How to Take Good Photos of Animals

Brenda Barron / February 12, 2019

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Good photos help you tell a better story, create immersive website experiences for site visitors, and make your content more shareable. However, finding unique photos to spice up your brand can be difficult and expensive, especially if you’re just starting out.

A great way to stand out from (and appeal to) the crowd with your website imagery is to take good photos of animals. When it comes to the internet, photos of our furry friends make just about everything better — be it dog memes or one of the approximately two million cat videos that currently exists on YouTube (as reported by Tubular Insights). So, why not use this to your advantage? Learn to take good photos of animals so you can entertain your audience and build your brand.

Awesome dog meme

Tips to help you take good photos of animals

Capturing the perfect shot of your cat or a neighbor’s dog can be quite a challenge. After all, you can’t just ask them to hold a pose. The following tips will help you take sharper, cuter, more memorable pictures of your furry friends.

1. Wait for the right moment

Getting animals to sit still while you take their pictures is nearly impossible, so it’s better if you wait for the right moment and capture them doing what they do naturally. This shows off their unique personalities. Don’t be afraid to hold down the shutter button and take continuous shots, as the perfect pose can come and go in a matter of seconds.

2. Lighting matters

Like other types of photography, lighting is crucial, so make sure that your subject (your cat, dog, guinea pig, etc.) is well lit, using plenty of natural light. If the lighting is insufficient, your camera will try to make up for it by using a longer shutter speed or increasing ISO, which can result in a blurry or noisy image.

Dog giving a high five with good lighting

3. Get close, but not too close

To capture a sharp, high-quality image, get as close to your subject as possible. If you’re taking photos of animals in the wild, consider investing in a telephoto lens. It’s powerful enough for you to safely capture close-ups without needing to get dangerously close to an animal.

4. Make the animal the center of attention

Compose your photos in a way that ensures viewer attention will be drawn to your pet (or the animal you’re photographing). Experiment with techniques such as the rule of thirds (you can learn more about it over at Digital Photography School) and frame the animal in such a way that it stands out from the background.

5. Skip the flash

Just like how flash can cause red-eye in humans, the same can happen to your pets. In addition to creating an unusable image, a flash can scare away an animal and ruin your shot completely. If you absolutely must use a flash, consider learning how to fix red-eye using a photo editing software.

Dog on a laptop wearing glasses

6. Experiment with different angles

You can create more captivating, dynamic images by changing up your angles, so don’t be afraid to snap photos of your pets from above or even getting down to their levels to find new ways of viewing them.

Taking photos of your furry friends won’t be as tricky once you master a few basic techniques and keep the above tips in mind. After you capture those images, you can use them to show off your love for animals, please your audience, and make your website or blog more visually appealing.

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