Do you have a pet that you want to photograph? Or maybe you have a pet company and want to get some shots with your product. Wherever you may fit we wanted to take this article and go through various ways to incorporate using animals with your next shoot.
As a photographer one of the biggest difficulties you are going to face when shooting animals is coordinating with the owners themselves. Even shooting with models mapping out time and location and making sure your canvas is available can be difficult. When you are in the planning process in shooting photos with animals is to consider the location and the environment you are wanting to shoot.
Consider if you want to shoot indoors or outdoors, if your pet is suitable for the environment. Make sure if you are photographing a pet indoor that the pet is in a comfortable setting. Is it familiar with the indoor location? If it is not, what are you doing to make the pet comfortable? Same thing with being outdoors, how are you going to accommodate the animal to the environment? Sometimes where you want to capture amazing content there will be other animals. Consider how any model would feel with the setting and then multiply that by a hundred. Animals unless super well trained seem to have a harder time coping with the environment, especially trying to make a certain photo come to life.
2. The Owner
We all want things to go smoothly in a photo shoot, especially if things are time sensitive and you are needing the perfect natural light. When you are in your preparation period and are communicating with the owner of the pet, prep them up as well! Incorporating the relationship between a pet and its owner can be a magical experience. It can also be a super difficult time if the owner hasn’t trained their pet properly.
A couple things you can do to instill better chances of a smooth sailing photography session is to ask the owner to wear certain clothing. They can model, right? So consider having the owner wear the proper attire and use them in the photos!
3. Shooting the Photos
Once you have the setting, pet and owner prepared for your shoot it is now time to start having fun! Don’t be so structured when you are trying to capture content, just be prepared to shoot a lot of photos. Of all models and props, animals, unless highly trained will most likely not cooperate right away. Shooting photos of pets is pretty much equivalent to shooting a baby that doesn’t understand words.
Set your camera to rapid shooting or high speed shutter and just keep shooting. Seriously, we’ve shot hundreds of thousands of photos and by far animals can be the most difficult. But that doesn’t mean the moment won’t be great. We are saying to simply be open minded to the photographing process because some of the best captured moments we have had so far are those candid moments and pure interactions with a pet owner and the pet itself.
Professionally, try to get all of the angles so in your post-processing you have options. Get the animal trying product if you have edible products. Have the owner feed the pet, get the owner interacting with the pet. If you have props, use them. Don’t limit your possibilities and we’d highly suggest trying to focus on your photo session with a pet to capture any and everything. It’s vague advice, yes, but through our experience it is the best approach.
Things Not To Do
Here comes the negative part and some warnings for photographing pets as well as post-processing (editing) photos. Please do not shoot photos with pets showing off their junk, it’s gross. Do not get into the editing process and notice that all of your props and products you were trying to focus on have their privates right next to it. Especially if you are trying to print out the photo or make some branding graphic, it is just not a good look.
If you are adding the owner into the mix, don’t ever capture moments where the owner is yelling or abusing the animal. We don’t support animal abuse in general but your photography experience is supposed to portray a positive situation, be cautious. Lastly, if you are shooting with a product, especially CBD, don’t have the pet so drugged up you get a complaint from the owner later that their dog has been sleeping all day. Most of our photos that show the animal eating it is very minuscule and oftentimes the pet isn’t eating at all.
So you want to shoot some photos with pets? Great! It will be one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences as a photographer that you will go through. Make sure both the pet and the owner are comfortable with the setting and environment. Try to focus on having your photography session on a time basis, capturing as many angles and creative and candid moments. You will never know what type of photos you get if you don’t take the shots, so go for it! Lastly, when shooting, avoid any private parts or awkward moments that could and most likely will happen during your session. Feel free to email us if you have any questions and if you have some suggestions from your own experience, share with us! We would love to hear from you.