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Beautiful Beasties: A Creative Guide to Modern Pet Photography Paperback – September 11, 2012
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5 Pet Photography Tips from Beautiful Beasties1. Have fun with it!
Make it a game. Be upbeat. Bring out the toys, participate in an activity your pet finds fun. For cats this may be a game involving tinfoil balls or a feather toy, for dogs this may be a squeaky toy. For horses, rodents and other pets, this is whatever puts them in the best mood--whatever their 'favorite' thing is.2. Get on their level
Scoot, crouch, bend, scuffle, lay, twist, roll- whatever you need to to do get down and create photographs on the pet's level. Wear dirty clothes. No pet photographer ever worse expensive jeans and sneakers to a photo shoot.
Animals experience the world on a different plane than we do, and being able to create photographs captured on their level makes them more emotional, more engaging, and more connected, to the person that views the images.3. Pay your model
You wouldn't expect a human model to work for you without payment right? So why should you expect an animal to work without getting paid? Figure out what's the most appreciate item for payment. A toy, a treat, an old rag, a carrot- whatever it takes to keep them engaged and motivated.4. Pay attention to backgrounds
Nothing can ruin a perfectly good photo better than ugly, cluttered backgrounds. Nobody needs to see that old garden hose, or your dirty sock on the floor, in an otherwise beautiful photo of Rupert the cat.
Spend a few minutes before your photo session eyeballing the scene behind the animal. A few quick pickups of distracting 'junk' can mean you never having to say "Oh man, I wish that ____ wasn't in the photo" again, or spending unnecessary time in Photoshop or Lightroom. (Unless of course the offending object is something like a house or someone else's car, in which case--just move the animal).5. Focus on expressions
Forget technical skill. Any pet owner will respond to an expressive, 'aww-inducing,' 'laugh-inspiring' photo over a technically perfect yet emotionally lacking photo any day of the week.
Capture a pet in the moment where it is expressing the essence of its personality, showing you it's true colors (whatever those may happen to be!), and the owner of the pet will forgive all manner of exposure, composition and other issues. All they really want is to say "You got him, you really got him!".
If you hear "squeals", "oohs," or "ohhhs" coming from the pet's owner upon seeing your images, you know you've done something right.
Featured Photos from the Book:
Technical information: 1/640 second at f/2.8, ISO 400, evaluative metering, 24-70mm f/2.8 L USM lens
Technical information: 1/1250 second at f/2.8, ISO 400, evaluative metering, 20mm f/2.8 lens
Technical information: 1/60 second at f/5.0, ISO 125, evaluative metering, 20mm f/2.8 lens
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Top Customer Reviews
The author is a self-taught pet photographer that obviously loves her work and is willing to share some hard learned lessons for those interested in the subject for business or pleasure. She is a down to earth writer that provides highly readable material and does so in that rare manner that makes the reader feel they are visiting one on one with the author in a very informal, friendly setting.
The book consists of twelve chapters, an index, copius photo's and is chock full of advice for any aspiring photographer of animals. While she spends most of her time on photographing dogs and cats the basic lessons and suggestions she offers will also help with photographing other animals as well. The chapters cover the subject from the history of pet photography thru lighting, equipment, compositions, animal behavior, and for the professional, becoming a professional pet photographer and business essentials. It is amazing just how much advice and material is covered in the 340 pages. I really liked the section in Chapter 8 dealing with the challenges inherent in photographing Black and White dogs. She calls it the Black Dog and White Dog problem and not only does she discuss the problem and reasons behind it, she also offers some interesting solutions.Read more ›
As an experienced photographer who has taken more than a few pictures of his cats over the years, I didn't really appreciate how much there is to consider when taking pictures of animals professionally, from preparing treats and slobber rags, to making considerations for a sick or elderly pet. And as a businessman, while I vitally understand the concept of making money, I certainly had no idea about pricing, packaging, and marketing. And, again, as a photographer, I expected some amount of photography advice, but my assumption was that the author would assume a certain amount of capability on the part of whoever might buy this book. The author, however, makes no assumptions at all and includes detailed discussions of equipment, lenses, lighting, add-ons, editing software, how to use all those things together effectively, and even notes on film cameras and developing. (Who does that anymore?Read more ›
The info in this book is great! As soon as i started reading i thought i better get out a highlighter. And truthfully, i never highlight in ANY book. But i sure used it a lot in this book.
If you are a pet photographer, or thinking of becoming one, you just might want to pick this book up. You will not be disappointed!!
Without a doubt, Beautiful Beasties is the best pet photography book I've found (at least for beginners). The book alone helped me understand photography better (Jamie Plughoeft is great a explaining in simplicity). I also was extremely grateful that this informative book lead me to my dSLR: the Canon EOS Rebel T3i- a camera I'd definitely recommend to anyone interested in SLR photography. Informative, engaging, helpful, gracious: That's how I'd define the author's writing and skill. A MUST HAVE without a doubt.
What this book includes:
Chapter 1: The history of Pet Photography and getting starting your own pet photography
Chapter 2: Talks about different kinds of cameras, camera accessories, and computer photo editing software
Chapter 3: Working with different kinds of animals, animal behavior and different personalities
Chapter 4: Preparing for a photo shoot
Chapter 5: Using manual settings, RAW vs.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've been a fan of the author's pet photography for years and I was thrilled to see she has written a book. Fabulous! Read morePublished 5 months ago by LaurenC
Very thorough and informational. Packed with information on all types of questions you might have about pet photography. She gives it all! Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amy Harwell
Awesome book about animal photography and the business in general. Making money from photography isn't easy and this book lays out some important steps for you. Read morePublished 6 months ago by DocDave
Jamie does a great job with this book.Educational and very informative.Published 10 months ago by Beverly White
I was so excited to get this today! The postman brought it this morning and two pots of coffee later, I have yet to get out of my pajamas. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Renata Canaday
gift, will be helpful in his work, seemed very happy with it.Published 16 months ago by Anne Winston