Getting Creative with Pets!

Or animals.

Animals (I’m including pets in this category) are a bit more challenging than people to photograph because of the communication issues. I don’t know about the rest of ya’all, but they don’t seem to listen to me. I can’t get them to look a certain direction when I want. Quite annoying!

(I’m being silly if it isn’t obvious.)

Animals, in addition to the communication thing, are difficult for some people to photograph well. Their movements are unpredictable, they get distracted easily, and unless they’ve solid training, won’t stay still for long. It takes a lot of practice.

Today’s featured photographer makes a career photographing pets and he does a great job! “Little Friends” by Seth Casteel

Challenge for this week: Photograph an animal.
Bonus points if you capture their mood or emotion in an effective way.

Some tips:

  1. Get down to their level. If you have to, put your head right on the floor.
  2. It helps to have an assistant! Someone who can play with the animal or distract them.
  3. Try using a somewhat shallow DOF – f4, maybe even larger.
  4. Tidy up! You’ll likely have the floor in the shot. Dusty, dirty or hairy floors – not attractive. Same goes for clutter in the background.
  5. Bonus points if you make them wear a costume.

If you don’t have any animals handy/nearby, consider photographing seagulls or crows. They’re pretty easy to find, typically, and they’re fairly fearless of humans, so it’s a bit easier to approach, which is good for those of you who lack a big zoom lens.

My dog hates being photographed, and I live in middle of a Hitchcock’s The Birds set (translation: we have a LOT of crows here). Check back in on Friday to see my attempts! And share yours if you like.