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13 Tips To Take Amazing Photos Of Your Pets

Because your cat deserves better. Take photos your pets would be proud of with the help of Currys PC World. As the experts on photography, they have the accessories and cameras to turn you into a pro.

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1. Flash is a literal photo-ruiner.

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Photographer Jeff Kauck says that the number one mistake beginner photographers make is using a phone or camera's built-in flash to take photos.

Using flash can add creepy red eye and may distract your pet. Flash also unevenly lights photos, as the front is a made lot brighter than the back, and in most cases, you don't need it. Basically, on-board flash sucks; turn it off.

2. Lighting is everything.

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Whether you shoot with a smartphone or a DSLR, your photo will suck without a good amount of light.

Try to always use natural light by going outside or by a large, well-lit window. Shooting early or late in the day, or in shade, will capture their features best. When photographing indoors and in low light, bounce light off a wall or ceiling with a flashgun to avoid a harsh glare.

3. Action shots are super effective.

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The trick to action shots is a fast shutter speed and continuous focus mode. Watch out though; faster shutter speeds require a lot of light to look good. If you're shooting in low light, you’ll need a fast lens or a boost to your ISO to compensate.

4. Make your photos pop by altering the ISO.

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The ISO setting is an easy, magical way to brighten your photos but with one catch – it affects the photo quality. Higher ISO numbers add noise and graininess, but if you're only posting your photos online, you can usually get away with higher settings.

5. Capture your pet's personality.

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You know your pet better than anyone else. If your cat is lazy AF, show him yawning, and if your dog is playful, show her performing her favourite trick. Take photos of your pets in their preferred spots, and try to capture their uniqueness on camera.

6. Get on their level.

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Don't be afraid to get down and dirty. Photographer Rachael Hale McKenna recommends going down to your pet's level for eye-catching angles. This perspective also draws you into their personality.

7. Play around with exposure settings.

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If your pet has really dark fur and fills the frame, you can use flash to add detail as they will absorb a lot of light. You may also need to overexpose your photo to compensate. With white pets, find a location out of direct sunlight and steer clear of flash to avoid underexposure.

Check out this guide to learn more about exposure.

8. Adjust to your angles.

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When shooting at a close range, shallow depths of field make your photos look super professional by drawing focus to your pet. Wide-angle lenses will get a lot of your pet in frame, even when close up. Telephoto lenses are good for action shots, and a standard lens is great for documentary-style pictures.

9. Clean up your mess.

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Before you take any photos, get rid of clutter and distracting objects. That coffee cup in the background may take away focus from your adorable model, or just look messy. A lot of the time, plain neutral backgrounds work best.

10. Grab their attention.

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Use your pet's curiosity to your advantage. Rustle paper or dry leaves to get their attention, and toss pebbles in the direction you want them to go. To make them face you, use the paper again or a noisy toy – genius.

11. Frame photos to make them even cuter.

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Composition is really, really important if you want to take good photos. A good place to start is reading up on the rule of thirds, and make sure your pet's eyes are always in focus.

Jeff Mayer explains 10 techniques and practices for image composition here. There are no set rules to photo composition though, so get as spontaneous as you want.

12. Be prepared to wait around.

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To get the best images of your pet, you'll need to be patient. They're probably not going to sit still forever, and you'll need to wait for the right moments. Make your pet trust the camera by letting them come close to it, and reward them with treats when they do. Once they start to feel comfortable, you'll get much more natural photos.

13. There's more to editing than filters.

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Post-processing can't fix everything – but it can significantly upgrade your photos. There are lots of free and commercial tools available that allow you to adjust white balance, contrast, brightness, and levels.

Want even more tips? From cameras, to accessories, to advice, Currys PC World has everything you need to upgrade your photography game.