Pet Art Blog
Twee' Art LLC, Vermont
We take lots of photos of our children and our pets from our own eye level. Seated or standing, we take photos from above them. These photos keep our memories safe, but they usually make less than perfect pictures for display or for creating artistic pet portraits.
How to Take Better Pet Photos
For pet photos a few tips can make a difference. Attention to lighting, details, expressions and color, and when and where our photos are taken, all contribute to photo composition and appeal. However, these may be difficult to control. The good news is we can get the better photos by adjusting the perspective from which we take them.
Most pet photographs look best when taken at or near the animal’s eye level and at a ¾ degree angle and with the animal looking slightly up. (Like the photo of Josie above.) This includes pets ranging in size from Great Danes to baby rabbits. (This is not true of cows, horses and other large animals, I’ll talk about that below.)
Here are a few examples.
A single photo may be all you need if the first turns out great. However, if you want to provide reference photos to your pet portrait artist, then adding a few more photos will be appreciated and helpful.
Here are some tips that can help.
1.Take some close up photographs of your pet - near pet's eye level, at a ¾ angel from both sides and try to get your pet looking up slightly. That way you will see one eye clearly and the far eye somewhat.
2. Next take a photo from the front. Here you want to be only at or slightly above eye level with the animal looking up.
3. Finally take full body photos from both sides and front to reveal color, texture and patterns in the coat.
4. Try to take a few indoors in your favorite room and also some outdoors in different conditions – sunlit, overcast, on green grass, in flower beds, or in snow.
Tips to help your pet cooperate.
Before you bring out your camera, play with your pets to get them relaxed and happy. You may need a helper with treats or squeaky toys to get your pup or kitty to pose for you, but you can do it alone with the same enticements. If you are alone, use treats, toys, and decks, porches, stairs, or anything to get your pet up for eye level shots.
Those tips for photographing large animals.
Horses and other large animals look best when you take photos aimed at their shoulder, mid section or hip. In other words, below their eye level and yours. Aim the camera at their largest mass, at ¾ angle to the front shoulder, or midsection, or even from behind. To do this lower the camera so the camera a little so it aims mostly at the horses mass. Take lot of angles to get everything.
With these tips and some agreeable animals, you will get better photos for enlarging to display. You will also be armed and ready to send some to a pet portrait artist (like me) to create a beautiful portrait of your beloved pet to keep forever.
Do these tips help clarify how to take better photos of your pets and larger animals? Do you have more tips for all of us. If so, please share your comments and suggestions below.
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Susie Caron, acrylic artist, creates realistic paintings of pets, animals, and selected scenes. Her love of and experience with many pets and farm animals throughout her life, enables her to capture the unique feeling and expression of each subject. In her commission pet and livestock portraits, Susie also works with each customer to discover and then reveal the personality and special bond between pet and human.
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