photography composition with pets
3 Tips on Posing You Pet

Photography Composition Tips With Pets - Basset Hound

You've got a great subject. Just like with posing people, don't forget to use good photography composition with pets. When you have such a cute subject it's easy to forget to take a second and plan your shot.

This post gives you 3 tips for taking better snapshots of your favorite pet.

Many pet-loving photographers (like me) are guilty of snapping a quick photo of their adorable pet even though the lighting and composition may not be so good.

Of course, there are some instances when you have no choice.  Your favorite pet may be moving too fast and you don't have time to look at the lighting or change the composition and you'll miss the shot.

First Photography Composition With Pets Tip

Watch the background. Look at the composition of the puppy photo below. I chose the best angle, under the circumstances, to photograph Quinn when she took a brief moment to relax by the edge of my fish pond.

The background isn't ideal, but I chose an angle that avoided any distracting objects. I shot it horizontally to match Quinn's pose and gave a quick whistle to peak her interest and stimulate her to cock her head and perk up her ears.

How could I improved this photo? If I had taken the time to open up my camera lens to the widest aperture the weeds behind Quinn would have been at least slightly out of focus and more pleasing as a background.

2. Use Angles

Shooting with angles instead of verticals and horizontals makes for a more interesting photograph.

Use Good Photography Composition With Pets - Basset Hound

In the photo of "Elvis" above, I got directly above him and rotated my camera to create a diagonal composition.  Two of the unique features of Basset Hounds are their large ears and their short legs.

Elvis laid himself down on his side very close to a large window, giving me great lighting and natural shadowing on the right side of the photograph.  He graciously allowed me to adjust his left ear which I folded back under because it had been an an awkward angle.

The position of his head at the intersection of the 4 tiles was just lucky.  I didn't even notice it when I was taking the photo.

3. Watch The Color

Another part of good composition with pets is the consideration of color.  I generally will photograph dogs with more neutral colors such as white, brown, gray or black backgrounds. Both the natural wood flooring and the kitchen tile were complimentary colors for my pet model.

Bright, highly saturated colors in the foreground or background distract our eyes and take attention away from the subject.

the popularity of pet photography

Over 60% of United States of America homes have at least one pet.  Pet photography is a popular activity for these owners, but unfortunately it's easy to make photography mistakes relating to composition and lighting very easily.  

If you pause, even just for a second to observe the photography lighting and think about the composition, you are already ahead of at least half of your fellow snapshot takers.

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