Your furry friend has been there for you through thick and thin. They have comforted you in your saddest moments and greeted you joyfully every time you have ever walked through the door. Now, you need an image of an animal for your latest blog post, webpage or even logo and the first image you think of is your own pet. As you begin to try to take the picture, the experience can be a challenge. Not only is there likely a lot of movement, but positioning your pet in the pose you want can be nearly impossible.
Image Credit: Ferina Santos
To get the right photo for your website, here are seven basic tips to help you make the experience more enjoyable and the outcome what you are looking for.
1. Minimal equipment required – Because animals are so hard to predict, it is best to rely on as minimal an amount of equipment as required to get the picture you are after. For many photographers just using a point and shoot high definition camera, together with a small light box will do the trick. The light box should be placed above your head and downward toward the animal. This way the light can reflect in the eyes. If you do not have a light box, try shooting outdoors when there is an overcast sky.
2. Use a dark background – Regardless of the color of the animal, having a darker background helps them stand out in the image. If you are setting up a studio like setting, drape a dark sheet to create an easy backdrop. If you are outdoors, try finding shady areas, such as near a tunnel or tree. If you are using the shade for the darker backdrop, make sure there are no cracks of light shining through that could ruin your shot.
3. Exercise prior to the shoot – If your pet is a fireball of energy, exercise them prior to the shoot. Once back, make sure they have plenty of water and brush them to show off their best coat. Both of these activities together will help them release any pent up excitement and keep them calm as you snap away at the trigger.
4. Try black and white – This classic style of photo works really well with animals. Black and white images capture the portrait of the animal you are shooting as well as the definition. By adding this to your website, you can create a more artistic look to your entire page, simply by changing the hues of your animal picture.
5. Get down on their level – When you are ready to take your pictures, get down on your pets level so that they feel more comfortable. Going toward them as opposed to making them come toward you is also a way to put them at ease. If you call them toward you, they may think something is wrong or be curious and ruin the image.
6. Let their personality shine – You know your pet almost as well as they know you so you can understand the personality traits they exude. This will help you capture their traits on film. Get them to smile by scratching them behind the ears, or capture their regal attitude as they stare out the window as king of their domain. Whatever their personality shining moment may be, put your pet in the setting where they are most likely to shine to get the best image.
7. Take a close up – If your pet has particularly beautiful fur and eyes, get a close up of them by using a strong lens that can zoom in closely. This can make your picture look extremely dynamic and much more intricate and interesting. These images are best caught when your pet is curled up or is looking at a very specific item. Make sure the eyes stay very sharp and the fur is well-groomed prior to the shot for the best results.
Your pets are your best friends, and for that reason they can also adorn the pages of your website with pride. Use these easy tips to get the photo of your choosing and add it to your website instantly.
Author Bio: Ferina Santos is part of the team behind Open Colleges, Australia’s provider of photography courses. A feisty nerd at heart with an obsession for vanity, she captures all her random musings with daily photographs in her blog, A Pink Banana.