#1 Avoiding Yellow-Green or Red Eyes: When you use flash to take your pictures you often get a picture where your pet's eyes come out yellow-green, or red. This change of color which can ruin your picture is from the flash light reflecting off the back of your pet's eye. Whenever you can use natural light to take your pet's picture so you will not have to use a flash. Pictures near a window, or on a porch or patio often give you enough light so that you will not need a flash. If you want a different kind of picture, taking your pet's shot by a campfire or fireplace may also give you enough light so that you will not need your flash as well. The natural glow of the fire will give a nice touch to your shot.
#2 Get Down To Their Level: A good shot is often from your pet's eye level - that means getting down on your knees or laying on your stomach so that you are at their level. If you can't get down that low, try bringing them up higher like onto a bench or table or even a low limb on a tree for your kitty shots.
#3 Posing and Props:While a traditional portrait has just the pet in the image with the pet looking straight at you, adding a prop or trying for a different pose will help the overall look and interest the picture will get. Try to incorporate your pet's personality into the pose and picture. Does your dog have a special toy they always carry around? Does your cat really have a ball of yarn or do they like to play with strings, a play mouse or tinsel type toys? Does your bird or ferret steal your keys? Place their favorite items by them, just don't overwhelm the picture with tons of toys. Use a toy hand held above the camera to help catch their attention and have them look toward the camera when you are ready.
#4 Time: Planning out when you can take the best picture will help in getting the shots that you are seeing in your head. Trying to get your dog to sit still and pose for you is not going to happen when he is in his high energy play mode, or has to go to the bathroom. His mind is elsewhere besides sitting and looking pretty for you. A relaxing sit down shot is easier to get cooperation for after you pet has burnt off some built up energy, had a snack, a bathroom break and is ready for some down time. If on the other hand, you are looking to get an action shot, don't wait until after all the play time is over -- get that camera ready to go and start catching the jumping and play shots while they are happening!
#5 Use The Sports Mode On Your Camera Sports Mode or Action Mode is a great choice when you have a constantly moving pet, or want to catch some action shots.Setting your camera to sports mode does two things. 1. It uses a faster shutter speed to "freeze" the subject. If your pet is moving around, a slow shutter speed might leave you with a blurry picture. 2. The Sport or Action Mode uses a special focusing system that constantly adjusts the focus of the camera. Without this, the camera focuses once and locks that way; If your focus is locked on your pet and he or she moves, you might end up with out of focus pictures.So do consider using this mode if your camera has it available - you will like the results!
#6 Work Every Angle: Getting down on your stomach or standing on a ladder gives you a new perspective on your pet. Take shots from a variety of angles - you never know which one is going to turn out to be the winner. Moving around and taking different angle shots will also give you different head shots and expressions on your pet. Take lots of shots!
#7 Blow A Whistle:The noise will make your pet perk up his ears and widen his eyes, giving you a better shot. If you don't have a whistle, a squeaky toy or even you whistling works.
#8 Create A Sleek Look: Removing the collar, leash, harness, clothes, etc from your dog or cat. Don't forget to put it back on after you have finished taking your photo's.
#9 Create A Professional-Looking Portrait: Coordinate something unique in your pet's markings with a matching backdrop; for example, spots on your dog? Try to accent a part of the background with spots on a pillow or blanket; same applies to tiger stripes on your cat; Don't overwhelm the background so that your pet disappears from clear view -- just a touch of a accent adds to the overall look and quality of the photograph. Hanging a muted patterned sheet behind your pet gives the illusion of a backdrop used by a professional photographer.
#10 Choose Black-and-White Film: Use of black and white often changes the whole feel of the picture. Try this for a more dramatic, artistic feel. Most digital cameras these days gives you the option of shooting in black and white - check your camera for this option. If you have a regular camera and do not want to buy black and white film, you can always have some of the shots developed in black and white - just instruct the print shop when you drop off your film.
#11 Shoot, Shoot, Shoot Like Crazy. For two good pictures, expect to shoot dozens of photos. You want a great shot and they very rarely come on the first try. Take lots of shots and then have fun going through all the pictures to choose just the right one or two to blow up and hang on your wall.
Enjoy your photo taking experience. The more shots you take and the more times you take pictures the easier it will be for you pet to remain calm in the face of a camera and the easier it will be for you to get some great candid shots. Enjoy and SHARE your pictures here on yeepet!
^..^ ^..^ ^..^ WUFFER WUFF and MEOW
cc JDuncan 01/30/11
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