How to Improve Your Photography of Your Pets
By Jessica Shipman
I’ve always been passionate about photography. Growing up I attended every single event with a disposable camera in tow. I just loved being able to capture funny or special moments and enjoy them just as much later on. My friends fell victim to the candid photo far too many times. And then I got my first digital camera—the first kid in my class (thanks Dad!)—and my budding interest in technology and photography just exploded. The camera ran on 4 AA batteries. The resolution wasn’t great, and it definitely was NOT quick, but I suddenly fell into a completely new world—photo editing. Hello Paint!
You may not share my ridiculous passion and interest for photography, but I bet as a pet parent you LOVE seeing and taking pictures of your pets. So, I also bet that you wouldn’t mind being able to take slightly better photos to seal those already unforgettable moments in color.
Feed Them Well
This is Luna’s most important tip! Pets shouldn’t work for free. Sitting and waiting isn’t fun for anyone, so if your pet does a great job be sure to let them know through praise and a tasty treat. My go-to treats are small, smelly, and low calorie because Ralph & Luna get a ton during every photo shoot. Bonus if you find small treats that you can tear into even smaller pieces!
Keep it Positive
Think of a photo shoot with your pet as a subset of their regular training. Keep everything positive and work through any difficulties you face together. After numerous tries, if something still isn’t clicking then don’t push it. Maybe today just isn’t the day. No matter what end your session on a positive note even if it’s just a simple photo of them sitting.
Get Down On Their Level
Yes, get down on the ground! Pets can range drastically in their sizes and heights, but it is so important to actually get down on their level when you take photos. You’re going to be able to capture so much more emotion and details in their faces than if you were to stand overhead. You are also more immersed in what they see, so it will be easier to predict and get the better shots.
It’s Okay to Edit
Editing is a whole other ballgame, but it can drastically improve the quality of your photos. There are so many photo editing software options out there than can take years to fully master. My favorites right now are the web based options PicMonkey and Canva for creating graphics or basic edits. I also regularly use Adobe Lightroom for bulk editing and adding my watermark. Because of my budget, I also use Paint.NET in place of Adobe Photoshop.
Many experts scoff at using the “automatic” editors in these programs. While the auto adjustments are probably not as good as when an expert does the editing, it is a great starting point for beginners. Go ahead and click auto and then see how things change when you update the settings. Hands-on experience is the best!
Please head over to Beagles & Bargains to read Jen’s full article, “How to Improve Your Photography of Your Pets.”
Jessica Shipman is a bargain hunter, food lover, and software engineer figuring out how to be a pet parent for the first time. She shares her journey with her two dogs Ralph and Luna on her blog Beagles & Bargains. After getting an Ivy League degree and hands on experience on a corporate web development team, Jessica has decided to change things up. She launched jessicashipman.com to make web technology easy and more accessible to bloggers and small business owners. Stop by for free tips or to learn more about her web development consulting.