Thursday, August 16, 2012

Getting the best photograph of your pet - Insight #3

So, you've got the patience down, and now you've figured out how to shoot your camera at one-foot off the ground, not just 5 feet off the ground.

You are seeing improvement in the shots you are getting, but is the pet enjoying the experience?  While I doubt most pets seek out photo sessions, having your pet (or someone else's pet) tolerate the experience is a must.  You don't want to stress a pet out just get a few shots.

This brings me to my next insight...

Insight #3 - Let sleeping pets lie
Some of the best photos of pets are when they are at their most comfortable, which many interpret as when the pets are asleep.  For me, I just take comfortable to mean that the pet is in their normal surroundings with their regular options.  In a professional setting, I would give any photographer at least 15 minutes to just hang out with the pet in each area where they will be taking pictures.

While you have prepped an area for taking well-illuminated photographs of your pet, pay attention to where your pet likes to relax.  It may not be the best lit area, but you can figure out your camera settings over the course of  30 minutes. Don't make a big deal of getting the shot the very second they have finally relaxed; let your pet maintain being comfortable.  You may not even get the shot in the same day, but you will have learned all you need to determine the proper lighting and camera settings.

For the image below, I actually took this picture the day after Dexter found a new spot in the hallway to do some sunbathing.  Sure enough, the next day, he went to the same spot when the sun peaked into the hallway.  I had the camera ready to go and put it on the carpet with the remote control shutter release attached.  I took about a half-dozen pictures over the course of 15 minutes so as to not disturb Dexter's sunbathing.  The first shot or two, his eyes were looking at me or the straight at the camera which didn't give him a relaxed look at all.

The picture below came out the best.

Letting sleeping pets lie can produce some great results.  Don't force the photo.

 Click here to view more images of Will Anzenberger's Pet Photography. 

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