photography tips

Photography Tip - Lean in

When photographing people and their pets, have everyone lie down on their stomach including you, the photographer. It's a wonderful way to get personal with your subjects. I love portraits where faces are side by side and touching. It's a terrific way to show that special bond and connection people share with their pets.

Ask the person to lean into their pet, hug their pet, cradle their pet - whatever feels comfortable for them. Let the love flow and capture what they give you. 

Keep it simple, relaxed, have fun and make it memorable.

Photography Tip - Sweet Slumber

If your bedroom has good light, take photos of your pets on the bed.  Pets feel safe and relaxed on the bed - it's a great place to capture some very endearing and intimate moments.  Some of my favorite photos of my pets are of them sleeping.  I caught my cat, Peg, sleeping on the bed with one paw over the top of her head.  My camera was tucked away in a camera bag in another room. I didn’t want to lose the moment, so I grabbed my cell phone and took this photo of Peg.

As the saying goes - the best camera is the one you have with you, and often that will be your cell phone. Always seize the moment. You may never get a second chance.  

That doesn’t mean you can’t prepare or prep the space ahead of time. It really is all about the light. Avoid direct sunlight. Bright sunlight streaming through a window will be harsh and contrasty.  Make sure the bed is not being illuminated by direct sunlight but rather diffused light.  You can see and feel beautiful/diffused light in real time. It floats in and illuminates the space seamlessly. You can place sheers in front of a window to diffuse/soften the light. I have ivory colored sheers covering my bedroom window. The sheers turn the window into a giant soft box. Invest in some window sheers, work the light and be ready when your pet gives you something special.

Photography Tip - Capturing Curiosity

Whispery sounds are a great way to get a cat's attention.

Put your cat's favorite bed or piece of cat furniture in a place that has good light, get creative with perspective and try shooting from a high angle. Make some whispery sounds, focus on the eyes and be ready to capture their curious expression when they look at up at you.  Cats have the most amazing eyes and high angle perspectives are a wonderful way to showcase them.  

Don't forget about the background. It is an important element in portraits. Seek out clean backgrounds and colors that compliment your subject. Wood floors can make a beautiful backdrop for a cat portrait.

Camera info: Nikon D3s, 50mm lens, f/4, 1/400s


Photography Tip - Using Repetition Creatively

Photography Tip - Using Repetition Creatively

Seeking out and photographing repeating patterns is a great way to exercise your eye so to speak.  It forces you to slow down and really observe your surroundings. It’s amazing what you will find and see when you slow down. Botanical gardens are treasure troves of repeating patterns and one of my favorite places to take photographs with my 70-200mm lens.