Pets — mod­els, exhi­bi­tion par­tic­i­pants, com­pe­ti­tion cham­pi­ons and full-fledged fam­i­ly mem­bers. There­fore, there are many rea­sons to arrange a pho­to ses­sion for a fur­ry friend: the upcom­ing cham­pi­onship, prod­uct adver­tis­ing, mat­ing in the club, and sim­ply the desire of the own­ers. But how to prop­er­ly and beau­ti­ful­ly pho­to­graph a dog, cat, rodent at home or on the street? We have col­lect­ed use­ful tips in this arti­cle.

Each pet is a real mod­el. Pho­to: wallpapersafari.com

How to shoot pets — gen­er­al rec­om­men­da­tions
How to take a good pic­ture of a cat
How to take a pic­ture of a dog
Shoot­ing rats and oth­er rodents

How to shoot pets — general recommendations

- Before shoot­ing, the pet must be bathed, dried, reduced to a groomer (if pos­si­ble). The mod­el must be clean, tidy and healthy.

- Ani­mal con­di­tion. Work­ing with a pho­tog­ra­ph­er is a close con­tact. Get to know the mod­el in advance, arrange your­self. If this is her first shoot, she might get scared. This is espe­cial­ly true for ani­mals that rarely go out­side and meet strangers. There­fore, you need a pre­lim­i­nary acquain­tance, the pres­ence of the own­er (and / or zoopsy­chol­o­gist).

- Place. Stu­dio, bright apart­ment with a good repair or street. The loca­tion should be with­out dis­tract­ing objects, clean, tidy. Even the most beau­ti­ful pho­to of a cat or dog can be spoiled by leaky linoleum, scat­tered things or garbage in the for­est. Think not only about how to pho­to­graph a cat or dog, but also about what sur­rounds them.

Don’t for­get about the “rule of thirds”. This is the prin­ci­ple of com­po­si­tion. The frame is con­di­tion­al­ly divid­ed hor­i­zon­tal­ly and ver­ti­cal­ly by three lines. The mod­el is best placed on the drawn “lines” or their inter­sec­tions. This makes the pho­to look more bal­anced. To facil­i­tate the com­po­si­tion of the frame, such a grid can be turned on imme­di­ate­ly in the cam­era set­tings. Pho­to: w‑dog.ru

- The ani­mal does not need to be fed before the shoot­ing itself. It will not play and run with a full stom­ach.

– Long-haired pets can be shot with back­light. For exam­ple, you can use an umbrel­la to illu­mi­nate the back, top and a reflec­tor in front. This will help to focus on a chic fur coat. But for short­hairs, you can put a hard light (stan­dard reflec­tor). This will sharply empha­size the coat.

- Before shoot­ing, famil­iar­ize the ani­mal with the loca­tion. Let me take a walk, get used to it, sniff it. When you get used to it, give a treat. Divide the process into sev­er­al parts. Oth­er­wise, a tired ani­mal will be capri­cious.

- Use track­ing aut­o­fo­cus. These are Canon’s AI Ser­vo, Nikon’s AF‑C, and Olym­pus’ AFC+TR. Also use the con­tin­u­ous or con­tin­u­ous shoot­ing mode. This will help you get a lot of clear shots.

- Get down to the same lev­el as the ani­mal (at eye lev­el). If you shoot from above, the pro­por­tions will be dis­tort­ed. Get on your knees or sit on the floor.

- Focus not on the nose, but on the eyes. Oth­er­wise, the frame will not be expres­sive. You may have to change the focus point man­u­al­ly.

– If you want to pho­to­graph a dog or cat in motion, while run­ning or play­ing, choose a shut­ter speed of 1/250 s.

An exam­ple of shoot­ing a dog in motion. Pho­to by Will Hold­croft from the UK, “Run­ning with the Bun­ny”. Pho­to: gella-arye.livejournal.com

How to take a good picture of a cat

Purring fur­ry mod­els are often finicky. Many do not like to be pho­tographed at all and run away at the sight of the cam­era. But those who are ready to pose also meet. We have col­lect­ed sev­er­al rec­om­men­da­tions that will help you pho­to­graph a cat beau­ti­ful­ly at home, in the stu­dio, on the street.

Wal­ter Chan­do­ha is a famous pho­tog­ra­ph­er who gave the world about 90,000 pic­tures of cats. In the first pho­to, Wal­ter him­self at work in 1955, in the sec­ond — Loko, the muse of the mas­ter, in the third — the cov­er of the book “Pho­tographs of Cats. Wal­ter Chan­do­ha. 1942–2018”. Pho­to: mrkot.com

- Back­ground. “No” to mul­ti-col­ored bed­spreads, spot­ted sofas that dis­tract atten­tion from the mod­el. “Yes” to a plain back­ground. You can use spe­cial­ized back­grounds, plain fab­ric (clean, ironed).

- Hand­some­ly, if col­or the back­ground is com­bined with the ani­mal. For exam­ple, for a red cat — green, for the British — blue, for blacks — white, red (you can black, but it needs to be high­light­ed). The back­ground col­or can be com­bined with the shade of the eyes.

- When can a dif­fer­ent back­ground be used? When it is not dis­tract­ing, it looks nat­ur­al and/or blur­ry. For exam­ple, a crouch­ing preda­tor in the grass is beau­ti­ful. But a cat against the back­drop of a clos­et, car­pet and vac­u­um clean­er is not the best choice.

- Ani­mal posi­tion when shoot­ing is very impor­tant. It is bet­ter to shoot “noble” pos­es. For exam­ple: “sphinx”, sleep stretched out at full length, fash­ion large, stand­ing (front, side), sit­ting (full face, pro­file), in the game. Does the cat have a beau­ti­ful fea­ture? Got­ta show it. For exam­ple, a chic tail. The mod­el can be plant­ed with its back to you and called. When the cat turns its head, take a pic­ture. A beau­ti­ful pose will fall into the frame (a curved neck, an expres­sive muz­zle and a chic tail).

Pho­tograph­ing a cat is hard work. But some­times you can make amaz­ing­ly beau­ti­ful shots. Pho­to: wallpapercave.com

- No need to shoot: dur­ing lick­ing, with­out a piece of the body in the frame (cut off part of the ear, mus­tache, tail), from an upper angle, with for­eign parts of the body (hands of the assis­tant, own­er, paws of oth­er cats should not be in the frame).

- Acces­sories. Usu­al­ly it is a bas­ket, a ball, a toy, a scarf, which are com­bined in col­or with the back­ground. They should not dis­tract the view­er’s atten­tion from the cat.

- The flash is not direct­ed at the muz­zle. The cat may be fright­ened, there will be a strong shad­ow, illu­mi­nat­ed eyes, the coat will be “cot­ton”, a toy. It is bet­ter to take soft­box­es and put them on both sides of the pho­tog­ra­ph­er.

– If the ani­mal is mov­ing, the shut­ter speed should be as short as pos­si­ble (from 1/200 s).

– Shoot­ing at a wide aper­ture (e.g. f/2.8) will help cre­ate beau­ti­ful bokeh and focus on the mod­el. A good option is bokeh in the fore­ground. To do this, you need to put some object between the cat and the lens. For exam­ple, a gar­land.

How to take a pho­to of a cat for a pass­port?

She needs to be seat­ed on a high stool, with a plain white back­ground placed at the back. For light­ing, you can use an umbrel­la dif­fuser or soft­box. No need to use a bright flash aimed at the ani­mal. This will scare him. The pho­tog­ra­ph­er needs to lean at the same lev­el as the ani­mal.

Focus is on the eyes. The own­er can hold the ani­mal from below. If the cat is under severe stress (for exam­ple, if he was tak­en out­side on a leash for the first time in his life or tak­en to the stu­dio in a car), you can give a seda­tive. Ask your vet­eri­nar­i­an for med­ica­tion and dosage.

How to get a cat’s atten­tion?

For this you can use:

- a favorite treat. Many ani­mals react even to the sound of the pack­age being opened;

- a toy. For exam­ple, a squeak­ing mouse, a stick with a fluffy tip. It is impor­tant to attract the atten­tion of the pet so that the assis­tant with the toy is not vis­i­ble. Bet­ter to stand behind the pho­tog­ra­ph­er.

How to take a picture of a dog

Shoot­ing these ani­mals (on one side) is eas­i­er. If the dog is trained (and these are more com­mon than trained cats), then there will be no prob­lems with stances, behav­ior, etc. But the vari­ety of breeds com­pli­cates the work. Tak­ing beau­ti­ful pho­tos of dif­fer­ent breeds of dogs is more dif­fi­cult than it seems. But we will share some tips with you. They are rel­e­vant for adver­tis­ing and ama­teur pho­tog­ra­phy.

Mighty St. Bernard at work. Pho­to: dogforum.co.uk

- Shoot­ing point. Pre­vi­ous­ly, they said that it is opti­mal to shoot at the lev­el of the eyes of the ani­mal. This is so. But, if you need to empha­size the minia­ture of a dog (Japan­ese Chin, Pomeran­ian, Mal­tese), you can take a shot from above.

- Do not film the ani­mal from behind. It will appear short.

- Broad-chest­ed breeds (bull­dog, box­er, rot­tweil­er) shoot full face, half face. You can take a wide-angle lens for shoot­ing. It slight­ly increas­es the vol­ume of objects, so that a wide-chest­ed dog will look even more expres­sive.

- “Long” we shoot dogs (dachs­hund) in pro­file to show the pecu­liar­i­ty of the body.

- If the goal is to make the ani­mal more com­pact (for exam­ple, the Irish wolfhound), you can shoot it in three quar­ters.

- large Ani­mals (Mas­tiff, New­found­land) can be filmed from behind from below. This angle will empha­size the great­ness, beau­ti­ful with­ers, pow­er­ful paws, slen­der neck. Impor­tant: this angle is ben­e­fi­cial for breeds with a mas­sive head. If you shoot a sophis­ti­cat­ed Grey­hound like this, his head will seem even small­er.

Every dog ​​has some­thing spe­cial. Mas­sive paws, chic tail, sophis­ti­cat­ed muz­zle. And all this beau­ty can be cap­tured by a pho­tog­ra­ph­er. Pho­to: thepetsnut.com
  • A good choice of lens for a large breed is 50mm, for a small one — 85, 105mm.
  • Pop­u­lar plots: pet sleep, stance, com­mand exe­cu­tion (for exam­ple, “bun­ny” — the dog sits down and rais­es its front paws). A cool idea is to shoot an ani­mal “at work”. For exam­ple, a shep­herd dog (col­lie, sen­nen­hund, sheltie, Pyre­nean moun­tain) along with a herd, on flow­er­ing green hills. A hunt­ing dog (grey­hound, spaniel, retriev­er) — in the for­est, dur­ing a staged hunt.
  • Use track­ing aut­o­fo­cus and con­tin­u­ous shoot­ing. This will help avoid smeared pho­tos.

Adver­tis­ing shoot­ing is more dif­fi­cult than ama­teur shoot­ing. If beau­ti­ful frames are enough for a home album, blog, social net­works, then for adver­tis­ing it is impor­tant to know breed stan­dard. For what? To under­stand what is the advan­tage and what is the dis­ad­van­tage of the mod­el. For exam­ple, there are 3 Dober­mans:

  • with a broad chest, with erect ears;
  • with a nar­row chest, ears are erect;
  • with a broad chest, but the ears are not upright.

The best option is the first one. A nar­row chest is a defect and does not meet the breed stan­dard. Ear crop­ping is still the stan­dard in the Russ­ian Fed­er­a­tion (for oth­er coun­tries, you need to check the infor­ma­tion in the club you are a mem­ber of). The sec­ond and third dogs do not pass the stan­dard. There­fore, they are not the best option for adver­tis­ing, demon­strat­ing the breed.

There is also zootech­ni­cal pho­tog­ra­phy. This is a sep­a­rate genre. We need such pho­tos to demon­strate the pedi­gree exte­ri­or (exhi­bi­tion, for the club). This pic­ture shows that the dog is a wor­thy rep­re­sen­ta­tive of its breed. The pose and angle are fixed. The ani­mal is tak­en in pro­file, from the left side. The pho­tog­ra­ph­er is at the lev­el of the dog.

Big, strong and hand­some Irish wolfhound stand­ing. Pho­to: lapkins.ru

Shooting rats and other rodents

It is some­times very dif­fi­cult to take a pho­to of a rat, a ham­ster and oth­er small ani­mals. They are:

  • not always ready to pose (like cats or dogs) and it is dif­fi­cult to get them to do it;
  • move quick­ly — you need to have time to make a good shot;
  • you can’t just bring them into the stu­dio (espe­cial­ly a ham­ster). The rodent gets scared, runs away, hides.
This beau­ty also needs a groomer before the pho­to shoot. Pho­to: emaze.com

Of course, there are brave and smart rats. They under­stand the own­er well, are inquis­i­tive and it is eas­i­er to work with them. But not all rodents behave this way. We’ve put togeth­er a few help­ful tips for work­ing with them:

- the shoot place. Aviary, pad­dock, pho­to table for sub­ject shoot­ing. The main thing is that space is lim­it­ed on three sides. And there was always an assis­tant at the ready, who would catch the fugi­tive;

- rodents are not filmed on the street. Since pets are very sen­si­tive to drafts, sun­light and air tem­per­a­ture. And ham­sters can even die, fright­ened by a loud sound;

- light. A bright lamp aimed direct­ly at the ham­ster will at least fright­en and blind him. There­fore, nat­ur­al light­ing is bet­ter. But you can add a soft­box. The main thing is to put it not very close. It is bet­ter not to use a flash (so as not to fright­en the ani­mal). If you still use it, direct it not at the rodent, but at the ceil­ing, to the side;

- decor. A sim­ple way to inter­est a rodent is to give him a treat, a toy. Some­thing he can inter­act with. On the pho­to table, you can lay out things that the ani­mal is usu­al­ly inter­est­ed in (what — the own­er will say). The ani­mal will be busy, it will be less wor­ried and annoyed by peo­ple around;

- don’t go for speed. If a ham­ster has been in a cage all his life, and now he was tak­en out for the first time for a pho­to shoot, he will get scared. He needs time to adapt. Let him crawl around the table, feel the props;

- props rodents not only sniff and feel. They can try it “on the tooth.” There­fore, you can not use dan­ger­ous jew­el­ry (glass, frag­ile plas­tic, prod­ucts that are aller­gic);

- male rodents are usu­al­ly (spec­i­fy indi­vid­ual behav­ioral char­ac­ter­is­tics with the own­er in advance) are lazier. They are calm, and their behav­ior is mea­sured. They can pre­pare low ham­mocks, pil­lows, cozy nests and beds. Females and babies are mobile, nim­ble, curi­ous. They can be offered toys (for exam­ple, the own­er can bring favorite ones);

- it is bet­ter to shoot at a short shut­ter speed (1/120–1/200 s) with a suf­fi­cient amount of light, oth­er­wise the pho­tos will be blur­ry;

- focus — on the eyes of the ani­mal. If there are sev­er­al pets, focus on one or close the aper­ture to medi­um val­ues ​​to increase the depth of field;

- aper­ture f / 5‑f / 6. So you can empha­size each hair on the rodent.

Some rats are great at pos­ing. There­fore, you can take a lot of cool shots with them. Pho­to: thespruce.com

And if you want to shoot rodents (or oth­er ani­mals) in the wild, the rec­om­men­da­tions from our blog will come in handy.

We hope that the tips col­lect­ed in this arti­cle will help you take beau­ti­ful pic­tures of a cat, dog or rodent. The main thing to remem­ber is that it is impor­tant to find a com­mon lan­guage with such an unusu­al mod­el. Let the ani­mal calm down, relax and behave nat­u­ral­ly. Then you will def­i­nite­ly be able to take some beau­ti­ful shots.


От Yara

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