By Chirag Dharmani*
Photography is nothing but capturing moments. As simple as it may sound, it is not that simple!
Pet Photography as a profession was not considered earlier as humans never felt that need to hire a professional photographer to capture their pets in action. However, with passing time, Pet Photography has now become a new evolved genre in photography, which is getting its due credit and respect. With the influence of West on our country, pet parents thought to get their fur babies a professional shoot done, especially, after the boom of ‘Social Media’ in India.
What is Pet Photography About?
Photographing your pets is about capturing their personality, their funny and sweet moments, and their habits. It requires a certain set of skills and patience to tackle.
Your pets are unpredictable and fast (unless you have a snail or a turtle). This provides you with all of the subject matter you need to improve. But, it will surely test your skills as a photographer. Luckily, pets will do most things for a snack or treat. However, some photographers step away from this natural, candid state and opt for portraits.
Perception About Pet Photography
Earlier, pets were not thought to be the subject for professional photography by humans because of the expensive photo stock, but now with digitization it has become very convincing for them to either photograph them or get their professional shoot done.
What It Takes to Be a Pet Photographer?
Being a Pet photographer can be challenging at times because you are dealing with a different specie altogether and you need to make sure that they are in their happy space.
A Pet Photographer should be an Animal Lover himself to vibe with the pet before the shoot and make them comfortable around the shoot. Shooting with humans is easy as you can guide them in your language but while shooting with pets you have many limitations because it totally depends on the mood of the animal. Pet Photography, in short, is capturing candid moments of animals by grabbing their attention. To be an ideal pet photographer, PATIENCE is the key! One needs to be very patient and learn to somewhere be sporting enough to shoot with animals.
If someone closely understands animals, then definitely he can become a pet photographer.
Pet Photography vs. Mainstream Photography
Photography has many genres like Wedding, Portraits, Product, Commercial and more. One of the main differences is that when you shoot with humans, you use your skills and mind but when you shoot with pets, you are in awe of them and shoot from heart. In pet photography, you get restricted with lights during indoor shoot because some heavy lights can intimidate the pets. You can, at times, lure the pets with treats and get required shots. All you need to do is get inside the mind of your Pet!
You should always respect your pet’s personality when taking a photo just as you would for a human subject.
In other genres, we can get repeated takes and guide humans to pose again but when your subject is an Animal then you need to be very specific about your framing and above all you need to make sure you are set to click it on the spot and capture every candid moment of the pet.
4 Golden Tips for Pet Photography
- Be Prepared for Sudden Movements: Pets are very unpredictable in nature. Consider your photography session like a roller coaster ride. Keep your camera’s shutter-speed setting on point, so that you can capture the right moving moment.
- Keep Your Treats Ready: Treats act as a motive for pets to listen and obey your commands on set. Basic pet treats, biscuits, cheese or any vegetables, which the animal likes will make you help and get the poses you want to capture.
- A Good Camera Angle: Try to shoot them in their world — from way down below. Make sure that your camera is placed at their eye level or even lower, where you can get the best view of their expressions. Shooting at this angle gives the viewer an amazing angle from the pet’s point of view. Also, capture some close up shots as usually pet parents love the close up face of their pets.
- Try to Tell a Story: Like it is said ‘every picture conveys a story’, same is the case with Pet Photography. It should not be a long story but a short one, like a pet with his favourite toy, a cat looking at a particular object or a dog with his favourite meal.
Future Prospects of Pet Photography
With many people ready to get a professional shoot done, Pet Photography is slowly growing in India. But there is still a certain section of society that is not yet accustomed to Pet Photography as a profession. One needs to know that there is a difference between professional photo shoot and photos shot from phone.
But the silver lining is that things are changing for good with the change of heart in people towards their pets, when it comes to Pet Photography!
* Author is a Filmmaker, a Photographer, and a Certified Canine Trainer. As a Multipotientialite, he dabbles with multiple genres. He is an avid dog lover and his expertise both in Dog training and Photography has helped him to become a Pet Photographer and understand an Animal’s Perspective. He is also known as THE POOCH MASTER on Instagram. You can visit his Instagram handle @thepoochmaster