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How to capture memorable photos of your pet.

Australian Shepard catches a frisbee in the air.
Copyright 2009 Shively Photography & Design.

Camera's are everywhere!  Point and shoot camera's are now the size of a credit card and even cell phone cameras can now take decent pictures.  Pictures are being posted on people's Facebook or other social networking sites within hours of being shot. 

A family pet is a frequent subject or model for the pictures of their owners.  They do cute and funny things and are very photogenic, usually.  With all the photos out there how can you set your self apart?  Here are a few tips to make the photos of your pet more interesting and unique. 

Tip #1, try not to pose your pet.  Everyone can tell their dog to sit and stay then take a picture.  The trick to a memorable photo is to capture them doing some thing they always do.  For example if you have a cat that sits in the window watching the birds, why not take its picture looking out the window instead of looking right at the camera.  If you have a dog go outside and play.  Toss the ball then take pictures as it runs back with the ball.  If you have a second person helping they will allow you to concentrate just on taking photos.  These photos of your pet doing what it normally does captures their personality becoming a keepsake for years to come.

Tip #2, get down on their level.  Your dog or cat lives on a different level than you do.  It is a whole different world when you live under the two foot high range.  For you pet owners with Mastiffs and Great Danes then you might already be living on the same level as your massive dogs.  Most people take a picture standing or sitting then point the camera down at their pet.  When you shoot from above you make the subject look smaller than it is.  When you shoot up it does the opposite. Laying down on ground or floor with your camera you can capture photos looking up to your pet giving them the appearance of towering over the viewer.  Your tiny Miniature Pincher will finally look as big as they think they are in their minds.  

Tip #3, Zoom In! Zoom In! Zoom In!  This is the biggest mistake that any amateur photographer makes and this tip can be applied to any photo.  You do not have to capture your pets whole body nor the whole room that they are in.  Zoom in and when you think you are to close zoom in some more.   Some of the best photographs out there might be of just the eyes and ears of your cat or your dog's tongue hanging out the side of their mouth after a long walk.  You know what makes your pet unique so don't be afraid to take a picture of just that feature. 

Pets are constantly doing cute and funny things that are photo worthy and these tips will help you make the photos of those moments more memorable.