Photographing a pet comes with rather unique challenges and even professionals occasionally find themselves facing scenarios that test the limits of their skills and gear; especially if the pet is extra-skittish or timid in nature.
What about Dogs? Well, almost everyone loves dogs and they are much easier to shoot compared to other pets. They are usually super friendly, resilient to most human contact, extra-enthusiastic and may work harder than most human models for that coveted treat.
What you seldom read about is the photography of other kinds of pets that tend to bolt at the slightest motion or sound, so the photographer sometimes has to balance many factors to ensure a smooth shoot. Think cats with lightning-fast reflexes or that furry rabbit which just cannot stay still.
The good news is that our photographers at White Room Studio are no strangers to all kinds of pet photography and right here, they share their top tips on how to take great shots of that extra-skittish pet :
1) Before the shoot, let your fur-kids roam around the studio and get used to the environment. This puts them at ease, increasing the chances of them settling down for some great shots when the time comes.
2) Silence is a commodity, if you are shooting skittish animals like cats or sometimes rabbits. It is a known fact that nothing alarms them more than sudden loud noises. To keep your fur-kid in front of the lens, your best bet is to keep things as quiet as possible.
3) Pets who are sensitive to sudden loud noises are usually sensitive to sudden movements as well. Everyone involved in the shoot should take special care to avoid sudden movements which may spook that cat or rabbit.
4) Use more natural light as opposed to studio lights as some pets are better at ease under natural light, and may be more sensitive to studio lights than others. With abundant natural light, your fur-kids get the impression that they are in a more natural environment, and thus be more willing to stay still for a longer period of time.
5) Have a chat with the photographer and let him or her know the best timing to shoot your pets if necessary. As they say, every pet has their good or bad days. For a fun-filled, energetic photoshoot, avoid scheduling the shoot on days when they appear sickly or run-down. On the other hand, if you are looking for a more formal, sedate experience, schedule times when your pet has just woken up, or when they feel more lethargic.
6) A great way to get your furkids to relax is to let the photographer get down to their level. This means the photographer will usually adopt a sitting or lying position on the floor to meet the furkids at their eye level. This increases the chances of them looking straight at the camera.
7) Bring along some of your pet’s favourite toy or its favourite pack of treats as a special incentive to encourage better reactions and behaviour. However, use them prudently so they will not get tired of the novelty too fast. Gauge the pet’s current mood and temperament first, and you will know when to bring out the big motivation.
8) (Strategically) Get their attention with sounds to perk their curiosity and interest just before that crucial shot, get their attention with. This usually will get the pets to stare momentarily at the camera. We do not mean loud impactful sounds for the timid fur-clients though (see point number 2). Simple squeaky toys, whistles and even some phone apps will do wonders if used properly.
9) Showcase their character. Some pets are playful, so ask the photographer to capture their active, spontaneous sides; sometimes in mid-motion. Some just want to sleep the day away, then take them lying in their most relaxed poses. Every pet has its own character, the photographer will want to take shots of them in their most positive element.
Ultimately, patience is the best virtue to have if you want great pet shots. A pet at ease with its surroundings will not make you chase it around (too much). Give your pets time to get used to being around the photographer beforehand. Ensure you and your pets are are at your most relaxed states if you want great pictures taken.
Featured Shoot of the Month – Easter Special
As Easter is around the corner, we share some pictures from an extra special pet shoot which happened at White Room Studio some time ago.
2 extremely adorable Netherland Dwarf rabbits – named Bunbun and Chocobunz, were brought in for a shoot, and our photographer got some amazing shots from them.
Some fun facts about rabbits:
- Their diet does not consist exclusively of carrots. Their staple food is actually grass. (So do not feed them only carrots)
- All rabbits are naturally toilet-trained. It is perfectly OK to allow them to roam around the house
- Rabbits can live up the 12 years, so they make good long-term companions
The whole family had a such a great time with us during the shoot, that our photographer caught Bunbun and Chocobunz doing some binkies (a sort of happy bunny dance) in between shots.
Pets of various species have graced White Room Studio over the years with their perfect pet shots and overwhelming cuteness. White Room Studio happens to have large windows that ensure the studio is always awash with bright natural light that puts most pets at ease and this inevitably makes all clients look good in front of the camera.
Ever wanted to capture your fur-kids at their best on print or even frames and canvas; with their images professionally retouched in signature White Room Studio style?