Pets and People…surprisingly similar in the photography world

Posted by on Feb 24, 2012 in Bristol Photography, Portrait Photography | 0 comments

Pets and People…surprisingly similar in the photography world

As a portrait photographer who offers both ‘Pet Portraits’ as well as ‘People Portraits’ (in the form of family, baby, engagement, wedding photography), I am used to having to engineer a situation to get the best photographs possible. We all know from taking family pictures that it is very difficult to get that one image where nobody is either picking their nose (it does happen), or closing their eyes, or their heads are turned or even their eyes are looking in a different direction. If you have a little brother like mine, there will be one little boy (whether adult or child) who makes the peace sign behind someones back or pulls a deliberate face at the camera (see below – thanks Pete). 

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The Family – exhausted after a long walk!

Well, whilst walking my chocolate monster the other day I realised that it’s not just people that misbehave in photos, animals do too! So there is some truth to the warning never work with animals or children ;o)  I do, however, LOVE taking photo’s of animals and children – they are so much fun!

On any photography session, you have very little time to get a variety of images for your client, it is therefore necessary to be prepared for mischievous subjects – taking noisy objects to grab a babies attention, like a squeaky ball  or even a set of jingle jangle keys come in handy; for the older child, lollipops or stickers are always good but make sure you get the shot you want before handing over the goods! The adults can be a little tricky however, they are not so easily bribed! A good sense of humour (provided they have one too) always helps, failing that add a glass of wine/champagne into the mix and watch the fun times begin! In one of my recent ‘Family Portrait’ sessions, the little girl bumped her head (quite hard), as it was early on and she has such a beautiful smile, that I needed to reappear, the lollipop had to come out. Here you can see the before and after lollipop images (as you can see it worked, beautiful smile restored!):

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Cuddles with Daddy – before and after lollipop!

Getting back to chocolate monster, who has a habit of doing things on a walk and at home which make me laugh, as well as run and get the camera. The only thing with that is, he thinks I’m playing a game and runs after me, completely wrecking the picture!  On our walk, the other day he decided to go and stand in the biggest, muddiest puddle possible. Thinking “I wish I had my camera” and then realising I had my iPhone, which as far as phone cameras go it’s definitely one of the best, I decided to capture his mischievous behaviour in a photo. As usual, by the time I got the camera out he’d walked off. Well, all that effort for nothing or was it – I told him to get back in the puddle and in typical, daft chocolate labrador style, he did!As you can see below chocolate monster mischief did not end there!

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Classic moving out of shot

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People with their eyes closed – so common!

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Ahhh, at last the image I wanted!

So, my point has been proved, quite spectacularly by chocolate monster here – Pets and People are indeed surprisingly similar when it comes to photography. There are some tricks of the trade to bribe or encourage both people and pet to do what you want, to get the image you want. Though some things, like closing of eyes can’t be bribed out of pet or a person, you just have to get them to hold the pose for more than one shot and hope that they haven’t closed their eyes in them all!

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