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Want to improve your pet photography?

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Lets face it, we all love our pets and want pictures of our lovable fuzz balls.

The problem is that Fluffy and Fido, don't always cooperate, and do not always want to work with your schedule. We are going to give you a few tips that will improve your images dramatically.

1. Use natural light. Like people, pets hate having flashes go off in their faces. It can frighten the animal and make them want to hide. Also most hobbyists use a pop up flash on their cameras. This can and probably will cause red eye or the demon puppy look. A large window with diffused light coming in, or overhead light is best. That way your pet is not startled.

2. Focus on the eyes. Your pets eyes are very expressive and have unique intricacies. By focusing on the eyes, you have a better chance of having the face in focus, and getting a keeper.

3. Fill the frame. What we mean is, a lot of times folks take photos from too far away. This ads all sorts of distractions in the photo. Your eye is really not sure where to look. By making your pet the main subject, they will stand out and be the focal point of the image. If at all possible also try using a zoom lens or the telephoto feature on your point and shoot camera. If you have a DSLR try to use a medium telephoto lens.

4. Go to them. It is important that your pet feels comfortable and relaxed. Get down on their level and cuddle up. Shoot from their perspective, and how they see the world. Lie down next to your pet. Have fun with them.

5. Capture their personality. On their favorite chair. The couch that they are not supposed to be on. Looking out the window, yawning, stretching, playing with their favorite toy. Starting to make sense no huh?

6. Catch your pet resting. A great time to photograph your pet is when they are just waking up. They are not quite with it yet and not moving about yet. This is a great time for close ups.

7. Be patient. It is a bit of work to get a great shot of your best four legged friend, but it is worth it.

8. Want absolutely gorgeous images of your pet? Oh come on you know we were getting to this, hire a professional.

Want to learn more about posing, action shots, lighting, getting the money shot?

Come on out to DoxieFest on April 13 from 11-3 at the Baltimore Humane Society in Reisterstown, MD. The good folks at Bayline Studios Photography and Events will be providing hands on instruction and tips throughout the day. www.baylinestudios.com

Robbie McLean is a nationally recognized award winner photographer and author.

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