Our pets are more often than not a very big part of the family and can also make fantastic models for photographers!
The main furry loves in our lives at the moment is our dog, ‘Mitchell Johnson’ (yes, named after the Cricketer), a one year old, goofy, water and people loving Golden Retriever, who shadows his people all day long.
And then there’s our horses who are featured often in my photographs and occupy a big part of our days.
We also have plenty of chooks, sheep and cows (as well as a cat who doesn’t love the camera!) – all different in looks and personality and all very fun subjects!
As with any genre of photography, it’s important to try and mix things up a little bit.
Altering your shooting perspective is a great tool for adding drama and interest to your images. Changing your perspective not only gives you variation in an image set or album but it also allows you to go back and see what worked and what didn’t in terms of light, mood, and accurately conveying those things about your pets that make them unique.
1. Back up
Pop on a wide angle if you have one, or just get back a few steps than you would usually shoot at. Try and reduce distractions where possible, and let your furry subject stand out!
2. Get in close
Don’t forget those little details, get up close and personal and capture those fragments that help you to tell your story.
3. Shoot from above
Looking down on your subject can help to convey size and personality and can also help to create some really interesting moods.
4. Shoot from below
This method can be useful when you are trying to emphasize your pet’s size or strength of character. Often referred to as the ‘hero shot’, shooting from this perspective portrays a sense of grandeur and majestic nature.
5. Shoot from their level
Your pets will be much less intimidated when you are photographing them from down at their level and you will end up with a much more personal and natural angle. Shooting from your pet’s level also helps to create a sense of a more equal relationship as opposed to ‘standing over’ them.
6. Shoot from behind
This is a great way to add a sense of ‘pet perspective’ and include things that they may be seeing. This is also a fantastic story telling method and can add information about their personality and environment.
7. Shoot straight on
This is a great way to really showcase those features that make your pet ‘them’ by showcasing their eyes, ears, and, quite often, a little of their personality.
8. Shoot them with their people
This can include all of the perspectives mentioned above, and might feature the animal as the main subject, an equal subject, or a secondary subject.
Most importantly, consider what it is specifically you want to convey about your pet’s personality or what physical features you are trying to showcase and then make a decision as to which perspective(s) would work best in achieving this.
Mix up your lenses if you can and try to just go with the flow.