I have been a hobby photographer since I was about 13. I got my first 35mm SLR camera when I was in high school. I took a photography class which included developing prints. I thoroughly enjoyed it. But after job shadowing a professional photographer for a day I also realized I didn’t want to make a career of it. Digital photography has made great changes in photography. I remember being extra careful of my clicks when I was using film. Now I can take as many as I need. and editing is a lot easier
Digital cameras are great and have far more capabilities than smart phones but you can still take amazing quality photos with a smart phone.
Some tips for better photos
Learn Your Camera
There are plenty of You Tube tutorials and FB groups dedicated to learning your cameras potential. I’ve been shooting with iPhone for several years and currently have been using in iPhone 7plus for the past year.
The burst mode on some phones is great for wiggly pets but I don’t use it very often because I prefer a steady subject for portraits but it works great when they are in action mode. If your camera has it, portrait mode can create some beautiful photos if your pet likes their photo taken.
Rule of Thirds
This photography rule is ideal for creating a visual focal point in your photo. Shoot your camera with the grid on until you get use to framing your shots.
Low light means slower shutter speeds and increases chance of blur and poor exposure. Artificial lighting can effect color so natural lighting is best. Open a curtain or shoot outside for ideal lighting conditions. When shooting outside on a sunny day make sure you stand with the sun to your back unless your goal is a silhouette style photo.
Get On Their Level
Getting down to eye level with your pet gives better perspective on your photos. But be careful they might think you are initiating play and topple you over!
Getting Your Pet to Stay Focused
If you are just getting a snapshot of your pet sleeping, or a spur of the moment photo, it’s pretty easy to just click. But if you are looking to take portrait style photos there are some tips to make it easier.
First is basic obedience. If you dog isn’t good at sit, you will have a trickier time with photos. “Getting the wiggles out” as I call it also helps. If a dog is having a hard time sitting for photos we will play with them for a few minutes and try again. Most dogs see getting their photo as part of their grooming session so they just move from one stage to the next.
When we have them on the booth we use various things to get their attention, many know to sit and will be a quick click, some we have to use a squeaker toy, finger snap or some other attention grabber. Once we get the click we praise them.
Make taking photos fun. These two dogs come often and jump on the photo booth voluntarily, as I said it’s part of the grooming process which they love. Of course some dogs just aren’t photographable for various reasons. We try to get a pets photo buy if they insist we just skip it.