People and pets are the trickiest subjects to photograph yet these pictures often get the most attention. No matter what your skill level, you can always learn something new that can improve your photography when it comes to taking photos of pets and people. This article will give you some valuable tips that you can immediately start using to take better photos of the people and pets you care about most!
How to Take Great Pictures of People
The best pictures of people always reflect their personality and character. While a snapshot captures a true likeness, often times the picture doesn’t portray the person’s usual expressions and people end up saying that the ” picture doesn’t look like me.” The best way to solve this problem is to spend some time talking with your subjects and get them comfortable with the camera. When you see that smile or look that has their name written all over it, start clicking.
A few technical tips:
- Keep in mind that Portrait mode tends to distort, making the subject look wider or younger. Even though some people may appreciate looking younger, normally you want to avoid this distortion by zooming in on your subject. Stand close enough that the subject fills the frame of your viewfinder, take one step back, zoom to fill your frame again and shoot.
- Use natural light when possible. If using indoor lighting, try to use lamps with full spectrum light bulbs. Try to avoid low ceiling light as this creates bad shadows.
- Shoot in high resolution so that you can make nice, large prints of the best, then display them in frames to hang on your walls and give as gifts.
How to Take Great Pet Pictures
The first thing you need to do anytime you’re taking pet photos is to set your camera to a high shutter speed or use “sports” mode!
If your camera has a “Burst” mode this can help because it lets you shoot a lot of pictures rapidly so you’ll be more likely to get a good shot.
Sometimes instead of using the higher shutter speed to freeze the action, you might want to blur it to emphasize a crazy movement, like your dog chasing its tail. In this situation, you should use the “portrait” mode to get a slower shutter speed.
With animals especially, natural light is always best because flashes can upset pets plus, your pictures will come out better with outdoor lighting. If you must use flash, protect your pets’ eyes from injury by referring to your camera’s safe distance recommendations (usually four or more feet).
If your pet has a light colored coat, a bright overcast sky will highlight it best; conversely if your pet has a dark coat, direct sunlight will bring out the richness of color. If photographing in bright sunlight, use the same times of day you would with people, when the sun is lower rather than higher in the sky. And for framing pictures of your pets, go with a type of frame that complements the color of your pet’s fur like brown picture frames or for a more decorative look go with a pet specific frame like a dog picture frame or cat picture frame.
If you want to get really good candid photos of your pet, take time to follow your pet around with your camera and be patient until you get a picture you really like. Using zoom will allow you to get good shots without being so close your pet is more interested in the camera then just being itself giving. So if you can, keep your distance and use the zoom (optical zoom is best).
And like people, you want to focus on your pet’s eyes for maximum impact. Try to get “eye level” with your pet which often means getting on the floor to capture that perfect photo.
By using these tips for how to take better people and pet pictures you’ll have what you need to capture some fantastic photos. Have fun photographing and don’t forget to frame your favorite shots!