Pet Photography: Indoors vs. Ourdoors

Pet photography can be tricky regardless of the lighting conditions. There are instances when working indoors would be ideal, and times when outdoors settings are preferable. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a location for a pet photography shoot.

Distraction Issues

Many animals, especially young animals, are easily distracted. Taking photos outdoors with an overactive puppy can be challenging. If you are dealing with a young animal, and must shoot outdoors, it's best to have an area that is contained. Locations like dog parks are not suggested for animals that can become distracted or spooked by outside activity. A private fenced yard may be the best place to take outdoor photos of distracted animals.

Action Photos

Some of the most memorable pet photos are those with the pet playing or running around. This will showcase their unique personality, and can make for beautiful photos. This would be hard to achieve in a small studio. Taking photos like these are best outdoors, either early in the morning a few hours after sunrise, or during the sunset hours. This will give you the most desirable lighting, and allow the pet to be playful for the photo shoot.

Holiday and Staged Photos

For photos of a dog dressed as Santa, or a cute pumpkin patch photo for fall, the indoor studio may be the best option. This will allow you to use props, backdrops, and treats to entice the animal to stay put. With an indoor studio shoot you will have a little more control over the animal.

Combining Indoor and Outdoor

The best option for great pet photos is to have an outdoor session first, then move on to the staged photos in the studio. This will serve two purposes. First, it will allow you to get photos of the pet playing in natural lighting. Secondly, the staged photos can be taken after the animal has worn itself out playing outdoors. This will make it much easier to get a pet to stay dressed in costume and posed for the indoor photos.

Time Issues

Any time photos are being taken of a pet, patience is necessary. When outdoors, it may take as long as an hour to capture just a few good shots. This is because you really need to let the pet take the lead with everything. This will prevent the pet from getting agitated. Indoor photos will take just as much time. If a pet is being dressed in costume, you can expect some push back. Most animals aren't terribly interested in wearing clothing. It can also take some time to get them to pose the way you want them to for the photo. If you rush the photo shoot, you will be left with photos that aren't very great. This holds true regardless of the location.


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