10 Tips to Take Amazing Smartphone Pics of Your Pet
|May 16, 2016||Posted by Tracy Knutsen under Pets|
There’s really no better subject for a photo than a pet (well, maybe your child, but that’s a different post!) But capturing the personality and extreme cuteness of your pet can be difficult when they’re flying around your house for 9pm zooms or buried under blankets. This is not an impossible task, though, and we’ve got some tips for you to take amazing smartphone pics of your pets that will have even the hardest of hearts melting.
Take a lot of pictures
This is true for photography, in general. The more photos you take, the better you’ll get. And the wonderful thing about having a camera built into your phone is that it’s always on you, so there’s plenty of opportunity to practice. An often overlooked benefit of taking so many photos is that you’ll become increasingly aware of great photo opportunities. Which means, if you practice, you’ll be more likely to get that perfect shot of your cat playing with its favorite feather toy or your dog flying after a frisbee.
Your pets are the most dynamic and visually interesting when they’re playing. So make sure to have your phone on hand and ready to snap a few shots when they’re in play mode. But don’t go overboard with playtime just to get a good shot – once your pet is tired or bored, let it go. There will be plenty of future play dates!
Use treats to get your pet focused on your lens or looking where you want them to. Not enough hands to hold a treat and take a picture? Recruit a friend or just tape the treat to your phone. And make sure to give them the treat once you’ve taken your photo! Associate your picture taking with rewards and fun and you’ll have a happier, more photogenic pet all around.
Get down on their level
You’d be surprised at the detail you can capture when you get down on the ground with your pet. Doing this will also help reduce anxiety and increase their comfort level, and your photos will show a bit of what it’s like to live in their world.
Focus on their eyes
Don’t be afraid to use manual focus to make your pet’s eyes the focal point of your shot. We will always look at eyes first, and pet eyes are incredibly expressive. Don’t let your camera do the focusing on its own, though. In auto mode, your camera will focus on whatever is closest to it – in this case, it’s probably a nose or some paws. And that could be cute! But not if you want to focus on eyes!
Try to photograph in natural light
Whenever possible try to use natural light as your main source of lighting for pet photos. This is especially true for dark-furred pets, who will look like adorable blobs with eyes and whiskers if you don’t light them well. Try to get your darker-furred pets to face into the light and don’t be afraid to overexpose their photos a tiny bit to pick up fur detail.
If you’re photographing your pet inside and don’t have an abundance of natural light, you’ll probably want to use a flash – but not in the traditional way! Don’t use your flash directly on your pets. It’ll scare them and turn out a poor-quality photo. Instead, angle any additional light you’re using up at the ceiling, to brighten the room and your pet evenly.
Consider your background
If you want your pet to stand out, frame them against a good background. If you’re inside, clear away clutter and consider putting down colorful blankets or their toys to create some texture and interest. Outside? You can’t really go wrong with nature.
One thing to remember is that the further away an object is from its background, the blurrier the background will be. This can create a really beautiful bokeh effect that shines the light and attention on your pet.
Capture pets in action using fast shutter speed and burst mode
The best way to capture your pet mid-leap or run is to use a fast shutter speed and the burst mode function that takes multiple shots in a very quick sequence. Some smartphone cameras might not offer the option to customize shutter speed, but many of HTC’s new phones have the ability to shoot RAW images (in Pro Mode), which means you can adjust settings like shutter speed and ISO. As a rule, the faster the shutter speed, the clearer a your shot will be of that leap or sprint. And burst mode gives you multiple shots to choose from and a higher likelihood that you snapped the pic you were hoping for.
It’s highly likely that your pets won’t always do what you want them to when you’ve got your phone camera aimed and your finger hovering over the shutter icon. But be patient. The last thing you want to do is scare or upset your pet by trying to force a photo that just isn’t happening. Take your time and stop your mini photo session if they become agitated or unhappy.
The best way to get a pet comfortable with having their photo taken is by starting when they’re young. If you’ve got a puppy or kitten, start snapping now. And even if they don’t turn out perfectly, you can never have too many puppy or kitten photos.
*All photos were taken with HTC phones. All animals featured are the pets of HTC employees – except for Phoebe, who is a Nest Full of New kitty!