By Mairéad from Remain in Light Photography
With 2020 being what it was, my most photographed subject all year was my kitten Buffy, and I’m not one bit sad about this! I’ve been following her around with the camera for the past few months anyway, but now that the holiday season is upon us I couldn’t wait to get some photos of her in the festive mood. It’s not always that easy to get great photos of our pets however, they can be rather elusive in front of the camera.
Here are a few tips to help you get the best portraits of your furry/feathered/bescaled friends.
1. USE NATURAL LIGHT
If possible, try to use natural light when taking a photo of your pet. Avoid flash as this can startle or scarethem. You can go outside, but a nice big window will do the job perfectly.
2. THINK ABOUT THE BACKGROUND AND COMPOSITION
This is a great way to get some festive elements into the shot, for example your Christmas tree, Christmas stockings hanging from the mantelpiece, or just some twinkly lights. Try to avoid a very busy background as this can be distracting.
3. SCHEDULE YOUR SESSION
You know your pet and their moods throughout the day, when they’re sleepy, when they’re playful, when they just want to be left alone! One of the best times to get some good photographs of your pet is when they’re sleepy or have just woken up, as they’re more likely to stay still for you. Or you might want to capture the energy of your pet when they’re in the middle of playtime, just make sure to use a fast shutterspeed for this, so as to freeze movement.
4. GET THEIR ATTENTION
It’s good to have some of their favourite toys and treats to hand so you can get their attention. Have your pupper’s favourite ball or your kitty’s best bit of crinkly paper and hold it above your head as you photograph them, or better yet, get someone else to hold it while you get the shot!
5. FOCUS ON THE EYES
Sharp eyes are important in any kind of portrait photography, and it’s no different when taking photos of your furry friends. Whether using a camera or your phone, make sure the focus in on the eyes.
6. HAVE PATIENCE!
Getting a great shot of your pet can take time, sometimes they’re just not in the mood and you just have to wait until later. Keep your phone or camera close to hand so if a great photo opportunity comes along, you’re ready to shoot! Most of all just have some fun with it, it’ll be worth it when you have a beautiful portrait of your pet that you’ll treasure forever.
You can know more about Mairéad photography work here: