7 tips for getting great photos of your pet

Pet photographer always gets Fido's best side

TAMPA, Fl. - We love to memorialize our pets in photos. They are family members, right?  But sometimes getting just the right shot can be a headache.  For the perfect pet portrait, it may help to call in the professionals.

PHOTOS: Dogs on a photo shoot

Danette Morse is a professional pet photographer.  Her website is filled with candid moments and adorable expressions.  But these pictures aren’t always so easy to capture. Danette can spend hours with the family pet  to get just the image she wants. After all, pets just aren’t used to the limelight.

“They don’t always get what you’re doing.  They don’t understand the process or the whole concept, so you’re on their terms basically,” said Danette.

Danette will use coaxing, squeaky toys, whatever it takes. And she’s not above bribing an otherwise disinterested Fido with a few treats. 

While a profession like this might sound like fun, there are pros and cons.

“The positives are being able to bond with them and spend time with them,” said Morse. “But there is a lot of crawling around. There’s a lot of physical activity.  You might have a shot in your head that you just don’t get.”

It would appear that Danette always gets her shots. You can check out her wonderful photos at www.photographybydanette.com

For those who want to capture their pets’ best moments themselves, here are a few guidelines.

-- Have patience! Your pooch isn’t exactly a Screen Actor’s Guild member, and will take some time to unwittingly give you what you’re looking for.

-- If your dog is a dark color, try putting him against a lighter background, such as cream or beige.The same rules apply for lighter color dogs. Put a light dog against a darker  background for best contrast.

-- For static portraits, you might try photographing your dog when they’re a bit tired or sleepy. They may be more likely to sit still for you.

-- Get eye-level to your dog or just below eye level when you shoot.

-- If you’re taking photos outside, early morning or late afternoon light is best.

-- For candid action shots, take advantage of what you know your dog likes to do. Catch a ball? Stand on hind legs?  Chase squirrels?

-- Bring a camera along with you when you’re out with your dog, even if you’re not planning on taking photos.  Often the best shots are the ones you had no intention of getting.

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