For all the pet parents out there (I know someone out there just read that & rolled their eyes. Lol!) it can be difficult to photograph our furry little ones. All they want is your attention & affection. They look at you when you take out your camera & all of a sudden, they are camera shy, or the complete opposite, they get up close & personal with your camera & think it’s a new toy. Now that I think about it, you can totally use these tips on your non-fur children too, lol! Furry or not, they are still great tips. Here are a few tips on how I photograph & document my fur babies. If you follow me on Instagram, then you are used to seeing my fur babes (#ginotheshihtzu & #bobbithemorkie), almost on a weekly basis, haha! Don’t forget, you don’t have to have a super fancy camera for nice photos! If you do have a camera with the M (Manual) setting, I added the settings I used for my camera. Practice, practice, practice!
1. Light is your BFF.
When you are photographing in your home, you always want to try to find the natural light that is coming in. Go into the room with the most light, for us, this is our living room area. We have TONS of window light, so around 3pm, it’s nice & bright. You can see the main light source is to the right of Bobbi, that’s because we have two large windows right there.
50 mm f/1.8. (f/2.5 1/50 320 ISO)
2. Get down on their level.
When I want to photograph Gino alone, he is so used to me taking out my camera already that he will actually lay down & stay still. This took a lot of practice though. A lot of times, you would think of taking a photo from above & that’s good too, because they are looking up at you, but why not use a different angle? For this photo, I was actually laying down on my tummy to get this shot. Once Gino saw me getting down to his level, he turned on his back- for doggies this is usually a submissive pose- he is pretty much telling me, “I respect you & I love you, belly rub??”
(f/2.5 1/50 320 ISO)
3. Lay down with them & give them extra cuddles.
Bobbi’s personality is very different from Gino. She is a person pleaser (Gino doesn’t care. Lol!) She loves to be right next to you (Gino needs & likes his space) & she actually becomes anxious if she’s literally not laying or sitting next to you. It took me a while for me to let her know that I wasn’t going anywhere & just because she’s not right next to me, didn’t mean anything. So I had to get on her level, but actually lay down with her, cuddle her, arm length away, until she finally relaxed.
(f/2.5 1/50 320 ISO)
4. When all else fails, bribe them.
Yes, I bribe my dogs. I mean, how else are you supposed to get them to sit still & smize (smile with their eyes). I love the little soft beef treats from Petsmart, they are tiny, so they are easy for them to eat, without getting too, too distracted. I am so in love with this photo of Gino. & I promise, I didn’t pose his arms. I’m telling you, he’s a natural. Lol.
(f/2.0 1/40 320 ISO)
5. Photograph them in their own environment.
I know my dogs feel the most comfortable in their own home. I could totally take them outside for a photo shoot, but that doesn’t always work for us (squirrel!) If I take them outside for pictures, I usually like having my husband with me, they tend to listen to him more than me lol!
(f/2.2 1/40 320 ISO)
I hope you enjoyed these tips. Now, get out there & photograph your (furry & non-furry) babies!!!