If you’re a proud dog owner you no doubt find your pup endlessly photogenic, with rarely a day going by without you snapping a couple of pictures of then on your mobile phone.
But if you want to take your pet photography to the next level there’s plenty of advice to help you out – and you could even make a bit of extra cash in the process.
Recent research has shown that 32 per cent of pet parents in the UK are interested in turning their animals into ‘pet influencers’ – with over 832,000 owners currently using their pet earnings as their main stream of income.
So in case that has inspired you to get involved in the world of ‘entre-paw-neurship’, Ben Hanson, photographer at Animal Friends Pet Insurance has his top tips for simply capturing pawfect snaps using just your phone.
Here’s what he had to say.
Make the most of natural light
Lighting will make or break your photography, so it’s important to get this right.
Natural lighting is ideal so try placing your pet next to a window, moving any furniture you need to help achieve the perfect shot.
That said, candid shots can make for great pet photos, so if natural lighting is poor, shine a phone torch at your dog, while taking the photo with your phone This won’t be as good as natural lighting, but it can help spotlight your pet as the main focus of the photo!
If you don’t have another device or torch to hand, you can manually change your camera’s setting to help with low light shooting.
Play with perspective
If you’re looking to improve your photos, perspective is a great place to start.
Instead of taking a photo from above, if you’re able to get down onto your pet’s level this can result in more creative looking shots. Try crouching down or lying on the floor to change perspective. This can help capture precious portraits of your pet, especially if you can focus the camera on their eyes.
Another tip is to make use of their play tunnels, if you have one. Place your phone at one end of the tunnel to capture them at the other end. Tricks like this can add real depth to your photography.
If you’re looking for more of a challenge, use rainy days to your advantage. Get outside and take a photo of your dog’s reflection in a puddle and flip the photo. After some practice, this is a brilliant style to inject some playfulness into your photos.
Keep your pet engaged
But how can I get my pet to stay still for long enough? Ben shares his advice from him:
“While our pets can be extremely photogenic, it’s not always the simplest task to keep them still. This is where treats or toys will come in handy. If you can, get someone else to keep them engaged and distracted by holding treats or toys. This will improve your pet’s attention span, meaning you can focus on photography and not multitasking.
“However, if you are alone, try to hold a bribe in one hand and snap the photo using the other. Ensure you hold these where you’d like your pet to look to guide them, but do this behind the camera so it doesn’t get in the way of the photo.”
Reduce background noise
While your focus is on your puppy, the background is also just as important.
Getting the background of your photo right is a key element when it comes to improving your photography skills. Backgrounds can work nicely, but a messy or busy background will distract from your photo’s subject so try to get your pet against a soft background. If your phone has portrait mode, this does a great job and blurring the background too.
If your pet is sleeping or you’re unable to change the background, get in close so it becomes unnoticeable, enabling your pet to stay center of attention.
Level up with editing
Once you’ve narrowed down and selected your favorite shots, it’s time to elevate them with some easy editing.
Most phone cameras include tools to straighten crooked framing which can help your photos look much more professional. Also use the cropping tool to eliminate any unwanted background elements.
Then enhance the existing color and adjust exposure levels to really make your pet stand out! If you want to have a bit more fun here, have a play around with the different filters available on your device or apps until you’re happy with the final result.
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