Throughout the holidays, you’re probably taking plenty of pictures of the family and your pets. If you have an overeager or just plain uncooperative model, try these tips to get Instagram-worth photos of your dog or cat.
Consider the background. Clutter is distracting, so choose a relatively simple background or try posing your pet in front of some seasonal decorations.
Frame the shot carefully. In most cases, your photo will look more professional if you capture your pet’s whole body. Exceptions might include a “face shot” as your dog or cat peeks out of a festively-wrapped box. Just avoid shots that cut off limbs or ears for no clear reason.
Choose interesting angles. Experiment with standing on a step ladder to get a bird’s eye view, or lying on the ground to get on eye level with your pet. You can also tilt the camera at fun angles to make photos more visually interesting.
Showcase your pet in his or her best light. If you’re taking outdoor pictures, late afternoon is usually best. Earlier in the day, the light will be so bright that odd shadows will be cast. Avoid using the flash, and try to position your pet so that the sun is behind them.
If indoors, you want a well-lit space without shadows. And again, remember that using the flash will probably cause red eyes and other odd defects in your photos.
Wear them out. Many pets are more cooperative when they’re a bit tired. Try to take pictures after you’ve gone for a walk or enjoyed a play session together.
Consider mealtime. Some pets are more likely to “perform” a bit toward mealtime, when they’re ready for a treat. Others are too anxious at this time and will simply ignore your need to showcase him on Facebook. You know your pet best; choose the time that you think will work best for them, or experiment.
Remove the harness. If you use a harness for your pet, it can seem distracting in photos. A simple collar is best, or enjoy dressing up Rover with a Santa hat or bow. Just remember to watch for choking hazards and remove any props immediately after your photo session.
Above all, have fun and keep practicing! Over time you will discover what works best for the two of you, and you’ll make memories of your to cherish for years to come.