When it comes to pet photography subjects, dogs and cats are especially favoured by both amateurs and professionals.
This is because they are naturally cute and charming. However, like children, they can be a challenge to take pictures of because of their unpredictability.
How, then, can you get awesome shots of your pet without getting a headache?
#1 Teach Them Basic Obedience Commands
The first step in preparing your pet for a photoshoot is by training your dog to pose. Most dogs, like Golden Retrievers and Cavoodle puppies, are easy to teach because they catch on quickly and are eager to please. Keep training simple by starting with the “sit” command. This is something you can teach your pooch several times a day.
Once your dog has mastered the “sitting” command, you can teach it other basic commands like “stand” and “stay.”
Days before your photography session, be sure to go over all the obedience commands with your pooch. This way, you will not have a difficult time getting him to be still and adorable in its photos.
Cats are not as likely to obey orders, but this is where treats come in. It is recommended that you always keep treats in your pocket so that you can reward your pet every time it does a task well.
It may also help to bring cat teasers toys to direct their interest where you want it.
#2 Familiarise Them with The Camera
Dogs and cats are uncomfortable when being stared at, making it difficult to take pictures of them. Just think about it: how many times have you tried to take a photo of your pet without it avoiding your camera or phone?
Here is when training is needed again. You can teach your dog commands like “look” or “stare.” Prepare your treats, as always, and reward your pooch every time it shows improvement. At the start, you may only get a slight turn of the head towards the camera. This is okay, as it takes time to get a dog to look comfortably straight at the lenses.
For cats, you can use teaser toys to direct their attention near the camera. It might be wise to get your kitty accustomed to whatever props you want to take their photo with so they can be comfortable with it when the time comes.
Keep in mind that dogs and cats can be shaken by the flash of a camera. To assure your pet that everything is fine, capture photos of other people and objects first.
#3 Groom Them
Your pet must look their absolute best before their picture is taken. You may opt to groom them yourself or have it groomed by a professional. Ideally though, have your pet groomed two or three days before the big shoot.
First things first: brush your pet’s coat to remove dirt and dead hair that cause tangles. Remember to be gentle when combing or brushing your pet.
You should give dogs a good bath to wash out dirt and oils and keep them looking fresh.
Prepare the necessary supplies like shampoo, conditioner, and towel. Make sure to also rinse your canine’s feet. You might opt to bathe your cat too but it’s not as necessary.
Make sure you trim your pet’s nails so it won’t accidentally scratch your props. Be certain that your pet is relaxed while doing this.
Finally, clip your pet’s coat if necessary. While some dogs and cats look their best with long hair, others do not. It is up to you to decide if your pet needs some clipping. If you are not good with scissors, have a professional groomer help you out.