All of my attempts to take good photos of my pets end up in disaster. He either gets shocked by the flash (and freezes or runs away) or his eyes have a weird red or green reflection. It’s very frustrating, and I’m sure many other pet owners feel the same way. How can we show off our pet’s adorable antics, or his shiny fur, when every photo we have looks this horrible? I asked a professional photographer for tips, and here’s what he said.
Use available light
You need to turn off your camera’s flash to avoid getting the red eye/green eye effect. Instead, use available light, like the sunlight streaming through the windows or the backyard.
If you really can’t avoid using the flash, then remove the flash from the camera and hold it away from the camera. Or, diffuse the flash wby covering it with a bit of cheese cloth. This will help diffuse the light and lower the chance of red eye-green eye. These two tricks will also help you take photos of pet fish or reptiles which are housed in glass aquariums.
Take action shots
Your pets are at their cutest when they are playing, or caught in a “mood” (like staring out the window, or moping in a corner after being caught digging holes in the yard). Avoid photos when they are just staring at you. If you’re afraid that your presence will distract your pet, take the picture from afar and just use your camera’s zoom function. Or, distract your pet by giving him something to do: a small toy, a treat.
Prepare for portraits
If you want to take a “formal” portrait of your pet, then give yourself (and your pet) time to settle down. Pets can get really excitable and restless. So, set up your cameras and photo area beforehand, and then let your pet get used to the area so he doesn’t stiffen up or run wild when you’re ready to shoot. Remove any clutter—in fact, the area should be as bare as possible. Not only does an uncluttered background look better in a photo, it’s also less distracting for your pet.
Photo from petcaregt.com