Whether they are playful or lazy, pets always bring their owners a unique dimension of joy and love. But pet years move way too quickly, it’s no wonder that pet owners want to immortalise their finest (or cheekiest) moments in photos and videos!
Unlike human subjects, our furry friends don’t usually listen, or have the patience to do as they’re told, so we’ve gathered a few pointers to help you capture golden moments of your best friend.
Image Credit: @catastrophlyn
Let’s face it: just like their human counterparts, there are all sorts of characters in the animal world. But just like with people, those traits – both good and bad – make us fall in love with these creatures.
So why not capture it in all its glory? Reveal the snarls and work with hyperactivity. Indulge the greed or emphasise the goofiness.
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This could be a physical trait, like a crooked tail or different coloured eyes. Or it could be an odd habit, like sleeping in a strange position, or having a funny expression when pooping. These endearing quirks are something you know best, and thus forms that special bond that will make the picture memorable.
Nature at its best
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Let’s not forget that they are animals with plenty of natural instincts, so be sure to explore this area and present their behaviour as Mother Nature intended. When preparing for your shoot, think about what traits you can highlight that can best showcase this.
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Dogs are usually portrayed as active pets, often associated with play, loyalty and goofiness, so why not take the pictures while they’re running about at a dog park? Cats, on the other hand, are known for being lazy, aloof and inquisitive, so it’s only suitable you take them when they are lounging around the house, or investigating a new toy.
Remember the environment
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When it comes to shooting your pets, the backdrop makes a huge difference. It not only conveys a mood but also sets up the contrast to your pet’s colouring. For example, you might want to shoot white fur against a dark wall or in a dimly lit background, while a black-coloured animal will benefit from a bright environment. Don’t be afraid to experiment with colour!
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No matter the setting that you are in, natural sunlight is often your best bet in capturing a good shot. Depending on the time of day, the harsh beams and backlight from sun rays could help add a golden glow and aura to your photo, making your photo look even better.
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It’s time to get down
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There are no ifs and buts about this. You’ll get the most riveting pictures simply by going down to floor level and getting a pet’s eye view. This not only makes the composition interesting because it’s not one we are usually at, but also it encourages interaction with the pet for great engagement.
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Try getting down low with a mirrorless camera such as the lightweight Canon EOS M6. Its tilt-type LCD monitor also comes in handy when snapping your pets from unusual positions.
If you prefer a full-frame DSLR, the Canon EOS 6D Mark II features a nifty Vari-angle touch panel LCD monitor that allows you to capture photos from different angles quickly, thanks to its touchscreen-operable autofocus!
Nailing that action shot
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When going out for your action shots, remember that you are both the owner and the photographer! It’ll help to have someone familiar to assist you with engaging your pet while you snap away.
Canon Tip: Check out the Canon EF85mm f/1.4L IS USM for its 4 stops image stabilisation and high-speed autofocus. For a super-wide angle, try the Canon EF16-35mm f/2.8L III USM. These two lenses are extremely versatile, and extremely useful in capturing moving subjects, even in unfavourable lighting.
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Remember to turn on AI Servo tracking mode on your camera if it is available, to keep your focus on the moving subject. Keep your shutter speed to a minimum of 1/250s for a sharp enough image – 1/1000s is ideal, but remember to compensate for your exposure and ISO too!
Getting that timeless portrait
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With the same two lenses, you can get great portraits of your pets as well! The Canon EF85mm f/1.4L IS USM acts as a great formal portrait lens with minimal distortion, while the Canon EF16-35mm f/2.8L III USM can add a quirky distorted effect when you get close to them.
Image Credit: Gordon
Use a larger aperture, in this case, giving it priority, because the shallow depth of field can create a stunning intimacy. Use it to isolate the eyes or separate the subject from the background.
It’s all in the eyes
Image Credit: @catastrophlyn
One rule of time to make your pet’s picture flawless – keep the focus on the eyes. Sometimes, long snouts or fluffy fur can easily distract and throw the focus off, so be extra careful.
Image Credit: Elizabeth Tersigni
Like us, our pet’s eyes are the windows to their souls. A good close-up of the eyes will surely bring out that special look reserved only for you.
Managed to grab a good shot with our tips? Share and tag them with #CanonSG to give some extra love to your pets!