People and pets are the trickiest subjects to photograph yet these pictures often get the most attention. No matter what your level of skill, there is always something new to learn about taking better pictures, especially when it comes to people and pets. We hope this article provides tips that help you better photograph the personalities of the people and pets in your life!
Taking Better People Pictures
The best pictures of people always reflect their personality and character. While a snapshot captures a true likeness, often times the picture doesn't portray the person's usual expressions and people end us saying that the " picture doesn't look like me." The best way to solve this problem is to spend some time talking with your subjects and get them comfortable with the camera. When you see that smile or look that has their name written all over it, start clicking.
A few technical tips:
* Keep in mind that Portrait mode tends to distort, making the subject look wider or younger. Even though some people may appreciate looking younger, normally you want to avoid this distortion by zooming in on your subject. Stand close enough that the subject fills the frame of your viewfinder, take one step back, zoom to fill your frame again and shoot.
* Use natural light when possible. If using indoor lighting, try to use lamps with full spectrum light bulbs. Low ceiling light usually creates pretty bad shadows.
* If you're taking pictures that you think you may want to keep, always shoot in high resolution so the images will be in high enough quality for printing and framing.
How to Take Great Pet Pictures
The first thing you need to do anytime you're taking pet photos is to set your camera to a high shutter speed or use "sports" mode!
If your camera has a Burst mode this can be very helpful with pets in hyper motion because it will give you lots of pictures from which to choose.
Sometimes you may want to catch an action photo and show movement, so instead of using a higher shutter speed to freeze the action, you may want to blur it. In this case, use Portrait mode for a slower shutter speed.
As with people, and even more so with pets, natural light is best, not just because the photos will come out better, but because flash can upset animals. If you must use flash, protect your pets' eyes from injury by referring to your camera's safe distance recommendations (usually four or more feet).
Depending upon the color of your pet's fur coat, you'll want to use different lighting for best results. For a light colored coat, you want a bright overcast sky and for a dark brown or black coat, you want to have direct sunlight to bring out the rich colors. If photographing in bright sunlight, use the same times of day you would with people, when the sun is lower rather than higher in the sky.
If you want to get really good candid photos of your pet, take time to follow your pet around with your camera and be patient until you get a picture you really like. If you use a zoom, this will allow you to get great pet pictures without distracting your pet by being so close to them. So if you can, keep your distance and use the zoom (optical zoom is best).
Finally as with people, focus on the eyes. Get down to your pet's level to do this.
By using these tips, you'll be able to start taking better pictures right away and have photos that you'll be proud to display. Have fun shooting and don't forget to frame your favorite photos!