Tips for Photographing Your Pet for a Portrait
Where to begin when photographing your beloved dog or cat?
~ Take photographs outside either early in the day or later in the day, because the shadows are most interesting. If possible, photograph in a location with which your dog is familiar. (For cats, stage the photograph near some windows if you cannot go outside.) Include a favorite toy in a few of the photographs if you like.
~ Take photographs with some sun, which means that a hazy or overcast day works the best. Ideally the lighting will show highlights and shadows on your pet’s head. A blaring sun will make it difficult to see detailed features.
~ When setting up the location for taking the picture, check the direction of the sun. Side lighting is the most dramatic. Make sue the face is not in shadow. Put your back to the sun or light source.
~ Bend down, or sit, at eye level with your dog and take SEVERAL photographs — the more the better — and from various angles. You could even sit your pet on a picnic table if getting on the ground is not possible.
~ Use the telephoto or zoom feature on your camera. This means that you are a few feet away from your pet and the camera lens zooms in for the close-up of the head. By doing this you can eliminate the distortion of its nose, otherwise, if you take a photo very close to the head and do not use the zoom feature, the nose will be distorted by the camera lens.
~ If your pet will not “behave” for photos while you are taking them, then you should hold onto him/her or be near your dog while someone else takes the photo. The photographer may need to make some noises to get the pet’s attention, resulting in excellent pictures.
~ The three quarter view from the front with a slightly angled position can create a great portrait photograph. Again, take several. Try looking up at your pet. The most frequent mistake people make is to shoot a photo while standing.
~ Do not use a flash because it washes out the shadows.
~ Make sure you have a good photograph of their eyes. Even try zooming all the way in to capture just the eyes. This is important for the ultimate portrait.
~ Fill the camera frame with your pet. Eliminate as much background scenery as possible.
For additional information and/or to ask questions, feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-510-0006(MTD).