Elke Vogelsang - Round 7. Pet Photography

Competition hashtag: 



To prepare you All for the seventh round Of The 12x53 Photo Of The Month Competitions, Your Judge, Elke Vogelsang Has Kindly Submitted Some Much Valued Advice About Taking Successful pet Photographs.

Try and take on board as much of the expert counsel as you can, because as far as this is guidance it might well be what Elke will be looking for in her winning shot too.

Hi everybody,
So, this contest is all about pet photography. I’m very honored to be chosen as a judge for this and looking forward to your entries. Here are some tips and tricks on how to shoot pets.
Go down on eye-level with your subject. It just makes the picture so much more intriguing and emotional. Any perspective that is different from our usual is more interesting, but being on the same level with the pet (or even slightly below) grabs the viewer’s attention in a special way.
If you take pictures of a pet in action, choose a fast shutter speed, e.g. at least 1/1000th of a second, to freeze the action. Furthermore, use burst mode and continuous focussing. 
Even for a portrait I use continuous focussing to make up for any movement of the pet.  I want the eyes to be as sharp as possible.
Be patient. Don’t hassle the pet for a picture. Most pets are easily motivated by treats or toys. Make sure it’s fun for you and your model. Think of it as bonding time and entertainment for the both of you.
If necessary, get an assistant to help you to make sure you are able to get candid pictures.
Think about what makes your pet special and how you could capture this in a picture? Try to document personality and emotion.
Try to come up with a new idea, a different approach. Limit yourself to be more creative. There are so many pet pictures out there. It’s hard to stick out of the crowd. Break the rules. 
Looking forward to your entries!