More than one friend has told me recently I should consider going into pet photography. One Facebook fan actually inquired as to what lens I’d used to capture a particularly close shot of Petie’s nose. I had to admit to using a point-and-shoot (a Canon Powershot SD780 IS). Needless to say, having had no formal training, I’m flattered.
I’ve read several less-than-informative posts and articles lately purporting to have helpful tips on taking good pictures of your pets. Since the bar was set so low, I figured even I could do a better job.
So here are six I HAVE CAT photography tips for regular folks with point-and-shoot cameras who want to improve the quality of their pet photographs. Hope you find them helpful and that they inspire you to take more pictures of your furry friends!
- Keep your camera close by at all times. I keep mine in a drawer in my coffee table easy to reach from both my chaise and sofa so I don’t disturb the kitty moment I’m trying to capture. How many times have you gone off to find your camera only to come back and find your cat is no longer doing that funny/cute/sweet thing you wanted to photograph.
- Don’t use flash. Without flash it’s harder for people to see the dust on your wood floors, you’ll also be able to capture more detail while avoiding laser eye cats! Beware – without flash, you’ll have to have a very steady hand. I find it’s helpful to prop my elbow up on a piece of furniture or even just put the camera on top of a table.
- Experiment with angles. Some of the best photos I’ve taken have come about by my placing the camera on the floor and shooting at cat-level. This usually means I too am flat on my stomach! Another fun thing to try is shooting from above your cat. I’ve gotten some neat pictures of Kip’s face from top down when he was sprawled on the ground.
- Get up in there! Don’t be afraid to get up-close and personal. Approach slowly and quietly (I love taking pictures of my cats when they are sleeping and they I can catch them as they wake up trying to get their bearings).
- Focus on different body parts. A paw, a nose. Don’t always take the full face or full body shot.
- Play with cropping. Who says you need to get your cat’s entire face or body in-frame. Go crazy!
Do you have any additional pet photography tips to add? Bring it on!