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If you’re a pet person, odds are that 98% of your camera roll is filled with snaps of your furry one (....or is that just us?). These four-legged friends are our best companions and greatest vehicles of joy. They’re never far from our side, and because of this — they always lend to unpredicted, yet candid moments worth photographing. If you find yourself always on the lookout to snapping that one perfect shot, we have the guide for you: 9 tips to photograph pets at their best.
Looking for the basics? Meet our iPhone Photo Tips Guide.
There’s no denying it: each animal has his or her own personality, and they show signs of it every single day. To be able to capture them in a moment that is undeniably theirs will give you a photograph to hold on to for years to come. Focus on the parts of them that are most endearing to you — maybe it's their eyes, maybe it’s the specific look on their face when you come home from work. Whatever it be, you’ll be happy to put permanence to their one-of-a-kind expressions.
Put your phone in portrait mode when you see them doing something that is worth photographing (the focus will help emphasize the details of their expressions.) Also, learn to embrace the "live" feature so that you can capture movement with the click of your shutter.
Whether it’s the noise of a nearby animal, the smell of dinner, or the rustling of the leaves — animals tend to be...distracted. This makes the window for photographing them pretty small, so it’s best to be nimble when you pull your phone out to take a photo. We’ve learned that the best way to get a snap is to let them be in their environment, while slowly approaching them to take a photo. (They won't necessarily pose for you, so you’ll have to be quick.)
When you see a moment unfolding, swipe to the right on your locked phone to quickly access your camera — those few seconds might be a determining factor of getting a photo or not.
If we know one thing, it's this: natural light will always make for a better photograph, and this proves to be true with animals as well. When you catch them in a ray of light — snap away. You’ll add character to your photos by changing the angle you shoot at, as well as how they're positioned in the sun. Plus, you won't have to worry about the glow-eyed effect that happens when you take a photo with the flash.
When you see the sun starting to rise or set for the day, grab your camera. These golden parts of the day are optimal for lighting because they tend to have warmer highlights and softer shadows.
Get out there, and bring your pets with you, too. Your photo opportunities will only increase at your favorite lake, mountain, beach scene, or coffee shop if your furry friend is in tow. Not to mention, seasons will be more prominent with your animal — they make for a great vehicle to show what time of year you're frolicking in.
Add bits of your surroundings to the photo to capture a season, different environment, or outing. Whether it be leaves, snow, or including a natural background — experiment with adding different elements to your photo to get a new and unique picture.
With a treat in one hand and your camera in the other, there’s no stopping you from getting the photo you want. Distraction is key to getting your animal to make eye contact with you, to look up, or to cooperate with what you’re trying to get them to do. Getting their attention is really only possible with one free hand — multi-tasking will come in handy at a time like this.
When in camera mode, use the volume button on the side of your phone to take a photo with one hand.
When you're at their eye-level, you’ll be able to capture details and personality a lot more clearly than from above. It's all about the angle — shooting from where you are makes for a lot less interesting of photo than moving to where your pet is. You’ll give a new perspective to the photograph when doing this.
Make sure the grid view is on your phone so you can square up their face within the photograph. Play around with the surrounding and how you can tell a story through the rest of the image. (Think: rule of thirds!)
With any animal, burst mode is your best friend. Using it will allow you to stay two seconds ahead of your pet, and it's how you’ll capture them in their natural environment. You’ll want to make sure you’re in an area full of natural light so that the images you take are in focus.
Use the trusted burst mode to take several pictures of your animal running, jumping, or simply moving around. Once you've held the shutter button down for a few seconds, go back into your album to select your favorites to keep.
With less energy, high-spirited animals will be less likely to be all over the place — aka — they’ll be more likely to pose for you. After a day at the dog park, a long walk, or play date, make an intention to pull out your phone and take a few photos of them at their sleepiest. Not only will they be more up for a photo shoot, but you’ll capture their softer side.
If they’re lounging in an indoor room, tap on them to focus and then drag the exposure up just a bit to let the right amount of light in.
We all know that our pets are the star of the show, but why not join in a few photographs yourself? You’ll be able to look back on the photos you have together and appreciate all of the adventures you had. Plus, by adding in humans, you’re bringing in a new element to the photo that lends to emotion.
Just you and your pup out and about? Put your phone in the self-timer selfie mode to get that perfect shot of you together.
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