We’re a nation of pet lovers, with half of UK adults owning a companion animal. So it is no surprise that, on average, we take up to seven photos of our pets every day.
With this in mind, online smartphone retailer Mobiles.co.uk has worked with pet photographer Karen Bennett to share advice on how to get high-quality pictures of your furry friends every time.
1. Use natural light rather than flash
When taking pictures of your pet indoors, you will need as much light as possible. Karen advises, “The built-in flash on your phone isn’t always the best tool for pet photography. Instead, use natural light where possible. You can achieve beautiful images from the light streaming through a window or patio doors, or reflect the light from a window by using a white sheet, towel or even a mirror.”
If you’re outside, light is still an important factor. Many would believe that while the sun is shining it is a great picture opportunity, however, experts say the bright midday sun is too harsh.
Karen says, “On a bright day, choose your location well and look for shaded areas such as the cover of a tree. If you have the time and you see a cloud coming, then wait for it to pass over and take that shot.”
2. Get your pet’s attention
You know your pet better than anyone and so you know how best to get their attention. Karen suggests, “I use squeaky toys but always keep them out of view. They have no idea where the noise is coming from and you will get some good reaction shots.
“If you have a partner, friend or even both nearby, ask them to help you and tell them what you are trying to achieve before you start. You can use one person to hold your pet in place before releasing, and another behind you to create noises to get your pet’s attention.
“I very rarely use balls or treats; pets can become ball or food-obsessed. I leave these items as a last resort.”
3. Focus and metering
When snapping a picture of your furry friend, their eyes are usually the focal point of the image, therefore they need to be the sharpest point. Experts from Mobiles.co.uk advise using your built in smartphone camera settings to adjust the focus and metering before taking your snap.
Karen explains, “When you have your pet set up, tap the point of focus on the back of your screen. This will bring up a little square which meters and focuses correctly for the right exposure.”
4. Burst mode
Burst mode is another trick Mobiles.co.uk recommends for capturing action shots, especially for pets that are constantly on the move.
To get the most from your action shots, Karen says, “Get low, lie on the floor and steady your hands keeping your elbows well planted on the ground for extra stability. You will get a much better result the steadier the phone is held.
“Tap the place of focus, call your pet and hold your finger on the trigger.”
5. After your shoot
Finally, once you have the pictures you want, make sure to give your pets lots of fuss and treats. Karen advises, “Rewarding your pets afterwards will help them to remember the shoot as a good experience.”
Andrew Cartledge, mobile expert at Mobiles.co.uk, says, “It is clear that the UK is full of animal lovers, with many of us thinking of our pets as part of the family, so it’s important to capture those all-important memories with our beloved pets every day.
“We hope these tips help you to capture those unforgettable moments with your extended families.
“If you want to try your hand at pet photography, why not enter our pet competition for your chance to win one of five Google Home minis? Just submit your pet picture on our Facebook page.”