UK pet owners take more photos of their pets than of their family
A recent study has revealed that UK pet owners now take more photos of their pets than of their family. The survey by Towergate Insurance asked 1,000 dog and cat owners across the UK about their snapping habits and found that people are now taking more pictures of their pets than ever before.
Because many of us have been spending more time with our pets during lockdown we have been taking more photos of them too – and we’ve been snapping them more than anything else. Those surveyed said they took more photos of their pets than their family, partner, food or pretty views. The majority of respondents said they were snapping their cats and dogs to make memories, to capture them doing something funny or to share with their friends and family.
Cherry blossom dog photo by Lisanto 李奕良 on Unsplash
According to Towergate;
“People loved taking photos of their pets so much, that over 50 per cent said they would be prepared pay for a professional pet photographer to capture their pets in a studio setting, with those aged 25-34 the most open to splashing the cash on their pets.”
Social and emotional benefits
The photos and memories captured between pets and their owners can have enormous social and emotional benefits too. Around 76% of those surveyed said that spending time with their pets helped to improve their mental health during the stressful and worrying period of lockdown.
Speaking about the survey, Alison Wild from Towergate Insurance said;
“We all know how important pets are to us, but these results underline the connection many have seen grow with their cats and dogs during a time of uncertainty and isolation.
“For many, pets were a constant fixture and always available for comfort and companionship, so it is unsurprising how many people agreed that their presence improved their mental health and will miss them as we return to work.”
Ginger cat photo by Anna Tello on Unsplash
Pet photography tips
Of course now that most of the UK has locked down again, it might be time to dust off your camera and take some more piccies of your pet. Professional photographers Tracey Smith and Kerry Jordan offer the following advice for taking top quality snaps:
Getting them to look at the camera
We find that making panting noises like a dog is always an excellent way to get a cat to look at the camera, but they always look quite serious! Kerry has the following advice:
“Make unusual sounds that your pet won’t have heard before, like high pitched noises, words in different tones or crumpling a crisp packet above the camera. You may even get a cute head tilt! Likewise, saying a phrase that gets your pet’s attention, like ‘treat?’, ‘ball?’ or ‘walkies’ can also work!
If your pet is scared of the camera, get them comfortable by setting it on the floor with a treat next to it. Once they’re OK with that, pick up the camera and add a training word like ‘say cheese’. They’ll soon see the camera as a positive thing”.
Pomeranian puppy photo by Flouffy on Unsplash
As any good photographer will tell you, good lighting is key!
“Before you even raise the camera, look at your pet’s face and see how light is hitting it. Is one side in shadow? Is the face quite dark? Can you see any nice little spots of light in the eyes? If it doesn’t look right, move them around or move yourself. Then take a few shots and change direction if necessary”.
This depends on what you pet likes to do – whether that’s sitting up high or adopting particular positions, work with them and do things that they are comfortable with.
“If they like getting up high, why don’t you go down really low and shoot upwards? Try moving around in different positions or looking down from above."
Choosing your focus
Tracey’s top tip for super sharp pictures is to focus on the eyes:
“You don’t want blurry eyes, particularly in a portrait shot. If you don’t have a fancy camera, you should have the capabilities on a camera phone. But if you’re using a DSLR, set an aperture of at least F5.0/F5.6 as a wider aperture such as f2.8 straight on will blur in some parts of the animal’s face or body.”
The eyes have it - photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash
Nailing those action shots
“For action shots, if you’re using a camera such as a Canon or Nikon, change your focus setting to auto-tracking and keeping your shutter speed above 500 to minimise motion blur. Lighting will be a big factor here and you will need to adjust your ISO/Aperture/Shutter speed accordingly."
Of course if you’re single, it’s worth getting into some of those photos and taking some selfies with your pet as a separate study recently found that 73% of people agree that seeing an animal in an online dating profile picture instantly makes someone more attractive.
Smiling dog photo by Treddy Chen on Unsplash
Have you been taking more photos of your pets than your family? Did you pull your partner with a pet selfie? Got any pro pet photography tips? Let us know in the comments section below
Main Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash