Most cell phones these days can take pretty good photos of your pets, but there are some things you can do that can help you to get better photos. Here are a few suggestions. I had to go way back to find cell photos to share for this post because I pretty much always use my Canon camera these days, but here goes.
1. Think about where the light is, especially if your pet has dark eyes. Pets look more lively in photos if some of the light is reflected in their eyes. Face your pet towards the sun or a bight light source inside in order to make that happen. Try to avoid the cell phone flash as it does strange things to pet eyes and gives an unnatural look.
2. Along those lines, try to keep hair around the eyes trimmed up a bit so more light can reach them. Taking a few moments to brush the hair away or trim a bit can make a big difference.
3. Get down to their eye level. Providing a different point of view will make your photos more interesting, and we don’t often view our pets from that angle.
4. Or try a photo from straight above with them looking up at you, which emphasizes their heads. The distortion caused by a camera causes the head to look too big for the body which can make a fun photo.
5. Think about what is in the background. Nothing ruins a good photo as much a cluttered background. Look for trees, grass, the side of a building, sky, something pretty. Along those lines, if you know you want to take photos, declutter the yard or room you are taking photos in. Look around and plan well.
There are too many distractions in this photo, though I love the expression on my little nail file thief.
6. Use treats to motivate your pet. If you have their favorite treat, they are more likely to pay attention and look at you. Use small pieces so the pet doesn’t get filled up too fast.
7. Think about what your pet loves best and plan to take photos when your pet is relaxed and doing some of those activities. These photos will capture your pet’s personality and memories.
8. Think about your pet’s energy level at different times of the day. You don’t want to take photos when they are sleepy unless that is what you want to capture. You also don’t want to try to take pictures when all they want to do is play, unless you are videoing or you know how to take pictures at high shutter speeds to stop motion. You also don’t want a pet who is heavily panting with the tongue way out. Ideally, your pet would have had some exercise earlier, had some time to rest and will be ready for some activity with out being overly excited.
9. Think twice about props. Some pets don’t mind a hat or sunglasses, but other pets hate them. Don’t try to force a pet to wear these items if your pet hates them. Your pet will look miserable in the photo if you force the issue.
Just look at the stink eye I am getting in this photo!
10. Use free photo editing apps such as my favorite Snapseed. I will do a separate tutorial on using this app soon, but it can make a world of difference. There are filters if they are your thing, but I don’t use them. What I do like is the ability to take a cell phone shot, adjust the exposure level, brighten shadows, bring down spots that are too light, change the warmth, even remove some distractions. It isn’t photoshop, but it is a really good and free program that is fairly easy to use and will definitely improve the look of your photos.
I hope that helps you to take some better photos. If you have some specific questions, please ask and I will do my best to help you.