How to Photograph your Pet- Say Cheese, Smile Dog!


     Photographing your pet is not an easy task. Especially if you are trying to do it without patience. The most important things when photographing your pet is to have patience, keep your pet comfortable, use bright lighting, and to take the photos from their level. 

1) Have lots of patience. Your pet doesn't know that he/she is posing for a photo and most of the time they will be scared or confused. Wait for the perfect moment when you capture their personality. Are they playful? Do they like to lay around? Think about those things when you are shooting. The most boring photos can be when you are holding a treat in your hand and the pet is just staring at the treat. Do not have many people or pets in the room at the same time because this will distract them. Be patient with your pet and use a fast shutter speed. Take lots of pictures and make them feel comfortable. 

2) Keep your pet comfortable. According to their personality use a setting that will best make them feel at ease. Don't pressure them into posing a certain way if they are not comfortable doing so. When taking pictures with your pet interact with them as you always would so they feel familiarity. Again, take lots of picture with fast shutter speed so you can capture those slight moments when their eyes light up or when they cock their head at you with curiosity. 

3) Refrain from using flash. Flash can startle the pet and make them feel scared. The bright sudden light can also be harmful to their eyes so adjust the lighting in the location accordingly. If shooting in a studio have studio lights set up like natural lighting. Use umbrellas and light diffusers to diffuse the lighting so it looks natural, not harsh. Photographing outside is also a great option and can come out very fun, playful and beautiful. 

4) Take photos from their eye level. Get up close and personal. Shoot from their perspective so that they are the main focus. Shooting from above takes away from the pet's narrative in the photo. Shoot as if you are another pet looking at them, as if they are on your level telling you a story. 

     Although most people wish it is as easy as saying "Say Cheese, Smile Dog!" It can take lots of time to wait for the perfect moment. To recap, always have patience and understanding for your pet. Always use a fast shutter speed and focus on moments you can capture that tell a story or capture their emotions.



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  • Hannah Choi