With their distinct personalities and natural cuteness, pets are, without a doubt, one of the most popular subjects to photograph. But getting them to sit still or at least stay just long enough for you to take their photo is quite a challenge. So we asked some Lomographers to share their secrets on how to take the purr-fect pet shot! Thank you, lorna_ny, briany, icequeenubia, and orangebird for sharing their tips.
Just Get Lucky by Lorna_Ny
Actually, I have no special tips when it comes to taking photos of my dogs, all I need is luck! Both of them are not so willing to be my models, so I have to catch the perfect timing and press the shutter. With a lot of luck, all I need is a little help from their real owner — my mom — to catch their attention and to know more about the habit of my babes. Then, I can take adorable pictures of them!
Establish a Connection by Briany
My experience is only with dogs so I think things could be different for taking pics of cats or other different animals. However, I do believe that a tip applicable in all cases relates more to our expectations as a photographer and the necessity to have lots of patience. I think animals have their own personalities and moods so we must not expect that imposing our own will and desires in terms of poses and compositions is the best approach. I like to let the dog dictate the situation and if they decide to cooperate or not, it is up to then. And even when they don't, I am often still pleasantly surprised by the outcome.
I also find that trying to initially develop a connection with the dog and the owner helps in a big way as well. I usually don't go too far out of my way to force myself onto the dog but try to let things develop more naturally. Once I have a connection with the animal and owner is when I will then ask about taking some pics. I do not generally use treats since I know some owners can be particular about what they let their dogs eat but that could work well in terms of getting an animal to keep still.
In terms of the photographic aspect, one concern I always have is the color of the dog as it is not uncommon to either meet a very black or very white dog. This obviously can create issues with contrast and I usually try to capture the dog with an appropriately contrasting background…. but, of course, that is not always possible. Finally, my last tip is the importance of showing appreciation and respect to the dog and the owner after the fact. This can be done by simply petting and expressing kind words to the dog and then offering to the owner a separate photo with their pet for them (this only possible if you shoot instant pics which I mostly do).
Treats For Tricks by Icequeenubia
I usually just take photos of my pets. I have four dogs and a cat, which can be quite a handful! One trick that always works is to have a treat ready — wave it above the camera or use it to direct them to a place where there's better lighting and background. You'll never know when they will show their silly antics and funny expressions, so I make sure I have my camera nearby whenever I feed or play with them.
Keep Calm and Shoot From the Hip by Orangebird
I approach pets quietly and keep my posture low (like pets). As much as possible, try not to look through the viewfinder. In the case of the Lomo LC-A+, I recommend shooting it at a short distance with a Wide-Angle Lens. (Or maybe use a Lomo LC-Wide, if you don't have the lens! - ed)
Any advice, stories, or photos of your pets you'd like to share? Post your thoughts and links to your LomoHome pet photos in the comments!