Did you know that, according to the American Human Association, 57 percent of all American households include a dog or a cat? The same study shows that 90 percent of pet owners consider their pet to be a member of their family. Is it any wonder that we as Americans spend an upwards of $5 billion on holiday presents for our pets?
If you are a pet owner, are you one of the 27% percent who use professional photography services to include your pet in the holidays? If you’d rather try your hand at photographing Fido, check out these great pet photography tips!
Pet Photography Tips
Elements of a Great Photograph
According to award winning photographer Ken Rockwell, the composition is what separates a great photograph from just another picture. One of the principle philosophies that Ken uses to create great photographs is the mantra “it is never about the subject”. While the focus will be on your pet, all the other factors that go into the picture are important, because they’re what let your pet shine! Think about these factors to perfect your photo:
- Lighting: Usually, there is a focal light that brightens your subject area and a background light that subdues background distractions. Window light can make one of the best light sources because it’s soft, yet bright enough to illuminate a face. Good lightening can allow you to take photos without flash, which may scare your dog away from the photo-shoot
- Backdrops: Backdrops help to eliminate distractions. They can be simple like a flat sheet that is used to create a solid background color. Wrapping paper is also an excellent source of background print that is festive and inexpensive. Backgrounds give you control over an environment by removing objects like windows from your picture
- Props: These are used to create and tie themes together. Sometimes props are simple as a favorite pet toy. Imagine a Thanksgiving-themed pet card with a small dog and a cornucopia full of pet toys. This is where your creativity and imagination can run wild!
Bribery for a Good Cause
Bribing works well to get your pet to look up. Treats, favorite toys, and noise makers also work well to get the attention of your pet. Another awesome trick, from The Phoblographer, is to use a pet treat that is held right above your camera lens. This can be a powerful method of getting your pet to look at the camera, and they’ll be happy to enjoy the treat after you snap the perfect shot!
Thinking About the Finished Product
Be prepared to take a lot of photographs during your photo shoot. Sites that offer Christmas card designs are a good place to start the idea process. Many sites allow you to upload your photograph and then create a holiday card using their online process. Thanks in part to technology, printing your own holiday cards using your pet photographs makes the process economical.
We hope these pet photography tips help you snap the perfect pet picture! Do you have any pooch paparazzi secrets of your own? Share them in the comments below!