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TAFE Queensland graduate and professional photographer Ebony Reeves shares her tricks of the trade for taking the perfect photo of your fur baby. 

The pet selfie

pet selfie

This is always a tricky one as both my pets insist on licking my face or running away whenever they sense a selfie coming. I find it easiest to use a tripod and a timer for these types of photos as that leaves you with more hands free to wrangle your pet. Another hot tip is to always face towards the sun or light source as this will be the most flattering angle for any photo, and will also give you both a lovely sparkle in your eyes. 

Pro tip: use a squeaker toy behind your phone to get your pet to look the right way, but only make a noise when you are perfectly in position.

Colour

pet photo

I'm a huge fan of colour especially bright, natural colours outdoors. Next time you go for a walk keep your eyes peeled and if you see a bush that’s flowering, a red door, or lush green grass use it as an awesome background for your next photo.

Sunrise and sunset

sunset photo

Want to know how the secret behind warm, glowing and dreamlike photos? They're usually taken at that perfect time of the afternoon when the shadows are long and the sun shines beautifully through the trees. I love putting the sun behind my subject so they get a kind of halo or sunflare. 

Pro tip: if you're using a phone for these types of photos, make sure it's on HDR mode. You might also have to experiment with different angles until you get the right amount of light in the photo. 

Background

pet photo

One trick I learnt early on was to DIY anything I could to save money on expensive gear and props. If you want stylized funky photos, buy a roll of some cool wrapping paper. The idea is to create your own backdrop by taping it to the wall and/or floor. The same idea works with blankets and other fabrics. This technique works best for quiet, relaxed pets as more active four legged friends may end up ripping your carefully prepared background. 

The big eyes

pet photo

The camera lenses on our phones are generally wide angle. This means that you can contort your photos and make certain things look big or small. For dog photos I always love getting close to their nose and tilting the camera down towards their eyes. This tends to stretch the nose and eyes and give you that adorable puppy-dog-eye expression. Try this out yourself by changing the way you tilt the lens and see what angles make your pet look super cute.

Attention grabbers

pet photo

Some pets are very hard to keep still long enough to get a photo. The trick is to not expect them to. Put a line of treats to the spot you want them in, get in position, and when they hit the spot start making weird noises. And I mean super weird! My favourites are chirps and loud, high-pitched ‘pew pew’ noises. Yes you’ll look a little crazy to on-lookers but if it gets that perfect ears-up head tilt, it’s all worth it.


For more information about TAFE Queensland's photography courses visit our website


Imagery by Ivory Images by Ebony ivoryimages.net.au

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Ebony Reeves
Graduate | Photographer

Ebony is a Toowoomba based pet photographer who graduated from TAFE Queensland in 2016. While she enjoys photographing family, weddings and events, it’s the pets that win her heart continuously. Her love and experience with animals means she has the patience and technique to get great photos of every kind of pet.

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