One very common industry for photography is wildlife photography, and more specifically, pet photography. Over the past few years, we have seen an increase in the amount of pet photography been shot. In this Blog, we help to give you an insight into how to achieve a professional pet photography shoot, and some tips on the best equipment to use.
To start with, we need to understand a very basic thing, and that is how to keep the animals calm. Making sure that the animal is calm throughout your shoot is very important, otherwise you will not be able to keep the animal in the required position and you won’t get the shots you were aiming for. It helps a lot to make sure you are comfortable and relaxed, to try and reassure the animal that the environment is safe and comfortable for them. Another suggestion would be to let the animals become familiar with your equipment, let them walk around and get up close with it, just to show that it isn’t dangerous to them and it isn’t something that should be deemed a threat. A simpler way of making the animals calmer is to feed them, and to use treats to help get them into the right positions, because anyone who has a pet knows that food is there best friend.
Now, we are going to look into a few possible setups and techniques you could possibly use in order to achieve high-quality pet photography.
Technique #1 Full Studio Lighting
Whilst you wouldn’t require a fully-fledged studio for this type of photography, using professional lighting equipment is the easiest way to achieve high-quality photography. We here at PiXAPRO have designed our own Signature kit for pet photography, that comes with everything required to achieve wonderful pet shots. It comes with three LUMI200, which are 200Ws Flash Studio lights, which will offer more than enough light for this photography. On the key light, we have included a 60cm collapsible beauty dish, and suggest to have the light high above and angled down onto the subject, in order to reduce any spill. The attached honeycomb grid can be used in conjunction to help focus the lighting. The other two lights come with a 60x90cm softbox each, to be used a fill lights, in order to offer the right amount of light coverage on the subject and to help focus the lighting to reduce spill.
For further information on this kit, and to find out how to purchase this, please click the image below.
Technique #2 Speedlites
We would suggest using proper studio lights, but using Speedlites is also an option. The benefit of using speedlites is, due to their size, you can adjust them quickly to help create the accurate lighting before the subject gets bored and moves. We would always suggest using multiple lights for ample light coverage, so a minimum of two speedlites is a must. Using modifiers are also very important, as you require the lighting not to be too intense for the subject, so using softboxes and beauty dishes can help achieve a soft yet focused lighting.
Technique #3 Simulating Natural Lighting
Using studio lighting is the best way to achieve the best shot, but simulating natural lighting can also be a massive help. By simulating natural lighting, it helps to keep it looking more natural, whereas using studio lighting can make it look rather artificial, no matter how professional it is. As always, we suggest using multiple lights to achieve this, and this trick can be achieved by using a continuous light rather than a flash. Then simply attach a large, square softbox to the continuous lighting, and this will offer an effect much like a soft, window-light on your subject. The second light should be a flash light positioned on the opposite side of the subject, placed at a lower high, in order to help remove any unwanted shows from the shot.
To achieve this simulated lighting, we would suggest using our LED100D MKIII, as it is a 100W LED light that offer more than enough brightness for this shoot. For softbox, we have a 100x100cm Square Easy-Open softbox, which is large enough to soften the light to make it more natural. These can be found by clicking the images below.
There are many different techniques available to achieve high-quality shots for pet photography available. But for us, we would recommend using our Pet-Photography Three Head-Kit, as this has been purposely designed in order to achieve the best possible lighting. But we would suggest trying multiple different techniques in order to find which is the best for you.