Tips For Taking Great Photos of Pets

Pets are some of the most photogenic subjects you are ever going to find. Who doesn’t love those soulful eyes and adorable faces? But pets move around like crazy, and don’t necessarily sit in one place and smile while you say cheese.

So how do you get great pics of pets? Here are a few tips.

Take the photo manually:

Don’t use those automated pet camera thingies – pets don’t generally look right at those machines. (Those cameras are useful for other purposes thought – like knowing what your dog is up to when you are not around. Here is a list of theĀ best dog cameras, if you are looking for one). When you – a human- is directly behind the camera and interacting with them, that’s when dogs are going to give their best shots.

Bribe them:

Yup, that’s right. Hold a treat in your hand, right near the lens of the camera. Many dogs will focus attentively and stare straight at the treat, and give you that money shot within just a few minutes.

Go down to their level:

Let me state the obvious here – pets are a lot shorter than human beings. So when you take photos of pets from your eye level, they end up looking a little odd in perspective sometimes. So go down to their level – sit on the floor, or kneel, or whatever, and you’ll likely get a much better picture.

Things To Do With Your Photos

So like most people today, you probably have a ton of pictures. Photos on your phone, on your iPad, and on your high resolution digital camera. The question arises – what do you do with those images? The answer 90% of people will give is — NOTHING.

But you can be different. You can do something fun and creative with some of your photos. Something where you can actually see and admire them, where you can put them to good use, and most importantly, which can help you relive that memory you have capture.

So here are a few things to do with your photos that I think are pretty innovative.

Create an unusual gift:

You can use your photos to create one-of-a-kind gifts fro near and dear ones. Fo instance, you can get something striking like a gorgeous canvas print done of some stellar photos. Or maybe you want to be less grand, and make something you use daily, lie a mousepad.

Make postcards for friends and family:

There are many sites and apps that make it really easy to click a pica nd then get that printed on to a postcard and sent off. And of course you can add a message like “Wish you were here” or whatever. It’s painless, personalized, and an easy way to let family and friends know you are thinking of them.

Design a custom shower curtain:

I thought this was pretty cool – imagine having a shower curtain that you create with one of your photos – now that’s different!

custom curtain

Instagram marshmallows:

A box of marshmallows with our instagram pics on them is a new ideas isn’t it? These make a super holiday gift I think.

Custom skateboards:

Ok, so I admit that these are not for everyone. But for those who do skateboard, few things are more hip than a custom skateboard.

Image Editing Options

There are a lot of image editing options available, and they vary widely on many dimensions – whether it’s the cost, the features, the ease of use, or the platform. We’ll go over a few of them here.

Photoshop:

Adobe’s Photoshop has been almost synonymous with high-end image editing programs for a while now. And it’s somewhat justified too – there are a few things that Photoshop does that almost no other image editing programs out there seem to do. Take smart objects for instance. I haven’t seen other programs out there that can create and edit smart objects (if there are any, do let me know – I’d love to find out!). For some types of projects, this kind of work is necessary, ad that’s when you really need Photoshop.

But Photoshop, which was super expensive to begin with, is now a recurring subscription!! Yes – you heard that right – you now need to buy a subscription in order to use the latest version of Photoshop! You can get the entire Creative Cloud bundle (which includes Photoshop) for $9.99 a month. Doesn’t sound terrible, until you realize that this is an annual contract – so you are committing to about $120 for just a year. Over time, this can really add up. And if you want to subscribe just monthly, it’s an astonishing $29.99 per month!

On top of that, Photoshop is not an easy program to use – there is certainly some learning curve there, and you have to take some pains to get to know what you are doing.

So my thoughts are – use Photoshop if you really really need to (and you may) – but only if your really need it. Because for most image editing needs, there are may many options out there, and many of those are totally free!

GIMP:

Which brings me straight to GIMP – my absolutely favorite totally free image editor. Like Photoshop, GIMP is also a desktop software. It’s terrific really – you can do most of the stuff you can in Photoshop here, and it will probably be good enough for most of the work you want to do.

PIXLR:

PIXLR is a web-based too for editing images. It has many pros. It’s web based, so there’s nothing to download or install. It’s easy to use. It’s also free, and who doesn’t love that? You can create a new image, or you can edit one you already have on your computer. you can easily do stuff like erasing parts of the image, adding test to the image, and so on.

The cons? Well, it’s just not anywhere close to as feature rich as Photoshop or Gimp. But for basic image editing, it’s good enough.