Photographing your pets can be difficult and rewarding

Shooting pets can be one of the most rewarding types of photography one can do, but it’s not as simple as it may seem. Just try getting a kitten or frisky young puppy to hold still long enough to focus and get a shot!

Solve this by restricting the the areas into which the pet can run: put kittens in baskets and puppies in buckets, nestled into wingback chairs, or placed on picnic tables.  Getting help from the pet owner, or even a friend if it’s your own pet, is a must for photographing animals. Not only will it make the shoot go easier, it will be more fun.

Remember to focus on the eye nearest the camera. It’s difficult to do close-ups that aren’t looking squarely and directly at the face, in which both eyes are in focus. When presented that choice, just remember to focus on the eye nearest you. Your assistant can also distract your pet with either a toy — squeaky ones work great with dogs, but can scare cats away — or small treats. The best treats are ones that can be gobbled and not chewed. Rewards are quick. This kind of assistance should also allow for some more or less candid photography, as your pet is now paying attention to the food and/or toy provider and not worrying about you and the camera. The assistant can carefully hold your pet, hiding their hands in ways enabling you to shoot a portrait with an uncomplicated or uncluttered background and no obvious fingers.

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