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Furry, Feathery, Fishy: Mastering the Art of Pet Photography

Furry, Feathery, Fishy: Mastering the Art of Pet Photography

David Johnson |

Pet Photography

From the vantage point of an online vintage camera store nestled in the heart of England, we've had the pleasure of helping many an aspiring pet photographer gear up for their journey into the captivating world of dog photography, cat portraiture, and even action shots of more exotic creatures like lizards, snakes and parrots. Here, we'll guide you through the art of pet photography and how to transform those stunning photos into treasures forever. If you are considering becoming a pet photographer then read on to learn more.

Dog Photography

Any dedicated pet photography studio will affirm that dogs can be the most expressive of subjects to take pictures. Your aim should be capturing their unique personality, from the sparkle in their eyes to the wag of their tails. Treats and toys are invaluable tools to have on hand during a pet photography session. Make your dog or pet photography session as fun and relaxed as possible to create beautiful photos that will make your clients, both human and canine, wag their tails in delight.

Natural, Outdoor Pet Portrait Photography

There's something magical about using natural light and the varied tapestry of the great outdoors as the backdrop for your pet photography. The art of outdoor pet portraits involves capturing the pet in its natural element, whether that's a dog bounding across a field, a cat lounging in a sunlit garden, or a horse galloping with wild abandon. Choose locations that compliment the pet's nature, capturing action shots with their unique personalities shining through.
pet photography

Family Pet Photography

Pets are not just animals, they're cherished members of the family. Including humans in your pet portrait sessions not only creates a more intimate photograph but also showcases the bond between pets and their owners. A family pet photo shoot can be a fun, relaxed, and amazing job that results in images to treasure forever. Don't hesitate to use props, pose families in their home or garden, and capture the love between humans and their furry, feathery, or fishy friends.

Pet Photography Styles

As pet photographers, we must adapt our style to suit the animals we're photographing. For dogs, dynamic action shots might be the best approach, while cats might require a more relaxed, candid style. Horses, on the other hand, might be best suited to a combination of both. Explore different styles to find what works best for you and the pets you're photographing.

Camera Settings for Pet Portraits

Photography of any kind is an art, and pet photography is no exception. Selecting the best camera settings for pet portraits often depends on the situation. In a controlled studio environment with steady lighting, you might choose a lower ISO for pet photography to reduce image noise. However, for action shots outdoors in varied lighting, a higher ISO might be necessary.
The best aperture for animal photography often depends on how much of the animal and background you want in focus. A wider aperture (lower f-number) will give you a narrower depth of field, focusing more on the pet and creating a beautiful, blurred background.
pet portraits

Which Lens for Dog Photography?

The choice of lens significantly impacts the quality of your dog photography. A telephoto lens is fantastic for action shots, enabling you to capture dynamic moments from a distance. Conversely, a prime lens with a wide aperture is perfect for portraits, making your subject stand out against a softly blurred background. The choice ultimately depends on your session's goals.

How to Photograph a Dog's Eyes?

The eyes are said to be the windows to the soul, and this idea is as true for dogs as it is for humans. To photograph a dog's eyes and truly capture their spirit, focus on the eyes and make sure they're well-lit, whether through natural light or studio lighting. Using a wide aperture can also help to ensure that the eyes are the image's focal point.

What Camera Should I Buy for Pet Photography?

When it comes to choosing a camera for pet photography, the key is versatility. A DSLR or mirrorless camera that allows interchangeable lenses is a good choice. Look for cameras with fast autofocus and continuous shooting features, as pets can be unpredictable and quick-moving.

 How to Photograph Your Pets

Photographing your own pets can be an exciting and rewarding experience. The first thing to remember is that you should create a calm and relaxed atmosphere to put your pet at ease. Use treats and toys to keep them engaged and comfortable throughout the photo shoot. Be patient and let them move around freely; you don’t want to force them into poses that make them uncomfortable. This helps to capture their personality and create more natural photos.
When photographing your pets, remember to get down on their level. This offers a more personal and intimate perspective and can help to highlight their features and expressions. Pay particular attention to their eyes. Much like humans, a pet's eyes can convey a lot of emotion and personality. Remember to take advantage of natural light, as this can help to create a softer and more appealing image. Lastly, be patient. It may take a little time for your pet to become comfortable and behave naturally in front of the camera, but the end result will be worth it.