Curious the best camera for dog photography? Wanting to take professional pet photos of your cat or dog? Use the 6 tips to guide you in pet portraits.
What settings should I use on my camera when photographing my pets?
I personally prefer to shoot in full manual mode, but if that seems too intimidating at first, then try one of the more semi-manual modes like Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority.
The biggest game changer for me in terms of getting more in focus shots was learning about back button focusing. It’s essentially a camera setting that allows you to use a different button to focus other than the shutter release. In many cameras, you may see an AEL lock button on the back, or some even come included with the AF On button. That is typically what you would want to move your focus button to and then you’ll be free to use the shutter release to actually take the shot. My personal recommendation for professional pet photography and wildlife is to use Auto Focus Continuous. This is essential, especially if you’re using back button focus. It allows you to maintain focus on your subject as long as you’re holding the focus button down, while simultaneously shooting away for those jaw dropping shots!
How do I get my dog (pet) to lay still in pictures? Do you have any tricks?
To get the best pet photography poses — always…always…always try to use high value treats! I bring extra yummy treats such as cut up slices of string cheese and hold them right above my camera or lens so the pet will keep their focus there. For toy motivated dogs, holding a ball over your camera works great too!There are also a few apps for your phone that make some pet approved sounds that can help capture your pets attention!
How do you photograph a dog in action? i.e. my dog running
Action photography is one of my favorites! A few camera settings for pet photography that I recomend is…Make sure you use a high enough shutter speed. It’s better to have a grainy image than a blurry image. I personally shoot at 1/1600 shutter speed or higher. I also keep my aperture as wide as possible, and shoot between f/1.8 and f/2.8 for a single pet. If multiple pets are included, I may bump that up to f/4.
ISO is a toughie. I like to keep my ISO at 100 99% of the time, and then increase exposure as needed in the dog photography post processing. I know not every camera has the same dynamic range, so for some people it may be better to use something like Auto-ISO. If you chose to do the latter, I suggest going into your settings and putting a cap on the maximum ISO you want your camera to use. Most people use 1600-3200 as their highest, though feel free to shoot higher if grain isn’t a major issue for your camera.
Best Camera for Dog Photography
What is the best camera for pet photography?
I’m going to tell you what I wish someone had told me a few years ago: get a full frame camera for pet photos. I bought three separate crop sensor camera bodies before I finally made the jump to full frame. I would have saved myself so much money if I had someone encourage me to start with a full frame camera instead. However, every article I came across told me to just get a crop sensor body. You can absolutely produce fantastic images with ANY camera, but I can tell you my personal experience was that I never quite felt satisfied with my work until I moved to full frame. It truly depends on how invested you want to get.
A crop sensor will have a smaller sensor size, and you will see these labeled as APS-C. Their field of view will be smaller than a full frame camera. Full frame sensors can be especially beneficial when shooting in low light settings, or having to use a higher ISO. Many full frame cameras are now available at a reasonable cost: Nikon D750 and Canon 6D are the more popular ones. The Sony A7III is another fantastic choice, and my personal favorite, but it’s almost double the cost of the previous two options. For entry level crop sensor bodies: Nikon 3400, Nikon 5600, Canon Rebel t6 and Canon Rebel t7, Sony a6400. Those are my best pieces of advice for your pet photography equipment needs!
What are some lighting tips for taking pictures of black dogs?
Avoid shooting in harsh lighting conditions! Always try to shoot either early in the morning or an hour or two before sunset. I always try to face my subjects towards the sun so their face and eyes are well lit.
Is there a good all around lens I should use for taking pictures of my pets?
For taking pictures of your personal pet, I’m a huge fan of the 35mm f/1.8 lens for day to day pictures. I love prime lenses because of the wide aperture they provide, which in turn help isolate your subject from the background. I am happy to answer any further questions you may have in regards to pet photos!
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