As a hobbyist photographer with a full-time job and no kids, sometimes I have a hard time figuring out what to photograph. If you’re a pet owner like me, your pooch is probably the thing that you fall back on the most — and how could you not? Those sweet eyes, that soft fur, everything about your pets you want to capture! But what about what they see? I decided to spend an afternoon capturing my dog, Ella’s, perspective and want to share some tips for getting a different perspective on your pet photos.
Get on their level
Unless your animal is a horse, it’s time to get down on the ground! Squat, lay flat, shoot upside down — do whatever you have to do to get eye-level with your pet. This is a great way to break out of your comfort zone and take photos that you might not otherwise take! With Ella, this meant getting on the ground since she is about a foot tall — even on a busy street downtown!
Don’t forget yourself
If you’re interested in taking photos of your pet, you are automatically a pet person in my book! You interact with your animal, so capture those interactions. If your dog loves playing fetch, capture his perspective of the game. I used a self-timer to capture myself in some images, but a remote would work just as well.
Capture their favorite places
Think about where your animal likes to play, sleep or hide. Ella loves to slink under my bed while I get ready for work, so I wanted to make sure and capture that part of her day. Any place can work – on the kitchen floor, in a kennel or even outside looking in. Keep in mind some compositional rules (rule of thirds, leading lines, framing) and the photos will turn out great.
Think Outside the Box
As I took photos, I had to think really hard about what Ella sees and interacts with that I might not even notice. I mentally ran through our day, and realized that she loves to eat while I am eating. I thought the texture of Ella’s food was so intriguing, and I’m usually not close enough to even notice it. So remember to take a close look at the things your pet interacts with and photograph away!
All of these tips are great ideas that can help you to shoot from your pet’s perspective — but they aren’t rules! The most important thing you need to do is to love on your fur baby, get some photos that represent them, and have fun!
Kati Wessinger is a hobbyist photographer who lives in Arkansas working as a graphic designer. A master juggler at life, she spends her time working, taking pictures, planning her wedding through Pinterest, playing with her dog, trying to resist the urge to eat too much Mexican food, and reading books. Check out her blog where she chronicles the craziness or follow her on Pinterest.