As any pet owner will tell you trying to capture the moment of pet’s antics make taking photos and pet photography especially very challenging. Read this blog to learn the top 10 tips offered by Karen Pawlowska who directs TakeOneTV on how to optimise all your images and especially when taking photos of your pets.
Top Tips for Pet Photography
We’re all used to whipping out our smartphones to capture those memorable moments these days, especially in pet photography. But how often have you ended up with something that didn’t quite do it or had to take loads of pictures to get something even close to what you’re seeing and to what you’re trying to store for future memories. The fact is most smartphones have good quality stills and video camera facilities on board so usually it’s operator error that causes issues. So here are a few tips to help you get some very interesting and memorable footage which will create great memories for the future.
Tip 1. Landscape or Portrait
Landscape is generally better than portrait, and for video definitely better than portrait, so turn your device to landscape mode.
Tip 2. Lighting
Use natural light rather than artificial and have main the light source (i.e. a window) in front of the subject you are filming, rather than behind the subject. Also, turn off the flash on your phone. Soft diffused light is better than harsh direct light. However, if filming in bright sunlight, say for instance when you’re capturing some fun moments with your pets, if possible find some shade for your subject.
Tip 4. Prepare the Scene
Consider the composition of your shots and move out of sight anything you’d be uncomfortable should your children or grandparents see the video. Of course this is harder with pet photography as the scene and subject may change pretty quickly. Also if entering images or video into competitions, bear in mind that product placement is not advisable and may mean your images can’t be used. If necessary rearrange the furniture or move things on a desk or table out of the shot so that the viewer isn’t distracted. Use an uncluttered simple background so that you are giving clear space for your subject – this is particularly important when taking images of your pets or wildlife.
Tip 5. Rule of Thirds
Lines of interest should occur at 1/3 or 2/3 of the way up (or across) the frame, rather than at the centre.
Mentally divide your viewfinder into thirds horizontally and vertically and place your primary point of interest on the intersection of two lines.
In shots of people and pets, the main line of interest is the imaginary line going through the subject’s eyes. So try to place the eyes about 1/3 from the top of the screen.
Tip 6. Get Ready for Pet Photography Action
The camera should be set up at about the head height of your subject. If you don’t have a phone tripod then use a sock filled with dried peas or rice to provide a stable base for your camera. For video, do rehearse what you want to do before filming, and remember not to talk over the video, unless you’re comments are meant to be heard.
Tip 7. Avoid the Zoom
Although most phone cameras have a good zoom function, it’s better to zoom with your feet as this gives a more stable image. Pet photography in particular means you need to be mindful of your position to capture the moment. Just move closer to your subject before you start filming. This also helps give better audio quality if you want to include comments.
Tip 8. Where to Stand or Sit
Avoid filming with the phone directly in front of you at your eye level and avoid tilting the device as this can distort any vertical line in the picture, such as walls and table legs.
Tip 9. Ready to Record
When you press the record button, shut up, hold the camera steady and allow the person speaking to tell their story uninterrupted. For pets, you probably are going to be speaking and encouraging them to do their thing. With that in mind, it can be really useful to have another pair of hands to help with the device whilst you engage with your pet. Finally, do make sure you have everything you need to hand, i.e. treats, toys and so on.
Tip 10. You’re a Star
Switch off any other mobile phones, and set yours to airplane mode so as not to interrupt your best take. Then hit RECORD and enjoy the moment. With video, if your pet or the scene isn’t quite right first time, just stop the clip recording and do it again – this is where preparing and rehearsing in advance will save you lots of angst, particularly with pets and children. Remember that creating good memories takes moments, but capturing them for the future of often requires planning and patience.
Author – Karen Pawlowksa
TakeOneTV are a long-established video communications company based in Buckinghamshire. Our clients say we are easy to work with and provide excellent video programming for their marketing and social media. During this particular period of Covid-19 we’re not able to get out and film as much as we’d like for ourselves or clients, though we are able to use our studio for one person at a time to record content, our drone is out filming locations for constructions businesses, golf courses, nurseries and outside venues, plus we are editing self-shot materials for clients who want to ensure their video content upholds their story and brand successfully. So we’re still here and keen to help get businesses back to work as soon as it is safe. If you’d like more information contact us through our website www.takeonetv.com