Pet Photography Guidelines

Pet Photography Guidelines

Having pets is a common scenario in various houses especially in the western regions. Pets such as dog, cat, fish, bird, hamster, turtle, alligator, etc. play a pivotal role in household activities. Among all the animals that are substantially petted, dog and cat are worth mentioning. In most of the houses of countries like the USA, the UK, Canada, France, Brazil, Sweden, etc. pets are treated as family members and so there is no surprise that pet photography has a massive demand for them.

Pet photography is a blend of portrait photography, sports photography, and child photography all rolled into one. But that doesn’t mean you have to be an expert in all these types of photography. With the basic knowledge of photography, you can nail pet photography. Even though pet photography formulates resplendent family photography, it is also a very challenging task to accomplish. This is because pets are instinctively wriggling animals and they are always fidgety showing little or no composure. Having said that, pet photography is not impossible rather it is a magnificent way to capture various postures and gestures of domesticated animals.

Essential Pet Photography Guidelines to Follow

When it comes to pet photography, pet such as dog, cat, or any other animal is the main subject. It is identical to any other photography and is carried out emphasizing composition, focus, exposure, and participation. Among them the most complex part is participation. If you intend to take a shot of a pet, let it be a dog, cat, bird, etc. you will position it in a conducive spot. But unlike a still object or a mature human being, a pet will not remain stationary in that spot. It will move to and fro approach to camera and in order to sniff the lens. If you move away, it will pursue you.

To ace in pet photography, you have to train your pet to conform to your orders and this can be easily executed as you have a pet as your friend or mate. Besides, let us share some useful pet photography tips and tricks in order to shoot some masterpieces.

Take it Easy

The first and the foremost thing that you have to focus prior to capturing is to remain calm and composed. Your gesture and posture matter a lot to keep your pet in a normal state. If you look edgy before your pet, it will also get anxious. And this anxiety will be reflected through its body parts such as ear, eye, nose, and entire face. In order to keep them normalized and maintain a serene ambiance, just take a deep breath and gear up for your gig.

Plan your Shots Watchfully

Not only in the case of photography but also in other areas, planning is incumbent. Candid shots in pet photography can come out satisfactorily but to create compelling pet images narrating stories, you have to contextualize the images. You have to conceptualize the theme and plan your shots in detail. You can encompass props such as toys, foods, and other household objects to spice up the atmosphere. Along with that, try to add a variety in your shots by switching your position and placing the pets in different areas of the house.

Make the Spot Clutter-free

Before even handling the camera for pet photography, it is very key to get rid of unwanted and distracting objects. It is very irritating to view pointless and trashy objects in both the foreground and background. All types of photography including pet photography should represent aesthetic appeal. Any element that appears as a hurdle to the enhancement of photography must be eliminated or you should switch the location of the photography. An uncluttered ambiance creates more eye-catching and striking photography, thereby slashing post-processing works.

Make the Spot Clutter-free

Focus on their Comfort Zones

One of the most important focal points in pet photography is the pet’s ease. If a pet is in unfamiliar and uncomfortable with a location, you can never shoot top-notch pet images. In such a situation, a pet will always tend to be fidgety and keep on switching its position which will not allow you to take steady photographs. Therefore, instead of a studio, you should carry out pet photography in the open street, park, or in your backyard. This will let the pet cool down and loosen up, thereby being comfortable in front of the camera.

Focus on Comfort Zones

Wait for their Attention

If you want to make your pet photos look professional, you have to grab the attention of your pet. This is a facile task but many people don’t focus on it while executing pet photography. The tactic to catch your pet’s attention is to let it play as it desires and once you are up with your camera, call the pet for attention before pressing the shutter. As soon as it looks at the camera, press the shutter to capture a pet photography masterpiece. As long as you have its attention, you may be able to take more shots easily and steadily. However, be circumspect not to make any casual movement as that will prompt the pet to jump up and chase you.

Wait for their Attention

Shoot in a Lighting Location

Appropriate lighting is a prerequisite for cracking pet photography. Sufficient lighting helps to sight the catchlights in the pet’s eyes. Photo shooting in a dark place will ruin the overall aesthetic of the photograph. On top of that, photos will lose its quality if photographed under overcast days. So, avoid shooting in dark rooms and overcast conditions. A luminous place with scattered light is more likely to create compelling pet images. Hence, look for a bright spot with diffused light in order to produce a pet photography masterpiece.

Lighting Location

Freeze the Action

In pet photography, animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits, or any other animal are unlikely to stand or sit still for a long time. They will always be fidgety and they will tend to move from one place to another. But you have to ensure that the photos don’t get blurred. To make it happen, you have to set the mode dial to TV or S mode so that you are in complete control of freezing the action. Along with that, you have to also set the focus mode to continuously focusing in order for the lens to maintain constant focus on the running pet. In the case of multiple shooting, use continuous shooting mode, and hold the shutter button so long as you wish to click the perfect moment.

Freeze the Action

Add People with Pet

Animals don’t have conscience and intellect like human beings. They can’t differentiate between right and wrong naturally. Some pets can be trained to act in a particular fashion but yet they can get off the track. Even in pet photography, they will not always listen to the instructions and so you should incorporate people with the pet. If you think other people can’t control the pet, you can ask for somebody else to take shots so that you can stay beside your pet. In order to take classic pet shots, pet along with people is a stunning idea.

Add People in Pet photography

Refrain from Using Flash

Using flash is not at all advisable in pet photography. This is because flash is luminous and can be scary for many animals. It will make them edgy and uncomfortable. As a result, you can’t capture them as you aspire. Apart from that, flash is dazzling and can wash out photos. On top of that, if your pet is white-colored, photo output is likely to get washed out. Hence, if you are shooting indoors, you should click amid natural light. Additionally, you should also desist from using flash in photography if you intend to click pet in tank and metal cage as they will reflect the flash, thereby making an ungraceful appearance in the photo.

Reward your Pet

Don’t forget to render presents for your pets. This is very crucial as rewards will serve not only to warm up the pets but also to inspirit them for photography. These rewards can also act as bait, props, and tools in your pet photography. They will be pumped up and willing to assist in your works. They will be eager to pay attention to the camera as you instruct them. You can reward them anything right from treats and toys to tummy rub and other forms of endearment. Remember, without getting incentives, pets will be callous and reluctant to your dictations.

Reward your Pet

The Best Types of Camera for Pet Photography

Pet photography is not bound with any particular type of camera. But it is crucial to pick the right camera for pet photography as it is a challenging task. Many people also take up pet photography as their passion. If you can pick the right and ideal camera for your pet photography, you will find it easier to take desired and graceful pet shots. There are certain cameras that have special features that can be handy for you to take classic shots.

Point and Shoot Cameras for Pet Photography

Previously, from the late 90s to mid-2000s, point and shoot cameras were in vogue due to its durability, functionality, and image output quality. On top of that, the price of this type of camera was also reasonable. This type of camera has a wide variety of body shapes and display types giving a number of choices for purchase. However, with the advent of smartphone camera, especially, the ones offering high-quality images, the demand for point and shoot cameras are declining. But there are many point and shoot cameras which are perfect for pet photography. If you are looking to have a compact, easy-to-use, and zoom-capable camera, point, and shoot camera is an ideal choice for you.

DSLR Cameras for Pet Photography

When it comes to professional photography, DSLR is the most popular one availed by the different types of photographers including pet photographers. This type of camera is designed in a very sophisticated and detailed manner that you can easily regulate them creatively. A professional shutterbug with experience and craft in DSLR can easily control its functionality, exposure modes, ISO, shutter speed, and aperture width. He knows how to switch between different exposure modes and set various exposure modes manually. A pet photographer, with the utilization of a DSLR camera, can swap lenses, and work with a variety of flashes, strobes, monolights, and different other light sources. The prices of DSLR cameras vary depending on the quality.

Full Frame vs. Cropped Sensors for Pet Photography

A full-frame DSLR contains a shutter window identical to 35mm SLR while a cropped sensor DSLR has a shutter window that is a bit smaller than 35mm SLR. Crop factor, a number which determines the level of difference. Both full-frame and cropped sensor DSLR are stellar choices for pet photography. Some amateur photographers doubt the quality of cropped sensor DSLR but the distinction between the full-frame and cropped sensor is negligible. The smallest lens in cropped sensor camera crops only 10% around the extreme edge of an image. So, you can ace in your pet photography with both types of DSLRs.

Mirrorless Camera for Pet Photography

Mirrorless camera is predominantly an integrator of both DSLR and point and shoot camera when it comes to functionality. It also has a massive demand among professionals and is deemed as the future of consumer and prosumer photography. The advantage of this type of camera is that it offers interchangeable lenses but are placed on bodies with smaller footprints. On top of that, this type of camera hinders any type of shake and noise when the shutter is released. This is because it doesn’t contain any moving parts in the body. This type of camera is lightweight and easily controllable. Along with that, it also offers first-rate image quality and multiple exposure modes.

The Best Lens Types for Pet Photography

There is no specific answer to this query as it totally banks on your objective, budget, and style. Depending on the type of pet photographer you are, the choice of lenses will vary. If you are a pro pet photographer, your picking will be different from an amateur or a hobbyist. Instead of urging on any particular brand, the focus should be on your goal; that is, what you want to achieve from the photography. Based on your requirements, you should select a lens for your pet photography. Let’s discuss different types of lenses that you can use for pet photography.

Standard or Normal Lens: This is a kind of lens that produces photos akin to real-life visual sight. This is a very key feature of this lens as many pet owners wish to see their pet photos exactly as they sight in real-life. Among pet photographers, this is a very popular lens as it tenders to a state of comfort in taking shots. It has an angle of view around 50-55 degrees diagonally. When it comes to composition, it gets facile as the image output is identical to human sight. On top of that, standard lenses also have wide-open apertures, thereby making them a cracking tool for low light and shallow depth of field. This type of lens is conducive for pet portraits in confined space when your focal length is short. The focal length of a terrific standard lens is 50mm.

Telephoto Lens: This is another fantastic type of lens for distant subjects. The telephoto lens allows you to stay far and click your desired subject. If you are looking to capture a view having a long focal length, this lens is perfect and an ideal choice. Due to the utility of the telephoto lens, it has become a go-to lens for pet photographers. A telephoto lens can range from fixed to zoom focal length and the fixed one is clearer than the zoom one. Among the pet photographers, a telephoto lens of 70-200mm is preferred. In addition, this type of lenses is great for portrait and macro photography as they produce images free from distortion.  

Wide Angle Lens: Wide angle lens, as the name suggests, creates a wider view of your shots as compared to a normal lens. The downside of a wide-angle lens is that it is not user-friendly due to the amount of distortion it creates. But it doesn’t produce any cartoonish effect like a fisheye lens. The wide-angle lens appears curved and rounded letting the photographer shoot a wider view. When it comes to pet photography, it is highly used by photographers to highlight the mammoth size of certain dog breeds or to flaunt the long legs of horses. With the utilization of this lens, you can play with angles and compositions and make yourself super innovative.

Macro Lens: Macro lens is designed for clicking tiny objects at a close distance. By making use of this type of lens, you can take close-up shots of your pet with ultra-clear focus. One of the noticeable features of a macro lens is that its focusing limit is very adjacent to the glass. Whether you intend to shoot a dog or cat, you can approach them and take funny shots keeping the glass of the lens closer to them. Even though macro lenses are used for close-up shots, it has the ability to focus from infinity to 1:1 magnification. This means the size of the image in real-life is identical to the size captured in the sensor.

Finishing Lines…

Pet photography is so demanding that it has its own niche. It is one of the fastest-growing markets globally. At the same time, it also a stiff task, as described earlier. As a passionate pet photographer, you will always cherish to have clean, supreme, and immaculate pet shots. Even with the precaution, pet shots are likely to come out with flaws either in the background, foreground, subject, props, or some other elements. Hopefully, you got comprehensive pet photography guidelines from our mentioned points above. Apart from these, to get them perfected holistically, professional image retouching services are incumbent.

If you are a pet photographer whether hobbyist or professional, with a voluminous collection of shoddy pet shots, you can knock our doors. For your information, we are active round the clock to respond to your queries and doubts.