: Get help from an assistant for good behavior.
  5. Use the "stay" command: Train the stay command to get a still subject.
  6. Use owners: If you're photographing someone else's pets, ask the owner to join in for good behavior and a fun moment.

Here are some great tips for improving your composition.
  1. Take abstract shots: Close-ups of parts like paws and noses are fun.
  2. Fill the frame: Capture expressions, details, and more by filling the frame with the subject.
  3. Mix it up: Mix up your framing, getting close-ups as well as large shots.
  4. Don't always be dead center: Put your pet on one size of the photo for more interest.
  5. Keep it simple: Make your pet the focus on the photo.
  6. Shoot a close-up: Get a good look at your pet with a close-up and eyes looking at the camera.

Gain a better technical understanding of pet photos through these tips.
  1. Focus on the eyes: Be sure the eyes are sharp by focusing on them.
  2. Use continuous shooting: Capture sudden movements and split seconds with the continuous shooting mode.
  3. Be ready for sudden movements: Be ready to be on the move and use a fast shutter speed.
  4. Use a shallow depth of field: With a shallow depth of field, you can put more focus on your pet.
  5. Use optical zoom: Avoid blurriness by using optical instead of digital zoom.
  6. Freeze with flash: Using your flash can help freeze a pet in motion.
  7. Use macro: Get close up shots with macro.
  8. Sports mode works for active pets: You can capture quick snapshots of your pet using sports mode.
  9. Use your zoom: Getting up close can give away your presence-so use your zoom instead.
*Article taken from Online Degrees.net