One of my favourite things to do is whip out the camera and snap some home pet photos. Of course, nothing beats visiting a professional pet photographer to have some special keepsake photos that you will always treasure, but there’s something about lazing the day away at home and capturing your dog one-on-one in a little home photography. With your dog completely relaxed and with their favourite person (you!) by their side, you’re in the prime position to capture those special details only you know about.
Yet, on the flip side home pet photography can be hard. If you’re like me you have millions of out of focus pooch photos, pics of tails zooming out of the frame, and a whole bunch of close ups of your dog’s nose that, to be honest, kind of suck. So how can you make taking photos of your dog at home fun? Here are 5 fun and easy home pet photography ideas that will leave you with a treasured photo to frame in no time…
1. HANG A BACKGROUND
I know a lot of pros say go outside and capture your dog playing in the yard, and I do agree that’s a great option. But for novice photographers, that usually ends up with you covered in dirt, a bunch of photos filled with shadows and blurry images, and your dog having enjoyed a good game of fetch (…well at least someone’s happy!) So why not stay inside and create your own doggy studio. Buy a metre or two of your favourite fabric and choose a softly lit area of your home to set up. Hang or tape the fabric to the wall letting it fall to the ground. (Note: Use tape that doesn’t remove the paint!) Pop your dog in front and start snapping!
2. CAPTURE THE DETAILS
One of the things you’ll have over an professional pet photographer is your dog will allow you to get uncomfortably close. You also know everything there is to know about your dog’s moods, quirks, and secrets spots of beauty. So it’s time to capture those details. Love your dogs ears? Nose? The way their head tilts when you say ‘Walk’? These little details are the ones you’ll forever hold in your heart, so time to capture them on film.
3. WRITE IT OUT
Nothing is cuter than a dog with a message. I suggest fashioning a small blackboard and writing in a personal message that applies to your pooch – or your favourite quote about dogs. Simply hang it around your dog’s neck and click away. (PS. I got my chalkboard from Typo for $10 – bargain!)
4. USE PROPS
Soda doesn’t really do dress up. I occasionally get to put a bow in her hair, but that’s about it. So bringing in a few props when taking photos really adds a fun element to home photography. You can use glasses (like Soda Gaga above), hats, bow ties, scarves…you’re only limited by your imagination. Don’t forget your dog’s favourite toys! Sure that puppy squeaky toy may be annoying now, but in 10 years time you’ll be wishing you had a photo of your pooch with their favourite puppyhood toy.
5. FILTER IT
In these days of Instagram, there is no excuse not to play with photo filters. And there’s no easier way to freshen up a regular photo than by having some fun with colours and photo quality. You don’t need photoshop, just google web photo editors and you’ll be able to try out your skills on line (I’ve heard great things about Ribbet). Try converting images to Black & White, sample vintage filters and try your hand at brightening and contrasting colours within the photo. And don’t forget to have fun!
- Always have treats and toys on hand to keep your pooch interested.
- Take your photography in short bursts so your pet doesn’t get bored.
- Make the experience fun for your dog. Never put them in situations where they are uncomfortable – they won’t be happy, and it will show in the photo.
- Reward your pet with a walk or game following the photo shoot. This will lead them to associating photos with fun!
- Take lots of photos from all different angles. Just think – if you take 20 photos, one has to be good!
- Relax and enjoy the process. Remember, you’re capturing memories, but you’re also creating them.