No matter the species, we can all agree that our pets are family. We raise them, we adore them, and we want to hold onto the timeless memories that we've shared with them. Luckily, we live in an age where every phone has a camera attached to it, so you don't have to shell out hundreds of dollars for a professional photographer.
However, you can get the same eye-catching pics by applying these simple, effective methods.
Polly Want a Cracker?
Dogs aren't the only animals that are motivated by food. Cats, birds, horses, and just about any rodent can be persuaded through the prospect of a tasty snack. Don't waste time trying to capture 0.003 seconds of your pet listening to the screech of some nearby katydid; the best you'll get are a few questionable, blurry photos once they become distracted again.
Instead, capture their attention by holding their favorite treat or toy up to where you want them to focus. For example, if you want your dog to look directly at the camera, use your other hand to hold the morsel just above the shutter. Once you've got the shot, give them the treat!
Pro Tip: Cut the flash. It’s usually counterproductive and frightens most animals.
It’s All About the Angles, Honey
Don't let the Instafluencers trick you into thinking that it’s necessary to travel to exotic lands, or even outside of your neighborhood to find a fantastic backdrop for your pet. You can take something as simple as an old brick house and make it beautiful with a few props. Using the wall as your canvas, add some "antique-like" items to the foreground. This could be a pair of boots, an old cowboy hat, even a small wooden chair. Placed in between the wall and the props, your pet becomes the focal point.
Move items around as needed, and don't be afraid to get eye-level with your animal. Both owners and photographers tend to lean on shots from above, but experimenting with juxtaposition will give your photos a more unique look.
Pro Tip: Too many additional elements can turn an otherwise beautiful photo into a cluttered mess. Keep it simple.
Keep it Natural
There's no need to try to force your pet to recreate something you saw another owner do on social media. Allow your dog to sniff as they normally would. Throw a toy or have them perform a trick for you while someone else takes the photo.
The best pictures are the ones that make us smile. Sure, the artificial situations and setups we see on social media are certainly cute, but they won't provoke the same kind of emotions or memories that a walk in the park or a swim in the lake would. Keep your camera on guard, and be ready to snap a pic when your dog looks up at the sky and smiles.
Pro Tip: If you can't find an extra person and the timer on your camera is too short, you can also use your phone to record a video. Then, screenshot the stills you like and have them edited!