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Noted pet photographer Seth Casteel recently shared his amazing photography techniques to the Times-Picayune of New Orleans, USA. Casteel is noted for his acclaimed New York Times Bestseller, ‘Underwater Dogs' which featured candid and adorable pictures of dogs in animal shelters.
Casteel is heading a nonprofit initiative called "One Picture Saves Lives" which intends to teach animal shelters how to take compelling and adorable pictures of their pets in order to encourage adoptions. This project is also supported by the Greater Good Foundation which is dedicated to protecting pets, wildlife, and people. Below are some easy to adopt ways to capture your pet at his or her best.
Give your pet room and freedom
Rather than force your pet into a particular shot or position, give them the freedom to move around freely and follow their lead. This way, you're likely to get photos of a happy relaxed pet rather than an agitated dog or cat. Doing this is much easier if you have one person to take the pictures and another person to play with your pet.
Surprise your pet with treats and toys
Surprising your pet with an occasional toy, treats, or unexpected sound can get interesting reactions and facial expressions. Using this method, you can also ensure that your pet doesn't get bored of taking pictures. Again, have a friend play hide and seek with your pet and give them treats, toys, and affection to capture the joy and lovable nature of your pet.
Keep the environment relaxing
It's most important to keep the environment calm while taking pictures of your pet. Too much noise, high energy, or un-bounding attention can easily make a pet anxious. Whilst your pet may be bounding with energy and happiness from playing during the photo shoot, ensure that the surrounding environment is calm.
Take pictures from the level of your pet
To get the best photos, simply take the photographs on the same level of your pet. This means you may have to crouch, lie down, or get on all fours, but it'll be worth it to capture all the adorable expressions. You can also prop smaller dogs on a couch or table to get better angles.
Take your dog for a walk or run before their photo shoot
In order to capture the liveliest expressions, Casteel recommends taking your dog for a walk or run before their photo shoot. He finds that after a bit of exercise, dogs are fully warmed up and ready to express themselves more.
Make sure your photo shoot background provides the perfect contrast to their coat
This tip is a seeming no-brainer, but it is important to notice how the surrounding environment contrasts with your pet's colouring. For instance, a chocolate Labrador Retriever lounging on a brown rug will not do your picture (or your pet!) justice.
Using these easy tips can help you get perfect, adorable pictures of your pet every time. What’s best is you can do it all by yourself, right at home. Happy shooting!
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