Pets are not just pets, they are family. So why leave them out when you’re taking photos?
You may think that having your pet around for pictures can be tiring, a disaster or just too much to handle. Luckily, there are ways to avoid these issues! Here are 10 helpful ways you can incorporate your furry friend in your photos:
1. Wear them out
Before you start shooting, let your pet run around and use most of their energy. A tired dog is much easier to control in those family photo shoots than a hyper dog.
2. Embrace the candid moments
Candid is in, staged is out. The imperfect shots are the most heartwarming and genuine shots. You don’t have to have the most perfectly posed pictures; sometimes, the candid unforeseen pictures are the best memories to have!
3. Be yourself
Take some pictures with you and your pet being active together. These candid shots are great because they show how you and your pet act in a natural environment and aren’t staged. Seeing your pet being active fully embodies who they are (unless you have a cat; then your candid shots can be inside playing with a mouse or feather toy).
4. Use familiar surroundings
If your dog is not used to the place you are shooting at, it may not be the best idea to do it there. Lean toward areas that your animal is used to playing in such as a park near your house or even your backyard. That way, your animal will feel more comfortable and it will be easier for you to take natural shots.
5. Good behavior = Reward
Bring treats so that whenever your pet is doing a great job you can reward them. This will keep their spirits high, and this will also teach them that they will be rewarded when they behave.
Also, it could be a great way to get them to look at the camera. Simply hold the treat near the camera and tell your animal to sit and stay. After you get your perfect shots, reward them for being such a good sport.
6. Just keep smiling
A photo will take more time when you’re incorporating your pet, but stay patient. Since pets can’t keep their heads straight towards the camera at all times it is much harder to get the perfect posed picture. A good way to make this easier is to keep smiling! Whenever the dog looks straight at the camera, you will already be smiling and the photographer can get that perfect posed (or candid) picture.
7. Maximize their attention span
You know your animal better than anyone else so you know exactly what makes them tick and catches their attention. Most pets in general have short attention spans, so do anything you can do to keep that attention a little bit longer. Bring their favorite toy or treat so that they can focus on that. It’ll be much easier to get the best shots.
8. Stay positive
Pets do not respond to negative energy well, so always try to keep a peaceful attitude when shooting with your pets. Yelling or scolding them can make them upset or less likely to listen to you when you’re trying to shoot. Plus, you don’t want your animal looking like they just got in trouble in your family portraits. Speak in a calm tone and keep the environment (and animal) joyful and happy.
9. Comfort is reassuring
If you are taking a group photo with your family and friends, figure out which person the pet is most comfortable with. That person should be holding them, holding their leash or be next to them so that the pet is reassured and comforted.
10. Lots and lots of shots
Take lots and lots of photos. Having many options to pick from is always reassuring. Make sure you have lots of room on your memory card. You can always go back to review the photos and delete the ones you don’t like so it’s better to have too many than not enough.