Who doesn’t love a great cat portrait?
Pets are part of the family and deserve a great looking portrait to hang above the mantel just like anybody else. Capturing a great looking shot of your cat or dog can be a difficult thing to do successfully because of a whole new set of challenges that don’t come with photographing people. Cats and dogs don’t sit still all the time and (most of them) won’t smile or pose on command.
In order to get that great looking shot of your four legged friend, follow these important tips:
Use a fast shutter speed
Candid portraits alway look great because of how natural the subject looks but can be a challenge to capture if you have a moving subject. Remember to use a fast shutter speed (anything faster than 1/250 should do) when photographing a moving pet. Fast shutter speeds cut out a lot of light so make sure that when you are using one, you are in a bright environment (ie. outdoors on a sunny day, dogs love parks!)
Get down to their level
Your pet has a unique perspective of the world around them – show that in their portrait. Instead of shooting from your vantage point, get down low and match your subject’s eye level. This allows the viewer to see the world from your subject’s point of view and it also allows them to stare right into your pet’s eyes, making for a much more personal and intense shot.
Photo by: Trish Hamme, https://flic.kr/p/92x9s6
Some pets are camera shy and the minute they see a big scary camera in their face, they run. One technique you can try is let your pet play quietly on their own and when you are ready, whistle or call their attention and when they look at you, shoot! Make sure to adjust all your settings before getting their attention (aperture, shutter speed, ISO – meter in the middle). You can also get someone else to call their name if you want them to look out of the frame. Using continuous shooting mode can also help you take a bunch of pictures in quick succession so your odds are better of getting a good one!