One of the most remarkable changes to society in the past decade is the mobile phone. Of course, mobile phones have been around a lot longer than that, but the camera in your phone has developed exponentially in the past 10 years.
Camera phones today are incredible. Not only can they take high-resolution photographs, but the images they produce can be edited immediately, and sent out for the world to see via social media.
Having a camera in your pocket 24/7 opens up a world of possibilities, but many people don’t take advantage of this. The main use for our camera phones seem to be selfies, photos of the food we’re about to eat (for some reason), and of course, our pets.
Literally billions of photos of our pets are taken every day around the world, but how many of these shots could be better?
With that in mind, we’ve put together this article on pet photography, and how to get the best results from your camera phone.
GET PERSONAL AND GET CREATIVE
Forget the boring one shot from eye level across the room. Get up close and personal with your pets! Try to get down to their eye-level, or even lower.
By bringing the camera down to their level, you enter their world, and this can make for some beautiful portraits. By taking a photo from below you’ll exaggerate their size, making them look larger than life!
Of course, it doesn’t have to be a still portrait – action shots are also possible with today’s camera phones. With high shutter speeds, it’s easy to get your pet running or jumping.
This works well for cats when they are playing, or dogs when you’re running at the beach. In fact, don’t wait for them to get active – set the moment up. Make your dog run towards you, snapping pics all the way!
These kinds of action shots are particularly good if your dog has long hair. Just make sure when he’s running, it’s into the wind, allowing the camera to see his face and eyes. There’s nothing better than the expression on a dog’s face when he’s running excitedly!
When shooting your pet, always check the background. A black dog on a black background isn’t going to do much for your photograph! Choose a background that highlights your pet instead.
What’s in the background is just as important as what colour it is. Is it messy and detracts from the picture?
Or does it add a feeling, a sense of where and when the image was taken?
GET TO KNOW YOUR PHONE
Modern camera phones have a wide range of special features and settings, each one designed for a specific purpose or situation.
Getting those action shots, for example, might work better with the “burst” setting, which allows for many photos to be taken in rapid succession, like a machine gun.
Low light situations can be adjusted for, making images clearer and less blurry. Changing from colour to black and white is also a great way to add a professional, or “stylish” touch to your photo.
If you really want to take you photos to the next level, there are even small attachable lenses you can buy for your phone. These lenses come in packs, and can include macro, wide angle and telephoto.
Macro – This lens will get you nice and close – focus on the features you adore about your pet, and just shoot those, sometimes a close-up of a cat’s eye, or a pug’s tail is enough to create a powerful portrait.
Wide-angle – Can exaggerate limbs and features. Try getting close with these and you’ll be laughing for hours!
Telephoto – Allows you to shoot your furry friends from a distance, without them even knowing you are doing so. Great to catch those quirky things they do when they think no-one is watching.
As well as getting to know your phone, it’s a good idea to learn the basics of photography too.
Learning about the Rule of Thirds, focal lengths, and shutter speed will help you get the right photo at the right moment, and really bring your pictures to life.
CAPTURE YOUR PET’S PERSONALITY
A nice photographic portrait is one thing, but it doesn’t always capture the essence of your pet.
Shooting them playing is how you seize their personality and show their character. Capturing this on camera is what makes a timeless portrait. Are they clumsy? Are they playful? Whatever it is, show this and exaggerate it!
To help set this up, you can use treats and squeaky toys. You’ll have their utmost attention and possibly a few head tilts as well. Remember, portraiture is all about the eyes – they are the window to the soul after all. Keep the eyes sharp and in focus, everything else is secondary.
It’s also important to know your pet and their quirks and habits. Dogs tend to “smile” when they’re tired, so take him for a good run first. Cats like to sleep after eating, so if you want some adorable shots of them sleeping make sure to fill them up first!
Each individual animal has their own characteristics, so watch closely for your pets and grab your camera when you see them doing displaying them. If your dog loves watching TV with the family or sitting under the kitchen table amongst all the legs at meal times, this is what you want to remember, not a posed photo of them.
And don’t forget they are animals, so take photos of them doing animal things!
Dogs like gnawing on bones, cats like cleaning themselves.
Sometimes it’s best to take these photos when no-one else is around, as animals tend to behave differently when they’re alone.
PROFESSIONAL PET PORTRAITS
Of course, taking photos with a camera phone is one thing, but a professional shoot with a real camera is something else altogether – a great way to make a lasting memory.
We offer the ultimate pet experience photoshoot.
Take a look at the pet section in our gallery, and see for yourself how we capture the personality of these beautiful and unique animals.
Contact us today if you’d like to know more about our pet photography, or if you have any questions regarding any of the photography experiences we offer.
Our friendly and helpful staff will be happy to help in any way they can.