Take better pet photos with the camera you've got.

Adorable chihuahua in a pink coat.
Adorable chihuahua in a pink coat.

Welcome to the tips and tricks section of Hair of the Dog Photography. My goal in writing this is to help you take better photos of your pets with the camera you've got - even if it's just a point and shoot or a smart phone. These tutorials will be aimed mostly at pet owners who want to take better photos of their furry friends and shelter staff whose intake photos of the animals that come through their doors could make the difference between life and death. The common thread is that both groups are usually trying to photograph animals in less than ideal conditions, with less than ideal gear. That doesn't mean you can't get a good photo, though - one that will make your Facebook friends gush or have streams of people wanting to adopt the cat with the cute shelter picture, it's just a bit more challenging.

I've spent a lot of time in the last three years learning about photography. The understanding I've gained has helped improve the photos I take with my "big girl camera" (my DSLR), by leaps and bounds. The thing is, even I don't always have my big camera with me when moments happen. When I'm at work, in the animal shelter, I need to be able to take decent photos of the animals with an outdated point and shoot and no photoshop to fall back on. What I have learned about how the camera works has helped me to get better photos, even with inferior gear. I understand, though, that if you're here, it's probably more because you're a pet lover than an aspiring photographer, so I will keep my explanations simple and show lots of examples and cute pet photos. When possible, I will also provide links to articles exploring the subject in more depth for those who are interested. I hope you'll have fun learning about pet photography along with me. You'll probably find that most of these principles will work equally well to improve your photos of your children and just about everything else, as well. If there are any specific topics you are anxious to see covered, comment below and I'll move them to the top of the list! If you want to make sure you don't miss a post, you can subscribe to my blog by email and you'll receive notifications whenever there's a new post. Alternately, you can sign up for my newsletter and receive updates once every month or so.

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Next post in this series: Light, light, light

Tracy Munson

Tracy Munson Photography, Humberside Ave, Toronto, ON, M6P, Canada