If you have ever tried to take a picture of your dog, you will realize how hard it is to capture pups full personality and beauty in a photograph. Dogs aren’t human, and they don’t understand what we are doing when we try to take their photo. They may think that camera is a toy and charge at you, instead of striking a pose. If you follow these tips, and take your cues from your pet, you can be assured of great photos of your pet.
Pets come in all colors. If your dog is dark, you will need to make sure that he doesn’t get lost in your photo due to a dark background. Dark animals photograph best with light colored or neutral back grounds. You can use white, grey, or creamy beige backdrops. You should never take a photo of a Black Lab, or a German Shepard, against a dark background. It conceals true color of your dog, and dark background can also conceal true size, shape and proportions of your pet.
The same rules apply with pets that have light coats. If you have an apricot or white puppy, you would not place her in front of a white wall for a picture. Photographs of animals need to capture color and texture of their coats. If you have a white toy poodle, you would want to place her on, or in front of, a black, blue or brown backdrop. This will assure that poodle’s springy white curls are focus of picture. It is important that you choose a background that compliments your dog, and doesn’t hide its beauty.
The hardest thing to do is to get your pet to sit still for a photo. The best time to arrange a photo session with your pet is when they are tired, or sleepy. One trick is to lay correct color of sheet or blanket over your couch or chair. Allow your pet to lie there after he has had a good half hour of vigorous play. Once your dog appears to start dozing off, get its attention by a low whistle, a squeak from a squeaky toy, or sight of a treat. The animal will perk up immediately and appear to be wide awake. It is important that you are ready to snap shots immediately. For a larger dog you can drape its bed with correct color of sheet or blanket. It is also best to take your pet’s picture when they are well fed. That way they are not distracted by wanting food while they are modeling for you. The treats you hold up will be more a curiosity item to them, instead of a hopeful dinner.
In professional animal pictures, usually full body of animal is shown. This allows viewer to get a general idea of size and proportions of animal. It also will allow viewer to get an idea of animal’s general health and appearance. You wouldn’t want to have just a head shot of your pet if it had unique colorings that made it cute. Some animals appear to be wearing little white socks on their paws, or ends of their tails may appear to have been dipped in a paint bucket. Be sure that your picture captures all of unique things about your entire dog. However, if your dog just has an irresistible face, you can take head shots. Some pets will appear to smile when they are very happy. Nothing says “love me” like an innocent puppy face. You need to be conscious of background. Even if color is right, if it’s cluttered it will be distracting and take away from pet. It is also important to make sure that your pet is in center of shot, and that it is not cropped off just before tip of ears, or tail.
When you are taking photos of your pets, it is important that you are at least at animals eye level, or below. This gives picture sense of being from dog’s viewpoint. You can accomplish this by elevating your dog to a higher position, like stair case, or furniture. Or, you can lay on your stomach to achieve same results. You need to zoom in as close as possible, while still capturing entire body of your dog. You can edit out any red eye, later.