(Welcome to the weekly pet column of Pet Connection Programs Inc. of Marilla, N.Y. A new article is posted each week, so be sure to check back on a regular basis!)
Whether you’re hoping to make your dog an Instagram sensation or you just want a nice portrait for the mantle, you’ve likely discovered pets, in general, can be elusive around cameras.
Check out these tips and tricks for getting your fur baby to sit for the camera and look picture perfect, from e-tailer Zulily, creative photographer, Taylor Graham:
• After choosing a great location for your shoot, give your pet a few minutes to get comfortable with the new setting.
• If you’re shooting outside, situate your pet in a shaded area. Direct sunlight can make your pet look greasy, and distracting shadows can obscure important features. A flat, overcast day makes for the most flattering pet photos.
• Get low to your pet’s level and frame the face tightly, focusing on eyes for maximum impact. Remember to photograph the most endearing parts of your pet. Often overlooked, paws and ears can be some of the most expressive and adorable features of your furry friend.
• Treats and squeaky toys are a given for getting pets to focus, but make sure you’re using them to your advantage. Hold the toy or treat as close to the lens as possible. This will get your pet’s gaze right where you want it to be. For capturing selfies, try the Sniff & Snap, a debut phone accessory which snaps onto the back of any mobile phone and features a slobber- and dishwasher-safe compartment for your pet’s favorite treat — making it easier to attract a dog, cat or any pet’s attention through the power of smell long enough for totally Insta-worthy portraits. Available for only $7.99 on Zulily, the online retailer also invites pet parents to tag @zulily and share their #smelfie.
• Most cameras and camera phones have a “burst mode” that takes many pictures in a row. Later you can select the perfect frame.
• Don’t just pose your dog against a white wall. Add flair with accessories that fit your pet’s personality. For unique pet products at great prices, shop apps like Zulily. To celebrate the “dog days of summer” in August, the app launches two-month long sales (breaking from its traditional 72-hour sales) for pet parents that will help you capture lasting memories of your pooch. In addition to the Sniff & Snap phone accessory, are exclusive sets of day-in-the-life dog accessories curated in five distinct dog personality types, including: the Hiking Hound, the Pampered Pup, the Glamour Pooch, the Hipster Hound and the Dapper Dog. For only $29.99, these exclusive sets represent some of the best deals in retail, and include a special treat (from Bark Brew to Dog Champagne), stylish accessories (from bandanas to bowties), feeding must-haves (like zippered travel or millennial pink bowls), engaging toys (pineapples, avocados, hiking boots) and pampering products (from sunscreen to hydrating butter to cologne).
• With easy-to-use smartphone apps like VSCO and Photoshop: Express, you can adjust brightness, color and sharpness to bring a professional quality to images in seconds.
With a few tricks up your sleeve, you can take better pet snapshots, and what better way to celebrate the dog days of summer than by capturing some amazing memories of your furry friend?
(For more information on pets and animal adoption, please visit www.petconnectionprogramsinc.com. Or, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PetConnectionProgramsinc. Located in Marilla, N.Y., Pet Connection Programs Inc. is a nonprofit maternity and special care shelter founded in 1984.)