RVing WITH PETS: TAKING THE PERFECT PHOTO
We all know how hard it can be to take a pic of our pets. They never want to look at the camera or the phone, and the blur! Flashes look horrible and I hate blinding my pet. It’s so hard to capture their unimaginable adorableness with a simple camera or phone! But never fear, we are here to help!
Timing: If you’re looking for action shots, have your photo shoot before the daily three-mile run. If you want a serene portrait, make it after.
Let your dog get used to the camera: The click and flash of a camera can rattle dogs at first. Let your dog give the camera a good sniff, then start casually shooting the surroundings (if you’ve got a film camera, you can do this before you load the film). Once your dog’s gotten used to the camera and starts doing his own thing, begin taking pictures. The idea is to keep things natural and relaxed. What not to do: Grab a ton of treats, abruptly shove the camera in your dog’s face, and repeat, “Mommy’s gonna take your picture!” at high pitch.
Take lots of pictures: This is the first rule of photography, no matter what the subject. The more you take, the better your chances of getting a few amazing shots.
Turn off the flash: Most amateur photographers do best with warm, natural sunlight. To avoid washed-out pictures, shoot in the mornings or evenings, on slightly overcast days, or in the shade on a bright day.
For indoor shots, you’ll probably need a flash. You’ll get a more natural-looking shot if you use every light possible. If it’s day time, open the curtains and let the light flood the room.
Get down on your dog’s level: If you stand over your dog and look down, every shot you take is going to look like everyone else’s.
Pay attention to background: Simple backgrounds, like a white sandy beach or green trees, make your dog stand out. If you’ve got a point-and-shoot camera, have your dog at least a dozen feet in front of the background so he’ll be more in focus than whatever’s behind him, and of course, watch for the tree branches growing out of his head.
Pay attention to color, too: No black backgrounds for black dogs, brown backgrounds for brown dogs, and so on. Enlist help. A friend with a squeaky toy will come in handy if you want a head-on shot or a regal profile. However, keep your dog’s personality in mind with this tip. Some dogs get amped up really fast when their toys are around, so it can have the opposite effect of what you intended.
Get creative and playful: Lots of full-body shots taken from ten feet away can get mighty dull. Get up close so your dog fills the entire frame. Get even closer so you get the full effect of that long, wet nose. Photograph your dog head on, in profile, at 45-degree angles. And don’t get hung up on perfection; sometimes that shot with your dog’s tail out of the frame is the one you’ll have hanging on your wall for years. With pet photography, serendipity is the name of the game. The best shots are often the spontaneous ones.
Know When To Walk Away: No picture is worth asking more of your dog than he’s able to give. For us that means we’d never ask Bailey and Toby to pose for photos when there are other dogs around – they’re both afraid of other dogs, and asking them to sit still and pay attention in that situation would be too difficult. Every dog has his limits – just like people – and as his best friend, it’s your job to know what’s too much and respect those boundaries.
Embrace the Imperfection: Imperfections are what make it perfect! Sometimes the best shots on my camera are the ones I least expected to turn out. Even after all these years, Bailey and Toby don’t cooperate 100% every time – and that’s okay. When you’re out there having fun and enjoying the company of your best furry friends, those feeling gets captured by the camera in a way I can’t explain. So embrace the imperfection, and be grateful for the fact that you’re out doing this together – because no matter how the photos turn out, you’ll always have those memories.