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5 tips to help you take better photos of your pets

Follow this expert advice to capture perfect photos of your pets.

We love our four-legged friends, but trying to take a good photo of them can be exasperating. We have to catch them in the perfect position, encourage them to look at the lens, and prevent them from wandering off, all while remembering to press the shutter button.

It can seem an impossible task, but as professional photographer Paul Walker explained on BBC Radio Scotland's Mornings programme, following a few simple rules can help us take perfect pet portraits.

Image courtesy of Paul Walker

Paul's tips for better photographs

1. Find the light
Paul advises to look for areas of light in your home. "It’s coming through your doorways, it’s coming through windows," he explains. "How does your pet look when it’s in that light? What do the eyes look like? Sometimes you are going to create stronger pet portraits just by working in a nice quality of light. Harsh sunlight is not always the most flattering."

2. Clear the clutter
Have a good look around to see if items need tidied away. "If you are outside in the garden move that wheel barrow, move that plastic bucket. If you are inside the home take the socks off the radiator." Paul also suggests checking for your own reflection to ensure you don't end up in the picture too.

3. Attract their attention
You need a reason for your pet to be interested in you, according to Paul. Get their attention by using a squeaky toy, or something else that arouses their curiosity. "[It doesn't have to be] something to have them bounding towards you, just something to get a little sparkle in their eye so that they’re going to engage with the camera."

4. Get moving
We're rarely parted from our phones and as most of them have cameras it's never been easier to get an outdoors action shot, according to Paul. "Get your pet moving, walking, running, jumping, whatever it takes. Create something a little bit different other than those static portraits."

5. Try something different
"Be different," says Paul. "Look at what you’ve got in your home and in your garden and think 'Can I use that in a portrait?'. I’ve used mirrors, I’ve used really strong light, creating a shadow which is making an even bigger dog. Just [do] something a little bit out of the box, but have fun and experiment."

Image courtesy of Paul Walker

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