Photographing pets can be tricky

If you are a regular on Facebook or Instagram, you are likely familiar with what pets your friends have. People love to photograph their animals. Photographing your pets can be a challenge. I know because I have a dog named Ricky. Ricky is high energy. Before I tell you how to photograph your pet, let me tell you about him and the challenges he presents.

Ricky is a shelter dog. We adopted him when he was a puppy from the Washington County Humane Society after someone dropped him off along Lang Farm Road along with his brother Ricardo and his mother Lucy. He is a beagle, or at least part beagle. I think the other part is greyhound. He can run like a gazelle at times and loves to jump off our deck with his legs out like he is flying, which in a way, he is. I saw him cover 25 feet once with one bounce.

The shelter does a great job naming animals and an even better job promoting them on social media. Think Ricky, Ricardo and Lucy from the famous classic sitcom. The cute photo on Facebook that our daughter sent to her was all my wife Lori needed to go pay him a visit.

He thinks he is a lap dog. He isn’t. He likes to hug people, which I have never seen a dog try to do. He hugged my wife at the shelter and that is all it took. He steals pillows off the lawn furniture and moves them to wherever he wants to take a nap. Sometimes he destroys them and spreads the filling all over the yard.

He is porch pirate too, stealing packages off the porch and attempting to eat them. Some of these items include gummy vitamins, new clothing, and a print that was ordered from a local artist.

He has big brown eyes that tend to say “I’m sorry” without words. I always tell people to pay special attention to eyes when taking a photo, for the eyes are a window to the soul. It’s true with people and it is also true with pets. When you photograph a pet, try to get to their eye level. Your photo will look better if you do.

With Ricky, his eyes are about mid-thigh off the ground, so you can get to his eye level by sitting on the ground. With him this will be an invitation to get on your lap and attempt a few kisses. This makes it hard to get a photo of anything other than a big wet nose.

Try to distract your animal with a toy, stick or special treat. This will also add a prop into the photo which can also make the photo more interesting. With a smaller dog, you might try taking photos blind. If you are using your phone to take photos just hold down in front of the animal and walk along with it hitting the shutter button when you think he may be doing something cute.

Most cats don’t care what you are doing, making them a lot easier than dogs to photograph. The same basic rule applies with fish, snakes, hamsters or llamas, just try to photograph them at eye level. Above all, take lots of photos. Pets are at their best when they are doing something. Delete the bad ones and share the good ones with your family and friends. It just might make their day.

Art Smith is online manager of The Times, He can be reached at asmith@mariettatimes.com.


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