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How to take a Great Holiday Pet Photo

Taking a great holiday pet photo need not be hard. Whether you have gone somewhere different or are just relaxing at home there is opportunity to slow down and capture the moment with some holiday photography. Remember a few basic rules about photographing animals and you will have memorable holiday moments captured forever.

Capture the animal

When photographing animals, it is usually important to get down with the animal and view them close up. Rather than looking down on them try and see them eye to eye. Use natural light and capture the eyes to get a good window on the “soul” of the animal. Use a close up macro lens to get in real close and capture detail on hairs and whiskers that you might not normally see. Use a fast shutter speed so that movement does not blur the image, but try and avoid using a flash as natural light is less harsh and much better for capturing the detail of the animal.

Capture the character

If there is some characteristic peculiar to your pet – like being sleepy or playful or always eating – try and capture them doing this activity. Most pets are active and move about a lot so it might be necessary to capture them unawares and surprise them. Try watching them play while hidden behind something, focus the camera on the animal and then whistle or call to get their attention. They will look to you for a moment and you will have a chance to take a candid shot of your pet doing their thing.

Capture the place

Holidays sometimes offer opportunity for going to new places – whether it is a beach, or camp ground, mountain or just a different town. Try and capture your pet in their new environment. Plain backgrounds like grass or sand work well since over complicated backgrounds can distract from the pet.

Sometimes you do want to capture the place so look for backgrounds – like an iconic building or feature – that will still remind you of the location while being blurred as a background. You can take a close up shot of the animal and blur the background out so that it does not distract from the pet, while still reminding you of sand or sun or snow.

Capture the people

Don’t forget that pets are often attached to people and aim to include some shots of the pet playing with people. If this person is yourself set the camera up on a tripod, use the self-timer, or continuous shoot mode and then play with the pet taking plenty of shots along the way. You can always post-process the images or just delete those that you don’t like, to make sure you have some memorable images of the people that are special to the pets.

The formal shot

Sometimes you can’t do without a formal shot of your pet, either in a group photo with the family, or alone. When aiming for a picture that has more planned composition try and get the animal when they are sleepy and just waking up. They will be stiller and you will have more time to adjust the camera to capture them and the post you are composing.

Taking great holiday photos of your pet need not be hard. Experiment with different camera settings, backgrounds and so on and enjoy creating memories that will last.

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