Sorry for a gap in blog posts :: I have had a busy holiday & I’m leaving to San Francisco shortly! I will have many GREAT pet portraits to share upon my return!
A professional pet photographer has the keen ability to capture the spirit of your pet with high-quality photographs… after all, this is why you hire me! However, You don’t have to have professional equipment to get nice snapshots from time-to-time. In my previous photo-tip blog post, I recommended turning off your flash to avoid over exposing detail in your pets fur/face & to avoid red eyes. And if possible, set your “photo quality” to high.
Even though your flash is off, you will still need extra light to illuminate your pet enough to adequately capture their features. That being said, don’t take their photo at night :: a lamp (or three) will not be enough to capture detail. Wait until the daytime and use sunlight! Taking Fido outdoors is obviously the best option; however, weather in Minnesota doesn’t always cooperate or you might want a photo Kat cuddling with the kiddos. When inside use window light. Get them as close to the window (or patio doors) as possible- especially black animals as black absorbs light, so you will need more of it. Hug the wall & shoot toward the pet from the side, standing up-looking down, etc. Just try to stay between the window and your pet. Move your furniture/pet bed toward the window if you want a cozy lifestyle photograph.
I’ve included a few examples (yes, it’s Gunner in a Monster hat!). These were taken within 2 minutes using a D70s & the standard lens that came in the kit (18-70mm), which can easily be bought used for $300. Nothing professional about this camera & lens. I took the pictures on setting “P”. No post-processing was done. I hope these give an idea of changes in results using the above lighting tips.
a. I personally love using back-light to create silhouettes- we will talk about that a different time. I took this photo shooting towards the window :: not placing myself between the window & Gunner. Additionally, I did NOT turn off the flash. You can see how his face lacks detail due to the burst of light from the flash.
b. No flash. The camera metered from the Monster eyes so they are adequately exposed, however, the sunbeams then completely washed out portions of Gunner’s fur, leaving harsh sun spots.
c. I was sitting between the window & Gunner (off to the side, so my body didn’t create a shadow). No flash. There is more color richness & detail, which is what we are going for!
My explanations are brief as not to bore you with too many details. Next I’ll touch on maximizing outdoor lighting! Please feel free to email me with a “photo tip” question for subsequent blogs… If I don’t know the answer, I will seek it out from colleagues to make this more helpful!- I just might learn something in the process too. If you are a professional photographer (more experienced than I), please feel free to leave comments to help our readers!