How to Photograph your Pet By Laura L. Leatherwood, Artist

When you first begin photographing your pet, you want to follow these basic guidelines. First you want to take them outside to get the best natural lighting possible. Indoor pet shots can often be grainy and have a red-eye effect. The best hours to photograph your pets are during the magical golden hours. These are known as the hour after sunrise or an hour before sunset. This is where you still get the benefit of sunlight, but the sun is close to the horizon, and giving off a beautiful glow. It is not as harsh as sunlight at noon. However, if noon is the only available time you have during your busy schedule, take your photographs, but check for areas of your picture that may appear all white. These are blown-out areas of your photograph. It may be necessary to place your pet in the shade and re-shoot if this happens. The second thing you want to consider is your relationship between you and your pet. Be sure to wear casual clothing and get down to their eye level. Take the view of the pet and look at the world through their eyes. These photos will be far more engaging than you standing and shooting down at them. However, sometimes, it is too engaging for your pets. When you get on the ground, they may want to come sit on your lap or get in your face. Then they are, obviously, too close. It may be necessary to place only the camera in a low position on something like a table top tripod. If you are able to remotely take a shot or set the timer, it may work to your advantage. Sometimes I like to set the time-lapse feature and play with my pet while the camera does all the work. The whole point is to have a good time taking these images. Have fun with it and get creative with props, such as sunglasses or hats. Don’t forget to take close-ups and additional photos with your pets playing with their favorite toys. In the end, you will have a great group of photos to turn into a photo collage and several more fit for framing. Take it one step further and order a custom digital pet portrait from PEN and INK Magic. Online graphic design services, custom digital pet portraits and pet illustrations, as well as professional photo touch-ups and photo restoration are among the services offered at PEN and INK Magic. Pet Portrait Design Service Instead of traditional pet portraits, I create a unique, one-of-a-kind, customized pet portrait designs. I use your photograph and digitally layer it with my own fine art abstracts. This process often provides a colorful and energetic piece of art. Visit my pet portrait galleries for samples of my work. I have a Dog Portrait Gallery and a Cat Portrait Gallery. All pets are welcome, whether you own a cat, dog, horse, bird, fish, or variety of other pets. See Pet Portrait Fees for the latest pricing information on my custom pet portrait design service. After I have completed  the design, I will send you the electronic file to print at your local photo lab or print shop. To learn a little more about my qualifications, see About the Artist.