To help you take great pet photos, we spoke with Josh Norem, a pet and landscape photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Josh Norem: There are many tricks of the trade, but in the end it comes down to patience and being ready for that special moment when it happens.
At the local rescue organization where I volunteer, we usually do a play session when shooting shelter cats like Tommy (pictured above). You also want to pay attention to the rule of thirds, so when cropping try to get the closest eyeball in the upper or lower quadrant of the frame to give it a pleasing composition. JN: To take a close-up shot of your pet with a smooth, blurred background, set your camera to aperture priority mode and your lens to the widest aperture possible (lowest f-stop number). Blurry backgrounds are achieved by using a wide aperture, being close to your subject, and having them as far away from the background as possible. The trick to capturing pets in motion – like a dog in midair – is a fast shutter speed and a camera and lens that can hold focus on a moving subject.
Shooting animals in action takes patience, high shutter speeds, and lots and lots of practice. So far, the tips mentioned revolve using a DSLR, but what about you point-and-shoot camera owners?
Having an expensive camera is not required for animal photography, but a goodlens will help with sharpness, clarity, and detail.
This guest post on Pet Photography was submitted by Antoine Khater at All Day I Dream About Photography.
Pets fill very quickly their place in our hearts and families and we enjoy having their pictures framed on our desk or wall!
It is very important that you pet feels comfortable and at ease, so instead of forcing him to come to you go to him. You know your pet better than anyone else, and a successful picture is one that conveys the character of its subject.
Put on that long lens and fill the frame with your pet’s face and fur, close up shots often make beautiful animal portrait. If you are longing for a formal pet portrait shot, try to schedule the photo session when you’re animal is somewhat sleepy or has just woke up it will be much easier to keep him still then. Become a Contributor: Check out Write for DPS page for details about how YOU can share your photography tips with the DPS community. I also find that often you can photograph an animal doing something that perhaps isn’t so unusual, but during the course of their actions, can have a certain expression that when photographed, translates to a very pretty portrait or action shot.
I have applied the these techniques to both my images of both animals and birds with excellent results.
I use my iPhone for taking pictures ?? It’s pretty much always in my hand and I’m able to get so many awesome pics of my two kitties ?? Sometimes I will photo enhance them with different APPS for those special ones! I spend alot of time volunteering at the local animal shelter working with the adoptable dogs and trying to get pics that best show their personality.
With the help of my kitty Simba, I picked out 52 simple tips and tricks you can use for photographing your cat or kitten.
I also find that often you can photograph an animal doing something that perhaps isn't so unusual, but during the course of their actions, can have a certain expression that when photographed, translates to a very pretty portrait or action shot.
Handcrafted glass ornament made from mouth-blown tempered glass and painted with glittering accents. The Camera Cookie Cutter kit includes three food safe, BPA-free cutters and stamps to create three cookie shapes: a Digital SLR, a Range Finder and a Twin Lens Reflex. Great for the photographer friend who has everything, Jennifer Collier’s one of a kind cameras are handmade from recycled paper or maps.
Sarah Frances Kuhn’s hip camera straps are the perfect accessory for lightweight cameras.
Come February, whoever is on the receiving end of these gloves is going to be thanking you. Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Errol Morris dissects and tirelessly researches mysterious and often controversial photographs in his new book, ‘Believing Is Seeing: Observations On The Mysteries Of Photography’. This handmade camera bag is a good gift for an outgoing photographer as this will be a conversation starter. We are giving away three copies of Digital Photography: A Basic Manual by Henry Horenstein. A sleeping litter of cuddly puppies, a posing black and white lamb and two kissing pink piglets star in the 40-year-old's heart-melting project.Ms Cearns, who used to spend her time on the beat tackling crime in West Australia, now gets to while away her hours with the most adorable species on the planet. The five puppies, pictured with a white background, were born in foster care so were also forced to be rehomed. In choosing the location to photograph your pet you might want to consider a variety of other factors also.
Pets come in all shapes and sizes but in most cases they are smaller than a human and as a result they tend to end up getting a little lost in photos unless you make an effort to get up close to them. Pets, like human subjects’ look different from different angles and framing them in a variety of ways can bring out different perspectives to your shots. Light makes any photograph what it is and when it comes to pets it’s especially important. One of the best things you can do to add context to a shot is to include the special people in the life of your pet in the image.
Many pets present a challenge to photographers because they are active and always on the move. Pets can be playful little critters and rather than attempting to contain this to get them posed for that special shot it’s often very effective to go with their playfulness and make it a central feature of your image.
Posed shots can be fun and effective but one thing I love to do (whether it be with animals or people) is to photograph them candidly paparazzi style. I had to download the picture from my FB account… And only just noticed that there is lines through it… Sooo looking at the original image when I get home!
I am starting to photography animals at my local Humane's Society to help increase the adoption with better photographs. It's always been the easiest for me to do because I have a huge yard where I can run ahead of them and bend for them to come after me. I photograph animals for a living - I love reading someone else point of view and suggestions. Those are great tips, I've also had good luck with photographing my dog while he is in the back of my pickup. I take pictures of my dogs for both fun and business, The fun times allow me a calmness in my pictures I cant capture without playing with them 1st. Normally I take my pictures with natural light, because whenever I try to photograph anything furry inside. How would I be able to take shots inside without using natural light, and still getting a good shot?
I've had a dog for a few months now, but whenever I get out the camera, all he wants to do is lick the lens.
When photographers think of pet photography they tend to imagine one of two possible groups of animals – the formal domestic pets or the wild animals. Before attempting to get started in pet photography of any kind (wild or domestic) it is important to a bit of study or research. The research for the domestic pet portrait is more observational and simply requires the photographer to visit the animal, or animals, home and allow them to get used to their equipment and their person. For example, if a few house cats are very comedic and seem to enjoy making their human housemates laugh, you will be able to observe this and figure out a few ways to get their humour on film.
Where wildlife is concerned, however, the observation process may not be so easy and can even necessitate the use of blinds or hiding places. Pets become part of the family so we should take every opportunity to capture the special moments and i’m sure their will be many. If you’re a beginning photographer or are investing in professional photography equipment, there are certain tips that every photographer should know. With these 10 tips you will be on your way to buying professional photography equipment in no time. Let’s face it, underwater photographers are obsessed with nudibranchs and California has more than its share of the colorful sea slugs. One of the easiest ways to improve your nudibranchs shots is by finding ones on interesting backgrounds.
Using the same techniques that we use to isolate a subject with a black background we can create blue backgrounds by simply aiming toward the sun and opening up the shutter or increasing the ISO. The DuraForce Pro is an innovative new smartphone action camera, developed by none other than Kyocera, that is designed to help you benefit from the connectivity features of smartphones while also empowering you with the ability to take action camera images and footage. This rugged smartphone action camera comes equipped with a 5-megapixel front camera and a 13-megapixel rear snapper, and even offers a third 'Super Wide View' 1080p action camera. Ultimately, this smartphone action camera is perfect for people who are immersed in action photography and like the idea of enjoying this utility as well as regular smartphone functions in one package. Photography, literally translated, means "writing with light," and using on-camera flash to make your writing look good is tough.
Solutions come in the form of bouncing the light off a wall or ceiling, using an umbrella, or a bounce card.
Setting up and toting around an umbrella may not be low-profile enough, and a bounce card may still be too harsh and directional. The Lightsphere comes with a simple, handy "cheat sheet" with instructions on how to install it onto your flash unit. Affix the Lightsphere onto your flash before you mount it onto your camera if you're using for the first time. The compact mode "compacts" the light by decreasing the apparent size, keeping the spread more horizontal.

The main way you position your flash head is vertically and pivoted so that the narrow side is facing your subject, but keep the hinge oriented so that you can go from horizontal to vertical quickly.
This is huge because even if your flash head gets knocked out of position, your light remains the same. Understanding your metering system, how to meter, and how to adjust your flash in TTL and manual mode is crucial for any photographer. For all the scenarios, Gary Fong recommends using TTL-controlled flash, but that doesn't restrict you from using manual mode on your flashes. Personally, I use spot metering to help me make judgements about my exposure and how I want to set my flash output relative to my settings. Overall, TTL mode works excellently for nearly all situations and spot metering allows me to grab quick, accurate readings of various parts of a scene and decide how to expose the image.
The cheat sheet that accompanies the Lightsphere also includes suggested settings for your camera too. While ISO 800 seems a bit low for indoor shots, you can compensate for it by opening up your aperture and slowing your shutter. The Lightsphere's efficiency and diffusion make it a great pairing for balancing your flash with the sun while keeping your shadows soft. If you're a Canon-PocketWizard user, then it is nice to know that the Lightsphere can be used when your Canon flash is inside the AC7 shield. The Lightsphere is a great tool for softening on-camera flash, but you can do the same by using it on an off-camera speedlight too. Here the Lightsphere is used on a stand (to camera left) to fill in shadows caused by the sun and give that soft, open-shade lighting. The Lightsphere also has little trick up it's sleeve when it's used off-camera: It can be used for Custom WB profiles. Simply hold it over your lens like a lens cap, snap your photo, and create your custom WB profile. As you can see, the Lightsphere is a simple yet very versatile and useful tool in any wedding, event, or photojournalist's gear bag. With a little practice and balancing with the ambient, you can make this little modifier's lighting results look like you've got a shoot-through umbrella at all times. Daniel SoneDaniel Sone is a professional photographer who specializes in documenting the human journey. Norem started photographing animals when he first volunteered at local animal rescue organizations, which have a need for high-quality photos but don’t have the time or resources. Unless you have spectacular natural light, the flash will fill in the shadows and also helps freeze the subjects, which is one of the reasons a lot of my photos look tack sharp – it’s the flash, and also a steady hand and good lenses.
It will make the subject look horrible in most conditions, and can also cast shadows around them and it will look ugly. Besides focus and composition, you need to worry about your exposure; if the exposure is too dark or too bright, adjust it using exposure compensation. That usually means laying on the floor, but it adds a unique perspective and lets you see details you might not normally notice.
The problem with automatic point-and-shoot cameras is shutter lag, which is the time between when you press the shutter button and the picture being taken. Most important is to get down to his level; We all know how a dog looks when viewed from above, this is the way we always see them. If you have a lazy cat show him yawning, if your animal is of a playful type show him in action performing his favorite trick.
An easy trick is to let him play quietly and, once you have everything ready, let someone call for him or whistle. No matter how excited your furry friend is, if you are patient enough, he will end up by relaxing and you will have the opportunity to get a decent shot.
In fact, I’ve had excellent results with a Nikon 135mm DC (defocus control) lens or a long lens with a shallow DOF.
I shoot withh a canon 5D mark III, my lens is a 70-200L 2.8, I use 2 soft boxes for controlled lighting.
My first dog shoot was with my mums very well behaved and trained dog, so it was quite easy. I also do shelter shoots and I make sure there’s always enough treats in my camera bag. Thank you for this article, and for all of your photography tutorials I have learned so much. I find that lots and lots of patience is key and also don’t plan a shoot too much, it may lead to disappointment because you can never predict what is going to happen so go with the flow. Not only does it ruin the eyes, but it causes light colored animals, particularly cats, to "glow" instead of having rich looking fur. What sets this apart from other manuals is author Henry Horenstein’s choice of images used to illustrate different technical and lighting techniques. To enter, be our Facebook friend and leave a comment on this post with the city you live in. A Ms Cearns' dramatic change from copper to wildlife photographer and animal rights advocate came in 2006, when she left the force after 14-years of service. Of course getting close is not always easy, especially if you have a pet that likes to move around, but it’s worth making the effort as the detail that can be gained and the personality that can be captured by an up close and personal photo shoot with a pet can really lift a photo to a new level. In your photo shoot take some tightly cropped facial shots (even focussing right in on single features like eyes, noses, ears, whiskers etc) but also make sure you take three quarter body shots as well as full body shots. In general I wouldn’t recommend using a flash as they tend to distract pets and in some cases will even frighten them.
Shots with the owner or other family members interacting with your pet can make the images incredibly special for years to come.
The key with any subject that’s on the move is to freeze their action by using a fast shutter speed. Include their toys, stimulate them to look longingly into your camera by holding a special treat above your head or take a picture with them sitting on top of you mid wrestle etc. I have very fond memories of stalking a friend’s dog as he played in a back yard one day. In fact, I have to say that the dPs site as a whole was better when he was at the helm than it is now. While my camera is pretty much on god knows what setting (I’m going to start learning how to use it), I still get some great shots. Nikon makes an accessory that essentially covers the camera flash from creating those green eyes, but still allows the Speedlight to fire.
For this discussion we will take a quick look at each style and consider how to get the best effects.
For example, if you plan to find the nesting area of some Great Horned Owls and wait for them to emerge at dusk, you might also need to know their general habits, whether or not they are hostile, and how they might react to your presence.
This is an ideal way to also learn a bit about an animal’s personality which can then be captured in the photographs taken.
If, however, an animal is more serious and dignified you will quickly discover this as well, and your time spent in observation can allow you to mentally prepare your camera for the best shots.
When you do locate the position you will use for your photographic sessions, you will want to remember to put your camera into silent mode and disable the flash unit. You may want to reconsider this because there are few animals whose eyes do not reflect the light back at the sensor, and this can often ruin the quality of the image. Consider that you will probably use a slower telephoto lens that with the camera mounted on a tripod to prevent shake, and without the flash the shutter speed may be too slow. She teaches enthusiast photographers how to take beautiful, professional photos in easy, plain English. Either one of them spoke about the technical side and confused me or how you could only do certain things if you were a seasoned pro.
Portrait Style: A vertical portrait brings intimacy to the photo by allowing the viewer to interact, rather than merely observe, as in a horizontal shot.
Before you invest in a nice camera, try a digital camera rental NYC, if you live in New York. It is fitted with its own image processor that is capable of working in conjunction with underwater and slow-motion footage. As great as speedlights are, when they're on-camera they tend to produce a light that is completely unflattering to our subjects, no matter what or who they are. However, these light-diffusing (also called softening) techniques have shortcomings in the fast-paced event and wedding world.
The first few times the plastic will be very stiff and the fit very snug, but that snug fit is to prevent the diffuser from falling off.
The dome can be installed in two ways for different levels of diffusion: compact and normal. It is great for areas with low ceilings or when you want a little more "oomph" at camera-level.
There are videos out there that suggest using the evaluative (matrix) metering setting, but I have found it to be easily tricked by the scenes commonly found in event and wedding photography.
But which metering mode to use depends upon the situation and the effect you'd like to achieve. By letting your environment handle more of the workload, you can decrease your flash's power.
In some ways it's "semi-automatic." M mode surrenders all decision-making to the photographer and won't automatically adjust any settings to compensate for a change in the scenery.
In a typical indoor setting (kitchen, bedroom, conference room, etc.) ISO 800 works very nicely. Fast-moving subjects will have motion blur and the risk of blur from camera shake gets pretty high.

Dropping that ISO low also enables you to keep your aperture wider, decreasing your need for more power from your flash. The included white dome diffuser can be used a lot like an ExpoDisc to attain proper WB whenever there isn't something neutral-colored in the scene or you don't want to pack anything extra.
It is a very simple accessory to use, turning "ugly" light into "pretty" light within seconds. His backbone is photojournalism and portraiture, and brings those skills and methodology into his wedding and commercial work. But with a few simple tricks and camera settings to keep in mind, it’s not impossible to capture amazing, professional-looking photos of these important family members, worthy of hanging on the wall next to pics of the grandparents. If you don’t have an assistant, try using squeaky toy apps on your phone [to draw the animal’s attention] – I use Human-to-Cat Translator and Dog Squeaky Toy on my iPhone, which are both free.
This keeps the focus motor active the entire time, so I just hold down the back focus button, but you can also do it by holding down the shutter halfway.
It can be a few seconds on some cameras, which is too long in most cases unless you have a very patient animal. Pets, unlike humans, do not understand what we are trying to do and won’t just pose for the camera! To give professional touch to your photographs, now it is not necessary to consult some professional.
I noticed quite often a dog is unsure of the camera and changes its behavior the moment you pull it out. For dogs I always photoshop out the leash, use a squeeky toy and my self invented annoying noises. All pets have their own personality either quiet or bouncy so read each pet carefully and shoot within their comfort zone.
I work with high powered strobes inside and outside with dog literally every day and not once has it ever been an issue. Photos by Jill Greenberg, Sarah Small, David Levinthal, Julie Blackmon, William Hannigan, Lauren Greenfield, Todd Hido, Sarah Stolfa and others are included.
She wanted a complete life change and had developed a lifelong love of animals during her early formative years in outback South Australia where her father was a shearer and wool valuer.A trip to Tasmania with a friend with an SLR camera gave her the inspiration she was looking for. Ms Cearns will also be heading to Laos to photograph bears in a horrific bile farm and at the Free The Bears sanctuary, on her mission to raise funds and awareness. Alternatively if your pet is hyperactive, inquisitive and always on the move it might be better to do your shoot at a local park where it’s racing around, jumping for balls or playing with other animals. Also consider the familiarity of the location and the emotions that it will evoke in you as the pets owner. If you can’t physically get close to your pet get your camera equipped with a zoom lens. In this way you end up with a series of shots that give viewers of your photos a full perspective on who your pet is. The other issue with flashes is that they can create spooky red-eye problems with some animals (in the same way they do with humans).
You might like to try posed shots but sometimes it’s the candid shots of owner and pet at play (or snoozing together in front of a fire) that really capture the character of the pet and evoke emotion. Most digital cameras these days will allow you to shoot in full manual mode if you feel confident to get the mix between shutter and aperture right – alternatively you can work in shutter priority mode where you set the shutter speed and the camera automatically does the rest by picking a good aperture to work with your shutter speed.
Make your photo shoot a fun experience for both you and your pet and your shots are likely to reflect it. I took shots while he dug up flowers, as he buried a bone, as he fell chased a bee around and ask he sat contentedly with his head sticking out of his dog house.
The other benefit of it is that using a wider angle lens will often give your image a little distortion that will give your image a new creative and fun perspective. However I foster for a rescue and will be taking photo’s of other peoples fosters for a calendar we will be putting together so I want to improve my skills to try and get the best photo’s possible! I am using a light box with my speedlite inside, which fires wirelessly by reading the infrared light from my built-in flash on my camera.
The best shots I have of them currently, is when they are either sleeping or have just woke up. Additionally, your research might make it much easier to locate the birds in the first place and to stake out a better spot to photograph them.
Additionally, you may permanently “spook” an animal from the area by blasting them with a flash unexpectedly. If you absolutely must add a flash to your gear you may want to add a flash extender which projects the light in a bit of a diffused and less startling manner. She has a monthly photography emagazine and ebooks to help you create stunning images every time. Especially in bright sunlight, when it’s shining from directly above or behind, a bright face with clearly outlined cheeks, nose and eyes makes a more appealing photo. By placing your subject near a corner of the frame, you can create a more lifelike photograph. 10 feet, or four steps, is the average flash power, unless you’re using strobe equipment or professional photography equipment. That way you can become familiar with higher end equipment so you eventually know what you need. While moving the flash off-camera does help a little, it is still the same kind of hard light. Removing the dome entirely (convertible-style) sends a lot of light upward, helping you reach higher ceilings. The cheat sheet also bounces between Program (P) mode and Manual (M) mode, depending on the situation. Just be aware that anything moving as fast as a waving hand (as in "hello" or "bye") or a quick head-turn will have blur.
Its large diameter makes it compatible with nearly any lens a wedding or event photographer would have. He enjoys finding ways to do photography as quickly as possible without sacrificing the quality his clients expect.
The second part of the equation is a fast shutter speed, which requires a lot of light to work properly. Most point-and-shoots will also use the onboard flash in a lot of cases, which always looks terrible. Jean (the owner) takes a lot of action photos of dogs playing that are always fun to look at! For example you might have a place that you and your pet have had some special moments together that will mean a lot in the future as you look back over your shots.
The added benefit of a long focal length is that it will help with isolating your pet in terms of depth of field (ie give you a nice blurry background so that your pet is center of attention with no distractions). Natural light is a much better option than using a flash and so where possible outside photo shoots tend to work best (or at least in a well lit window inside). I believe my camera's flash is what causing the green eye, not the light box, but even when I've tried diffusing it with tissue and a transluscent card in front, it still doesn't prevent the green eye effect. If you absolutely must have additional light, you will want to try to use ambient lighting and camera settings whenever possible. A plain background will make your photograph less cluttered and distracting and more intimate. Making a strange noise will sometimes be enough to get the cat or dog to look at you for a brief second – this is where it pays to be ready. If you have good focus and exposure, you’re very close to the goal of getting a great image. My advice: Turn off the flash and set the camera to burst mode so you can take many pictures at once.
There are some dogs where I can take them out and get awesome pics in a matter of minutes, and others where I am with them 45 minutes and am luck to get one decent shot. The only exception I would give for using a flash is when your pet has very dark (or black) fur as it tends to absorb light and a flash can add detail.
Once you’ve got your shutter speed nice and fast make sure your camera is always at the ready so you can anticipate the actions of your pet.
I've done similar things to condition my dog to other things that made him uncomfortable, I don't see why it wouldn't work just as well with the camera!
Study lighting effects in your photos to get a better sense of what works and what doesn’t. Then Gary Fong invented the Lightsphere and made flattering, on-camera flash more accessible to the photographers in the fast-paced wedding world. Check out Envato Studio's servicesChoose from over 5 million royalty-free photos and images priced from $1.
Use portrait mode if your camera offers it, and if you can control the aperture put it at its smallest number. With dark fury pets you might want to slightly over expose your images for this same reason.
If they are a fast mover you might also want to consider shooting in continuous mode (burst mode) to take a quick series of shots in a row. Every photo you seen on there includes at least one nonhuman animal and was shot with flash. Alternatively with white pets you run the risk of over exposing shots so try to find a location out of direct sunlight and definitely avoid a flash.

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