Photo Tip: Shooting Pets

(Similar version published in Popular Photography, November, 2006.)





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People love to photograph their pets, but this is how the photos often turn out:


Let's take stock of what's good about this picture.







Right. Nothing. Boy, does it need help. You can enliven your pet photography by following these four tips.


Get down and dirty. You usually see your pet from above, but that's not the best angle for a portrait. Instead, flop down on the floor and meet them at their eye level. Shooting from their height presents them as equals in the photo and reveals their personality.

Light it right. Direct on-camera flash will give your pet a killer case of green, yellow, or blue-eye. Try to avoid direct flash. If you can, bounce the flash off the ceiling or a wall, or move the flash off-camera. Or just ditch the flash and try available light, both indoors and out.

Fill the frame. Heard this one before? It's important to fill the frame with your subject in order to make the subject prominent and to crop out distractions.

The eyes have it. You might find yourself shooting with a shallow depth of field, so whatever else you do, make sure the eyes are in focus. These windows to the soul must be kept clear.


Here's a better picture of my dear Asha, using all four tips:


California Room

Southwest Room

Midwest Room

East Coast Room

My Latest Trip

Black & White Room

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Timothy Edberg / 6511 Homestake Dr. South / Bowie, MD / 20720
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