Love them like family. Feed them like family.

Three Ways to Improve Your Pet Photos

If you spend even a few minutes on the Internet, you’ll quickly find that people love to share photos of three things: their food, their children and their pets. But let’s be honest, Facebook feeds aren’t full of professional caliber photos. It seems only a few have that special something that makes photos unique and inspiring. Those, of course, are the ones you want to post.

Capturing a great image of your furry family member isn’t rocket science, but it can be a bit of a challenge. So here are three tips to get that perfect dog or cat pic:

Lights…

Because pets come in all shapes, sizes and colors, good lighting is often the hardest element to perfect. Pets with dark features are often difficult to capture unless the lighting’s just right.

If you’re outdoors, wait until there’s a lot of light coming through the clouds or the sun is shining. Indoors, you'll get the best photo opps when your dog or cat is near a window, sitting in some sunlight or simply lounging in a brightly lit room.

If you don’t have a place that’s well lit and your dog or cat is doing something particularly adorable, quickly grab some lamps and create your own stage lighting.

Camera angle…

The eyes tell the story. It’s true for humans and it’s certainly true of your four-legged friend. One of the best ways to capture your dog’s or cat’s essence is to meet them at eye-level.

Unless you’re the proud pet parent of a full-grown Burmese Mountain Dog or Tibetan Mastiff, you might need to crouch down, or even lay down. Though you might feel silly, meeting your pet on that plane will give you an interesting and genuine perspective of how they live.

Of course, standing up and looking down at your dog or cat from an exaggerated height can be provocative as well. As long as you’re not blocking any light from illuminating their face, this perspective can often be artistic.

Action (or not!)

The most unique furry friend photos are those that capture their unique personality.

If your furry family member doesn’t like to sit still (Jack Russells, we’re looking at you) it might be hard to get that perfect pose. Hey, not all pets are destined for digital glory.Whether it’s the sound of a sneeze that makes your dog cock his head sideways, mouth agape, or the sound of the treat bag that makes your cat lovey-dovey, find out what triggers your pet’s personality and be camera-ready to catch him/her in the act.

Solution: Take a bunch of photos in a row and you might find one or two that work well. Most cellphone cameras have relatively quick shutter speeds so you can take as many as seven or eight photos in about ten seconds.

Naturally, any photo of your beloved dog or cat isn’t a bad one, but there are things you can do to ensure you get a great one. Then find (or make) a unique frame to display your pet proudly offline.