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How To Get a Great Pet Photo

Taking great photos of pets is a skill like anything else. It is learned through practice, patience, and often trial and error.

In this article, we will explore some basic techniques and guidelines that will help you master pet photography. Whether you want to get the perfect shot to frame or to use to create a pet portrait, we have it covered.

1. Burst mode + live focus/portrait mode

It’s nice to have a good camera, but it’s not a necessity. It’s entirely possible to take great photos of your pets even with a cell phone camera. What’s more important than the camera is the actual composition of the photo. To get good composition, you need to make your pet the center of the photo.

A super helpful tip is to go into your camera’s settings and enable burst mode. Burst mode will take a series of pictures with one click. This comes in very handy because pets move, look around, and facial expressions change. Take several burst shots from different angles and surely at least one of the photos will be a keeper.

Additionally to burst mode taking your photos on Live Focus (Android) or Portrait mode (Iphone) is the key to professional-looking photos. This feature is amazing, it focuses on your pet and blurs the background. You get to decide how little or much blur you want. There are also different styles of blur to choose from. If you haven’t tried out this feature it’s a must for breathtaking pet photos.

When you take a close look you can see how the background is slightly blurred so all the focus remains on the dog.

2. No flash and only use natural lighting

There are several reasons why flash should be avoided when taking photos of your pets. The sound of the flash can scare or distract them and ruin the photo. It can become difficult for them to trust you near a camera if you have a nervous pet. Most importantly, flash more often than not will make your beloved pet look like a red-eyed monster or worse.

When it comes to pet photography, it’s all about indirect natural light.
Your pet should be near sunlight, but not directly under it. A helpful tip to remember is to always shoot with the sun behind you. When the sun is behind you. Your pet will be evenly illuminated. Direct sunlight results in harsh shadows. Soft shadows is what you should aim for when it comes to pet photography.

This picture was not taken with the sun behind the person taking the photo. Resulting in improper lighting and harsh shadows.
The sun is behind the person taking the photo and they used live focus. The dog is the focus of this photo.

3. Be silent

Anything that startles your pet needs to be minimized. If your camera makes beeping sounds while you’re going through the menu, turn off the sound. Not to distract your pet and ruin a good shot turn off all sound from your camera or cellphone.

Great photos tell stories and capture spontaneous moments. You want to capture your pet’s natural state, not the bewildered look of a startled pet.

4. Take photos at eye level

It has happened to everyone to accidentally open the front-facing cellphone camera. Needless to say, we know that those pictures are never posted because they are unflattering. The same applies to pets. Pictures taken from too low or too high will make the proportion of your pet look off.

Find your pet’s best angle and take some flattering photos at eye level.

5. Try and try again

Patience and a pocketful of treats will help you and your pet enjoy the process. At the end of the day the most important thing is that you and your pet have fun. Take as many pictures as possible and you will be sure to have at least one that will be worthy of being framed or turned in a custom pet portrait.

6. Experiment

Get creative, add props if your pet will let you. Try different angles and different blur backgrounds.

7. Focus on the Eyes

When it comes to photography, the expression “Eyes are the window to the soul” rings especially true.

Unless you’re taking a picture of your pet sleeping. In that case, focus on the eyelids so the pet remains the center of the photo. These pictures tend to be the easiest to take because your pet is not moving around.

Keep in mind that a picture of a sleeping pet generally will not result in a good pet portrait.

8. Capture the personality of your pet

Every pet has a unique personality trait and you should try to display your pets unique character in the photos you take. Their reactions to different situations and different subjects are usually pretty entertaining. Try to show it with the help of photos.

9. Plan the session ahead of time

The secret to all good photos is planning. If you know your pet is sleepier during a certain time of the day it would be best to take advantage of that moment. If your pet is too hyper it will be hard to get a good shot. They will likely come out blurry.

10. Get someone to help you

A helper is always appreciated. If you can have someone to hold a treat out while you take some pictures it will probably help out.

Priceless moments

Whether your aim is to simply frame that perfect photo of your pet or to get a pet portrait if you follow these tips you can’t go wrong. Practice makes perfect. If you don’t get the photo you wanted the first time around don’t get discouraged you can always try again another day.

Categories
Cats

7 reasons to want a Maine Coon cat

If you’ve seen a Maine Coon in person you know just how striking they are. If you’ve only seen a picture and wondered if it was photoshopped, it probably was not. These gentle giants are the largest domesticated cat breed. The history and origins of the Maine Coon cats are full of mystery and speculation. It is believed that they are the oldest breed in North America and specifically native to the state of Maine, where they are the official state cat.

These majestic cats make for amazing pets and we will tell you why. This article will give you at least 7 reasons to want a Maine Coon cat.

1 – Maine Coon Personality

These lovely cats are well known for being very vocal. They yowl, howl, chirp, trill, and make other loud vocalizations to communicate. However, they seldom meow.

Maine Coons possess above-average intelligence which makes them easy to train. They are often referred to as the dogs of the cat world because of their many dog-like personality traits. They play fetch, greet their owners at the door and they play a lot.

Males tend to are more outgoing, goofy and comical. While females are playful, majestic but are shyer around strangers. Affectionate but not needy, Maine Coons are also talented at entertaining themselves for long periods of time. They are independent and social at the same time. Most of them love water and tend to have a fascination with it. They have easy-going personalities that are easy to fall in love with.

2 – Maine Coon Size

Maine Coons are the largest domestic cat breed. They’re big-boned and muscular. Maine Coons can reach sizes of up to 40 inches in length and their tail alone can measure up to 16 inches. Males are larger than females. The size of a full-grown male Coon cat is typically 15-25 pounds, while the female averages between 10-15 pounds. The height of the male cat is 10-16 inches and the female can stand at about 8-14 inches tall. Their growth period is longer than any other breed. Most breeds reach their full physical maturation at about 2 years of age but a Maine Coon will reach its full physical maturity at the age of 4. They are also far bigger than most toy dogs.

3 – Maine Coon Lifespan and health

They live as long as an average cat. Their life expectancy is about 10-15 years. Maine Coons are a relatively healthy breed. They are a breed that has the least amount of health issues. However, they do have genetic predispositions to certain diseases. One of the unique health issues that a Maine Coon cat may face is spinal muscular atrophy.

They are also more likely to inherit or develop feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy than any other breed. There are other diseases such as hip dysplasia and Polycystic Kidney Disease that can be inherited as well but they are not only found in Maine Coons but also in many other breeds. Although it is rare, it is possible that you may adopt a Maine Coon with one of these predispositions.

4 – Maine Coon Appearance

The most noticeable trait of these beautiful cats is their ear tuffs which resemble those of a lynx. They also have large neck tuffs like lions and tufts of fur sprouting from between their toes. An extra long bushy tail resembling a raccoon tail with its thick fur. If you’ve ever heard that raccoons and Maine Coons are related, that is a myth.

They come in 84 different colors and pattern variations. The Maine coon has seven distinct color classes: Solid Color, Tortoiseshell, Bicolor, Tricolor/Calico, Tabby, Smoke, Shaded. The most popular colors for a Maine coon are White, Black, Blue, Red, Cream, Brown, Silver, Tortoiseshell, Bluecream and Golden.

The eyes of a Maine coon are Copper, Green, Gold, Odd-eyed but light-colored variations have been known to have striking blue eyes.

Undoubtedly they are absolutely gorgeous, extremely unique and unlike any other cat breed.

5 – You’ll Never Be Alone

You can expect them to always greet you when you come back home from a long day at work. They like staying by their owner’s side, especially while the owners do their house chores or relax.

That also means that they will always be in the way and you will have a permanent furry shadow going anywhere you go. Your bed will no longer be your own. A Maine Coon generally wants to sleep with you or keep you awake. As it happens some Maine Coons are lap cats and some aren’t.

6 – Maine Coon Grooming

Despite shedding less than other long-haired breeds, they do shed a lot. The good news is that the Maine Coon’s coat is less prone to matting than other long-haired breeds. Nonetheless, it does require regular brushing to keep clean and distribute natural oils throughout the fur.

As with all cat breeds, Maine Coons also need regular nail trimming and teeth brushing. If your Maine Coon is polydactyl (has an extra toe), nail trims are especially necessary to prevent ingrown toenails.

7 – They Are Gentle Giants

Despite their very large size Maine Coons are very gentle, affectionate, and loving. They get along particularly well with other Maine Coons and dogs. Maine Coons are patient cats and show great tolerance for babies and children. They get along great with all other animals because they are not aggressive. Their laid back personality is impressive. They tend to be a playful bundle of joy.

A Maine Coon is an ideal pet, not only are they playful and affectionate but they get along with all other pets. You really can’t go wrong with a Maine Coon, they have it all, looks and brains.

In terms of care, Maine Coons are not much different than a regular cat. They need a much bigger litter box and food that is high in protein. It is important to keep in mind that each pet has its own personality. It is entirely possible that you may have a Maine Coon that is nothing like described in this article.