Last week I chatted with my friends over at SarasotaDog.com and shared a few of my ideas regarding taking good photographs of pets. You can read the full article here, but I thought I’d take this opportunity to share a few more of my thoughts when it comes to pet photography.
If you’ve read the article, you might be a little surprised that I didn’t really mention much, if anything, about cameras, exposure, lighting, composition, etc. It’s not that these things aren’t important, but I honestly believe that the most important thing is to just get out there and TAKE PICTURES of your pets!
As someone who makes their living as a professional photographer, I tend to often fall victim to the mindset that every image must be *perfect*. The lighting must be perfect. The conditions must be perfect. The exposure must be perfect. I could go on, but I think you probably get the idea. And while this quest for perfection is great for my clients, it means a lot of missed opportunities when it comes to capturing my own dogs. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve kicked myself for not pulling my camera out when my guys were just hanging out being their normal, everyday, goofy, entertaining selves. Would those images make for a nice, great big canvas print on my wall? Probably not, but at least I would have them as a reminder of all those little moments that mean so much.
If you’ve ever lost a pet, then I’m sure you understand just how important all of the “everyday” images become. When Pongo passed away in April, suddenly *every* single photo of him became a special one. I didn’t care if it was a little out of focus, or the lighting was bad, or the background wasn’t pretty. Aside from the wonderful memories I have of him, those less-than-perfect images are the only physical reminders I have left. And while I’m certain I have thousands of pictures, I now wish I had several thousands more. Sure, the big, beautiful prints hanging on my wall are awesome, and I’m so glad that I have them, but those horribly bad quality cell phone pictures are pretty special too.
So I guess my number one “tip” when it comes to pet photography is just to take as many pictures of your pets as you can. I’m always a little surprised, and saddened, when I talk to people who don’t have many, if any, pictures of their pets. And usually this is the case because they feel like they aren’t a “good” photographer, or don’t have the right equipment to take nice pictures. So not true!
For those of you who might be interested in the more “technical” and composition-related tips when it comes to photographing your pets, I promise to share some more of those here very soon!
Thank you SarasotaDog.com for chatting with me about my favorite subject – pet photography! For my local friends, I invite you to join the “Sarasota Dog Lovers” Meetup group. This is a new group for area dog lovers who want to get together at local dog friendly areas for some good conversation and fun with their dogs! To learn more, visit SarasotaDog’s Meetup page here. Their next event is coming up Monday, August 23 at Polo Bar and Grill in Lakewood Ranch. I’m hoping that Indy and I can make it, so hopefully we’ll see you there!