Our Taste of the Wild senses are saying, “Your Instagram page needs more pet photos.” Why? Your pet pictures not only brighten your followers’ day, but they also help everyone de-stress and be more productive. Photos and videos of your furry friend hold a lot of power! And with great power comes great responsibility … to take awesome photos.
Therefore, we’ve compiled six tips for taking the perfect action snapshot of your animal. Grab your smartphone and Fido. It’s a great day for a photo.
GET YOUR PHONE READY
Most phones can now shoot in “burst mode,” a setting meant for quick-moving animals and their owners. This option allows you to take photos continuously as long as you hold down the button. Burst mode works best in well-lit conditions, so make note of tip 3 when using this setting.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Next, your pet will need a spacious area to run, jump and spring into action. This could mean visiting the local dog park, finding a spot out in the backyard or moving the indoor furniture around to give your pet room to roam. Remember, the more interesting the setting, the more interesting the photo.
LET THERE BE (NATURAL) LIGHT
If you’re outdoors, look for open spaces with little to no shade for best lighting. But try not to shoot at high noon on a sunny day! The best time for photos is the last hour or two of sunlight, right before sunset. Position the camera so the sun is behind you, illuminating your pet evenly.
When gearing up for photos indoors, peel back the curtains and let as much natural light shine in as possible. The rule of little to no shade applies indoors, too, and means don’t use the flash on your phone. The flash button is not your friend. Flash can be startling to pets, and it can cause distorted color in the photo, if it doesn’t wash out all the details.
You’ll want your pet to remember photo time as an enjoyable adventure. Putting extra patience in your back pocket wouldn’t be a bad idea. It’s likely you won’t get your perfect snapshot on the first try.
Your pet might need to scope out their photo location, the props and their favorite photographer. Bring along your pet’s favorite treats and toys, as well as positive affirmations to help boost their photo-taking confidence.
SET UP THE FRAME
Once your pet is comfortable with the setting, decide which action shots you’re going to go with for the day and set the scene (and your camera) accordingly. Here are just a few ideas to get those gears turning.
- Run-to-me photo: This can be done by calling your pet to you or you can recruit a partner to throw a toy toward your direction.
- Leap-for-the-toy photo: Toss a toy up in the air or dangle stick toys in front of your pet to get them moving.
- Obstacle-course-ahead photo: Create an obstacle course out of boxes, pop-up tunnels and tiny ramps for your furry friend to complete.
- Bath-time-beauty photo: If your pet needs a bath and you have a partner to take photos, get out that kiddy pool and pet shampoo.
Now, position yourself at your pet’s eye level or lower for the best angles. You may find yourself lying on your belly, so take a blanket, towel or pillow along. Just like with your setting, the more interesting the angle, the more interesting the photo. Not every photo needs the subject dead center in the frame, looking headlong at the lens. Mix it up! You’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION
Motivate your pet to complete your action shot choice by calling their name, providing them with a treat, throwing a toy or having a partner guide them along the way. Keep your finger close to the shutter button as more action shots or a huge yawn from running around could come shortly after they’ve completed their main task.
Cue the drumroll. How’d you and your pet’s photo adventures go?
Once you’ve had a chance to review all the pictures, we would love to see your final action snapshots. Be sure to tag us on Instagram, Facebook and/or Twitter!
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The information in this blog has been developed with our veterinarian and is designed to help educate pet parents. If you have questions or concerns about your pet's health or nutrition, please talk with your veterinarian.