Yes, I’m one of those people who take a zillion pictures of their pet. Fortunately, my mobile phone is usually in close proximity so when one of the dogs or the cat strikes a particularly precious pose, I grab and snap. Yet with all my grabbing and snapping, I only manage to get a frame-worthy photograph every once in a while. And that’s pure luck.
Because I wanted to increase my odds, I spent some time researching and practicing new pet photo techniques. This article is primarily for the amateur photographer. There’s nothing I’m going to say here that will make you the next Annie Leibovitz or Ansel Adams of pet photography, but these tips are good for animal lovers who want to capture the occasional cherished moment with their favorite four-legged friend.
Catch the Animal’s Attention
This is an obvious point, but one worth mentioning. Some of the sweetest animal photographs I’ve ever seen are when a cat or a dog is staring soulfully into the camera lens. I’m a complete sucker for pictures like that. One way to capture your pet’s attention is to have a handful of CANIDAE treats with you and reward him when he does what you’re asking him to.
It’s funny how new words seem to burst upon the scene and suddenly they’re everywhere. Case in point: the one-handed self-portrait everyone now calls a “selfie.” It’s been used so often lately that the Oxford Dictionary named selfie as their 2013 Word of the Year. The selection was big news nationwide, and gave the late-night talk show hosts some fresh comedic material. Conan O’Brien joked that “The Oxford Dictionary has named selfie the word of the year, narrowly beating out twerk. In a related story, the funeral for the English language is this Saturday.”
Interestingly, there’s no clear evidence of the word’s origin. It was initially reported that an Australian named Nathan Hope was the first to use selfie, in a 2002 forum post, but he later refuted that. Regardless of where the word originated, it seems certain that selfie is here to stay. And it was only a matter of time before our pets embraced the trend. Don’t believe me? Just Google “pet selfies” and you’ll see.
Pet seflies are popping up by the thousands on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and such. There is even a Pet Selfies page on Facebook (well yeah…of course there is). There’s also a Cat Selfie app that purports to help your feline with their self-snapped portraits. You put your iPhone or Ipad on the floor and a bouncing “flaming laser” appears on the screen for your cat to chase. Cat Selfie takes a photo every time the cat touches the screen. Curiously, there is no corresponding Dog Selfie app. However, that doesn’t seem to be stopping canines from getting in on the pet selfie craze.
Below are just a few of my favorite pet selfies.
The “Is There Food on My Nose Again?” Selfie – by Misko
As you might imagine, I am one of those people who takes crazy amounts of pictures of our dogs and our cat. Now that so many cell phones have decent cameras, it’s easy to capture those precious moments.
What got me thinking about this was an article I read in Catster. The writer volunteers as a photographer at her local animal shelter. In the article, she chronicles her change of mind – at first she preferred photographing dogs but eventually came to enjoy cat photography more. With dogs, she liked the camaraderie and thought her photos were better with natural lighting and nice outdoor backgrounds. When she ventured into the cat room to take pictures, there was too much commotion. She couldn’t get a cat to sit still long enough to snap a good shot. And, when she got lucky and captured one of the elusive creatures on camera, the backgrounds were cluttered with litter boxes, cages, supplies, and maybe a few bags of CANIDAE Life Stages cat food, all lit by severe fluorescent lighting.
Then one day the shelter manager hung up a donated blanket and two heat lamps in an effort to spiff up the cat photos. The photographer mentally rolled her eyes, thinking there was no way a cat would sit in front of that thing long enough to have her picture taken. She was wrong. In fact, she now believes that cats intuitively know what she is trying to do and pose for the camera.
CANIDAE is best known for its premium quality food for dogs and cats, but what many don’t know is that they also have a line of horse feed called EQUIDAE. Now, I know that most of our readers have dogs or cats (and some of you have both!)… but if you happen to have a horse, read on, because you could win six free months of EQUIDAE feed for them!
EQUIDAE Photo Contest
Are you proud of your horse? Do you take first prize when it comes to giving your Equine friend everything it needs to be healthy? Now is your chance to show off how beautiful your horse is!
First, take a photo of your horse and then submit it on the EQUIDAE Facebook Photo Contest page. Entries may be color or black-and-white digital images, and less than 5 megabytes in size. You can even submit more than one horse if you’d like. Then you and everyone else can vote for your favorite entries until February 1, 2012.
From those photos that receive the most votes, CANIDAE will pick a final winner. Entries will be judged on the basis of creativity, visual appeal, and effectiveness in conveying the unique character of the horse.
Our pets are an important part of our lives, and we naturally want to include them in our photo albums. Taking a great picture of your pet requires some preparation, some skill, and a whole lot of luck. Occasionally a snapshot of your pet will turn out wonderfully, but more often than not you have lost the personality of the moment in the photo. Your gorgeous pet looks as if it’s in the middle of the road and caught in the high beams. Glowing green and red eyes ruin even the nicest photo of your pet. So unless you are a professional pet photographer, how can you take a great photo of your pet?
Avoid Glowing Eyes
The glowing eye problem, whether red or green, is caused by the same thing that causes this problem in human photos. The flash reflects off the back of the eye. To avoid the glowing eyes when you take a photo of your pet, the best thing to do is eliminate the flash entirely. Try shooting your pet outside or in an area with a lot of natural light.
We all know how hard it can be to get a pet to sit still long enough for the shutter to close on the camera, but to create a really unique photo of your pet you will want to incorporate some aspect of his personality into the photo. This is where props come in handy. Prepare the props in the area you want to take the photo before you call your pet in. If your dog loves a certain chew toy, place it in a well lit area in preparation for the photo. Does your cat have an affinity for walking on your keyboard? Place an old keyboard where you want to take the photo. Clean up the background or use a solid colored blanket as a backdrop and you have the setting for a great pet photo.
When it comes to getting a great photo of your pet, a digital camera is your best option. Call the pet in, and play with it near the props you are using. Once your pet is relaxed and seems content to be in the area you have selected, offer a treat or wave a toy at the pet to get it to look at you, and snap as fast as your finger will move. Often times the photo that you thought would look great will be one of those you will discard, and a random shot will turn out to capture your pet’s personality perfectly.
Much the same as taking photos of children, you have to work around their quick loss of interest and easy distraction, using those very qualities to get them to look at you and stay where they are. Having a second person on hand to help play with the animal or get it to move to a certain area while you snap photos is a sure way to get a great photo.
It may take a few tries, and you may find yourself discarding many more photos than you keep, but eventually you will get a shot of your pet that you can’t wait to share with everyone.
The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.
The personal opinions and/or use of trade, firm, corporation or brand names, in this blog is for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company of any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable. All opinions in this blog are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company.