As a dog owner, you comprehensively understand how important is it for your life. Maybe you’re getting emotional support from your pet for managing anxiety, depression or other mental illnesses. Or are you just petting one of the dogs who are good at protecting your family. No matter the type of dog you have, it’s a family member and you love to capture moments when it’s playing, running, and doing other activities.
However, it’s not easier to click amazing, beautiful portraits of dogs due to their unpredictability. Read on to learn some practical tips to make your photography session as convenient as possible for your dog and you.
Most of the people get anxious and stressed doing things repeatedly. And, when doing pet photography, you may have to do a lot of efforts for a perfect shot. So, don’t get fed up. Why so? Because if you are stressed, you can’t focus properly. Secondly, your pet will sense it, and behave similarly, which will reflect directly on the pictures. Before clicking the photos, take a deep breath, listen to your favorite songs, play with your dog for a few minutes, and have fun with it.
Focus on Expressions & Eyes
Eyes are the most expressive parts of any living subject. When framing your dog, set auto-focus on eyes and make expressions the focal point of the pictures. No matter the direction it’s looking (whether towards the camera or at some angle), you should carefully watch out to click the perfect dog’s eye moments.
Clean The Shooting Location
Clutter makes the pictures look ugly. Nobody wants to see garbage bags and coffee cups in the pictures of their dogs and cats. So, before you take out your camera from the bag, make sure the shooting location is clean. If it’s cluttered, do some efforts to make it look beautiful. You can also add some decorations to make it more exciting. You should click some pictures of background from different angles first, and see what elements need to be removed.
However, if the place is too dirty and will take a lot of time to clean it, prefer changing the location. Choose the place with greenery, colors, etc., which will enhance the quality of your pictures. Remember, an uncluttered environment enables you to click amazing dog portraits while reducing the post-processing work.
Shoot in Natural Light
Don’t prefer capturing artificial lighting. Use natural light instead. Why so? Because pictures clicked in natural light look more beautiful and attractive than those clicked using flashes. Additionally, your pet won’t be frightened or cause red-eye factor to the pictures. Move outdoors to get more natural light into your pictures.
One bonus tip is—the subject should have ample catch-light because this will help in avoiding making eyes look dead.
Use Fast Shutter Speeds
Animals change their expressions every now and then. Thus, you can’t wait for them to stay in the same pose. You have to be very quick in clicking pictures plus your camera should offer fast shutter speeds to capture action. Thus, you should have some knowledge of operating the camera in manual mode.
In some digital cameras, you can find the option called “pet mode”. But, this may not help to click well-exposed pictures. Thus, it’s good to invest in a high-quality DSLR, mirrorless camera, or some special apps that enable you to do manual settings as per your requirements.
Get Dog’s Attention
Imagine you are running after your dog with a camera in hand, and waiting for it to give a perfect shot. But, it’s not working! What to do now? Try this simple trick. Let it do whatever it wants, running in the garden, playing with toys, etc. Once you’re ready to capture its moments, put your finger on the shutter, and call for its attention. Press the click button immediately when the dog looks at you. You will be able to capture it with its full attention on the camera.
If you become successful in getting your pet’s attention, it will be easier for you to capture dozens of shots of it sitting still. When clicking, don’t make any rapid movements, which will have a negative impact on the picture quality. Move slowly and prefer not to make eye contact when you change your position.
Make a Shot List
You may have a lot of ideas in your mind for clicking pictures of your pet. For example, you may like clicking your dog looking up, looking at you opening a bag of food, looking in the mirror, playing in the garden, running in the pathway, etc. It’s good to note down all the shoot-at-home dog photography ideas in your phone’s excel sheet. You should also write down instructions on how will you take the shot, when to take the shot, etc.
When clicking pictures, it’s important to keep your dog happy and entertained. So, every time it gives a nice shot, give it treats, toys or belly rubs.
In conclusion—clicking pictures of your dog is the best way to create memories for years to come. But, clicking photos of animals is quite difficult than clicking pictures of humans. You need to focus on a lot of things, such as cleaning the environment, capturing in white light, keeping the dog happy and entertained, etc. Dogs change their expressions quickly, so you need to be very quick in capturing and use a high-quality camera with fast shutter speeds. Try to get your pet’s attention, and click multiple shots. Change your positions slowly as rapid movements can negatively impact the quality of images.