How to Take Stunning Portraits of Your Pets (Even With Your Phone)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016 | Fun with Pets

The stage is set, and you’ve meticulously created the perfect photo op for your furry pal. But somehow, every shot turns out a blurry mess unworthy of your pet’s considerable beauty. Sigh. It’s a problem that all pet photographers know, but luckily, there are plenty of tricks you can use to get professional-quality pet portraits at home – even with your phone.

 

Find the right lighting

Wondering how to recreate those gorgeous Instagram shots of pets? The first place is start is with the lighting. Natural light – especially on bright overcast days – give your photos a dreamy quality. Good news: this just means you have an extra excuse to head outside with your pet!

Another great time to try is the “golden hour” – about 30 minutes to an hour after sunrise or before sunset, when you’ll get gorgeous rosy lighting that makes any subject glow.

Finally, if inspiration strikes but the sunlight outside is too harsh, try taking photos near an open window or door. This lets natural light flood in without the nasty overhead shadows.

Perfect Portraits - fan photo by Andie Mahoney‎

Here is a great example of soft outdoor lighting in this photo contributed by Diamond Naturals customer Andie Mahoney.

 

It’s all about the eyes

Pet Portraits: Fan Photo by Victoria Simmons

Photo contributed by Diamond Naturals customer Victoria Simmons.

They say the eyes are the window to the soul, and this is especially true for pets. Animals are well-known for their expressive eyes, and when they’re made the focus of a photograph, any shot can become dramatic and more interesting.

When making the eyes a focal point, be sure to avoid using flash for a softer look. It also helps to keep the surroundings relatively uncluttered so that nothing else is distracting from the focus of the shot.

Take them by surprise

Probably the most difficult part of pet photography is getting your energetic critter to stay still long enough to snap a decent shot. A trick that may help you with this problem is to surprise them.

Let your pet play for a few minutes while you get everything ready, then call out or whistle to get his attention. With this tactic, you will only have a few seconds to capture a portrait, but with practice, you will be able to get the perfect shots. This technique will also allow you to capture your pet in his natural environment.

Holding a treat up high can also entice your dog to sit still long enough for a great photo.

Get on their level

Fan Photo by Stephanie Odell

Photo contributed by Diamond Pet Foods customer Stephanie Odell.

Whether you are posing your pet in a funny way or trying to snap some shots of them doing their thing, we’re guessing the ideal shot doesn’t involve the top of their head or back.

Getting down on your dog or cat’s level is an excellent way to find those dramatic and personal shots you’re looking for.

Next time your pet is in an ideal position for a photo op, try lying on the ground or floor to capture that shot.

Photography with character

GatorChomp Kondracki - Extreme Athlete

Photo contributed by Diamond Extreme Athlete customer G.C. Kondracki.

Whether he is a couch potato or a little ball of energy, your fur baby has a unique personality. And with the right technique, you can capture that personality in your photography.

Take some time to identify what type of character your pet has and work to either recreate or catch him in the act. Some fun ideas are snapping some shots of your dog playing his favorite game or taking a portrait of your cat as she is lounging in her favorite sunny spot.

Time to snap some shots

Have any photos of your pets that you’re proud of? Show them off on our Facebook page today and every #FanPhotoFriday!

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