Thursday, December 18, 2014

Shooting Your Pet

A lot of people feel that their dog or cat or multiples thereof are not only a part of their family, but are twee enough to actually refer to the animal as "our little girl" or "my grand-dog" and so forth.  Our three cats and the cockatiel are certainly our pets and, as such, we are totally responsible for them, but this does not include a college education or a car on graduation. 

Now it's Christmas and you want to include your pet in the annual photo for your cards.  Since most bars don't allow cats, we have never included them in ours.  And I only do a card because I love to get them and if you don't give, you won't receive.

The vets at Hermosa Animal Hospital do a newsletter from time to time and this time it had advice on how to photograph your dog or cat.  Their advice -

Go eye-to-eye with the animal.  In our case, Fred at 10 mos. is just as likely to take a swipe at you as not.  Everything is a toy to him, including probably an eye.  "Ooh, look!  Ball!"

Use natural light before resorting to flash which gives you harsh shadows.  But if the situation demands it, put a Kleenex over the flash to "muffle" it.  If you're shooting indoors try to shoot near a window.  When I was a pro shooter, 2 p.m. was about my favorite time for taking portraits.

Use a simple background and avoid clutter in the shot which rules out working in our living room.

Work within the animal's attention span which effectively rules out any shots of Fred.

Get help.  Pet wrangling is tough enough when you're not trying to also capture their beauty for posterity.

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