Pet Photography Simplified: Tips from Pet Sitter Mike Tacoronte
Most pet parents’ phones’ are crammed with hundreds, if not thousands, of photos of their pets, and they want more. Double that for our pet sitters, who snap our clients’ cats and dogs on their pet sits or dog walks daily. Why not improve the quality of our pet photography? Enter Mike Tacoronte, one of our newest dog walkers in Coconut Grove and a budding pro photographer who has lit our Instagram feed on fire with his photos. We’ve asked him to give us a few simple tips to improve the rest of our staff’s photos, and we’d like to share with you!
How to take better photos of your pets:
Mike offers many recommendations for improving your pet photography skills.
Creating Quality, Interesting photos:
- Frame the picture to your liking in your viewfinder (aka: the screen) before you snap.
- If you don’t capture the whole body, try and make it look neat. Use different angles to showcase features of the pet. Try capturing full body if appropriate or else keep it as a head shot. Later on, you can get creative and test out other angles with snapping a pup’s or cat’s features!
(Pet) Photography is all about light and shadow:
- Look for shadows. They add interest (Hint: Google Thomas Roma’s photography pictures of dogs and shadows. Great examples!)
- Make sure the lighting is adequate- Best not to use flash.
- Use the morning and evening sun to add some zest. This can be challenging, but the effects come out super cool! One hour before sunset is also a great time to shoot.
Creativity hacks for great photos:
- Take multiple pictures and choose the best one later. One shot is never enough. Maybe the dog blinked or the facial expression wasn’t quite right.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment. I sometimes take about 50 pictures during a walk capturing different activities or funny face selfies with the pup. I may end up liking only 5 or 6. The more variety of shots you take, the better chances you will capture a unique photo.
- Use reflections to add interest (from mirrors, window-glass from shops, puddles of water, etc.)
- Try shooting from a low angle looking up at the dogs. Yes, get on the ground!
- Get up close and personal to the subject. The zoom feature works as well. You can also crop a photo that may be too far away.
- Mike says “I use iPhone 6 and the volume controls to snap pictures so my hand is not in the screen (which can ruin the framing and capture) and there’s a better chance at not shaking the device before capture.Test it out! It’s much easier to shoot pictures that way.”
- Practice, Practice, Practice! Just keep on shooting and you’ll be a natural in no time!
Mike’s pet Photography Inspiration:
Elliot Erwitt: Mike says, “You’ll learn a lot from this photographer who has taken many amazing black and white photographs of dogs. Check out his website showcasing his work.” https://pro.magnumphotos.com/Package/2K7O3RZ7T9S
Thomas Roma: He also recommends checking out the work of Thomas Roma. “Again, more examples of great shadowing, a style I’ve been playing with lately.” Find out more at: http://www.thomasroma.com/
Mike’s Personal Photography Journey:
Mike’s journey in photography began with his first single lens reflex camera in 2014. Since then, Mike’s skills have grown tremendously thanks to multiple classes and learning to work a digital and manual camera. He has become a pro, photographing everything from fitness models to animals and is now using his abilities to snap pictures of our clients.
Secret Style Tip to Improve Your Pet Photography:
Download this free Google app called Snapseed! With this program you can crop (zoom in/make square images), straighten pictures if they’re tilted, and experiment with the tint (lighter, darker, more contrast, etc). This app has many other features for editing as well.
Put your pet photography skills to the test!
Our pet sitters have taken advantage of these amazing tips and we hope you do too! We photograph and post on social media through Instagram (Equipawspetsmiami) and Facebook (Equipaws Pet Services, LLC). Check out our pet photographs for inspiration, or to get your daily animal warm and fuzzies. Be sure to tag photos of your pets with @EquipawsPetsMiami or #EquipawsPetServices so we can see your progress. Enjoy!