To celebrate our love to photography and animals we teamed up with Charlotte Clark – a blogger and photographer, but above all – the owner of Dapper Maximus – a Sprocker Spaniel, famous for his Instagram profile. If you’re lucky to have a pet and don’t know how to convince it to pose for your photos – check out these 6 blogger tips to take stunning pictures of your pet.
When it comes to taking photos of Maximus he is such a good boy, he just gets on with it and always has. I think his easy-going attitude is as a result of taking photos of him ever since he was a young little puppy, so he doesn’t know any different. Of course, he can have his diva moments where he just won’t cooperate but this is understandable, everyone has off-days! Overall though he is very well behaved which makes photoshoots a lot easier. Whenever people pass us when we are in the middle of a photo session they are always so amazed at how patient and calm he is, it makes me feel very proud.
Here are some top tips I have picked up from my experience photographing animals.
Mastering & Maintaining Basic Commands
Teaching your pet basic commands like ‘sit’ and ‘wait’ and then keeping on top of training to maintain these commands will make photographing you pet so much quicker, easier and a lot less stressful. The shots you take are much more likely to be in focus because the subject is still. Of course, you can change your camera settings if you want to take action shots but I find these take longer to get right. Overtime, your pet will view photo sessions as normal routine, unless they’re having a diva moment of course! It is very important to make sure you reward them if they do as they’re told and give them plenty of praise. As well as this have breaks, especially if your photoshoot isn’t going as planned, otherwise you’ll just get frustrated and so will they.
High Quality Images
This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to go out and purchase an expensive camera, you can even just use your phone especially with the quality of phone cameras nowadays, just ensure your photos are crisp and sharp. This is particularly important if you want to work with companies because, understandably, a company wouldn’t want a blurred photo of their product. I also really believe that a soft blurred background really helps to make your image look professional, but of course this requires a camera and low aperture lens or one of the latest phones.
Now this isn’t for everyone but i personally love it because I enjoy seeing how I can transform my raw image into something more unique. I notice a significant increase in engagement when my photos are edited, it makes my page stand out and I have developed my own style from it.. In fact, since posting more heavily edited photos on my instagram my daily follower growth has doubled. Editing softwares are particularly useful if you have a darker coloured pet because it enables you to selectively edit your subject, lighting your pet appropriately to make them and all their adorable features stand out.
Clear Subject Focus
Keep your pet the main focus of the photo so there are no distractions that may detract from the subject. Photoshop can come in very handy with this issue because this software allows you to remove unwanted objects from your image. This is also the reason I love low aperture lenses, it really makes Maximus stand out.
I personally don’t like taking photos of Maximus in the sun as I find that it creates a harsh contrast on him that isn’t very flattering, so I tend to take my photos on cloudier days to get the best results. Even though overcast days make colours duller, you can enhance the colours later on through editing. I’m sure some pet photographers will disagree with me because everyone likes different things, but many photographers I’ve come across have shared the same view I do. That being said, if you capture the sun at a good time like sunset, commonly referred to as ‘golden hour’, the results can be truly stunning due to the softer light coming through.
Be Different and Vary It Up!
This refers back to a previous point I made about being unique and standing out amongst other pages. If your photos are all the same, people will get bored. Whereas, coming up with new, original ideas for your photos will keep people engaged and interested in your work because they look forward to seeing your new ideas. For example, if you just take photos in the same green field all the time then your photos will get repetitive. Switch things up a bit, there’s so many photo opportunities out there for you so take advantage of them!
As well as these tips, don’t forget to have fun! Pets can be difficult to work with so just take things slow, be patient and enjoy yourself!
Thanks for reading,
And if you want to find some inspiration to capture your dog, check out our Displates with Dogs!