Pets have reaffirmed their family status after research has revealed 82 per cent of pet owners in the United Kingdom consider them as part of their immediate family and take twice as many photographs of our furry friends than our partners.
Whilst immediate family was the most popular subject in the UK when it comes to photography (49 per cent), pets are putting partners firmly in third place with just one in five (19 per cent) naming their other half as the subject they take most photographs of, compared to 45 per cent saying their pet.
This is according to European research across 12 countries from Nikon to celebrate its entry-level D-SLR camera, the Nikon D3200
People in the UK are also keen to show off their pets with mobile devices being the most popular place to store photos of them – 45 per cent have saved an image there – while 32 per cent have used a photo as their computer wallpaper and 33 per cent have posted photos of their pets on social networks.
For those interested in pet photography, award-winning photographer Carli Davidson has provided her tips for capturing great pet photos:
Make Pets Love The Camera
Let them sniff it and lick it. Hold it below them so that the camera becomes less intimidating. Reward them with treats when they approach it and show interest, but remember to protect your lens from slobber with a filter.
Make Sure You Feel Positive
Animals are intuitive, they communicate with expressions and body language so they instinctively know if you are not in the mood to have fun, and they respond accordingly. Go into the shoot ready to have a good time, and they will want to play along.
Try To Get Their Attention
Hold a squeaker or a toy over your lens to get them to look into the camera. Be warned, some pets will just bolt for the toy. Also, try not to over squeak, pets are smart and will lose interest quickly if they realise they are not rewarded for responding to the noise.
Use Trained Behaviours And Tricks
This is particularly relevant for dogs, but does your pet know how to roll over? If so, take a photo of them lying on their back. Practice their ‘stay’ while you get portraits of them. They will be focusing on you for a reward and for direction so you should be able to get some good eye contact. Also, get to know which words and sounds your pet responds to. Tapping their food bowl usually gets a reaction, and words and phrases like ‘treat’, ‘car ride’, ‘do you want to go for a walk?’ or even just their name can generate some cute head tilts and excited expressions.
Try Using Props To Capture Different Expressions
If you are photographing a dog outside, grab a long stick and use one hand to play with your pet while shooting with the other. You will get some pretty funny faces from them trying to grab it. If you are shooting a cat, remember how much they concentrate on toys. You could try dangling a feather on a string out of frame, or throwing a ball for them to chase – this can generate some hilarious cat poses if you take the photo at just the right moment.