Proven Strategies

Tips on Photographing Dark-Colored Animals

Dark and Dazzling: Photo tips for capturing fabulous photos of dark-colored animals

Before shooting

  • Grab the toys! Toys can be great props that draw attention to a photo while showcasing the animal’s personality. Ask caregivers if the animal has a favorite toy (maybe even a favorite piece of agility equipment) or choose something colorful that will add some fun and novelty to the session for the animal while adding something eye-catching to the photo.
  • Use colorful backgrounds. Particularly when photographing indoors, use colorful pet beds and blankets as backdrops to help the animal stand out. Adding some color with things like collars or bandanas can make the photo pop as well.

During shooting

  • Choose the right light. Indoors, the best light is the shade-light available near a window. Outdoors, try to shoot in the shade or on a cloudy day. In either case, avoid direct sunlight since it makes dark fur difficult to photograph. If you do need to photograph in sunlight, aim for early morning hours or just before sunset to take advantage of the softer light.
  • Capture the eyes. Eye contact with the camera is important for photographing any animal, but particularly for photos of dark-colored animals. Because their eyes add a splash of color contrast in the shot. So get the eye contact by making a distinct noise to grab the animal’s attention. This might involve holding a squeak or shake type toy just above your camera to draw their eyes towards the lens, or making goofy kissing or high pitched noises with your mouth as you shoot.
  • Go for the unique shot. Remember that dark animals are sometimes overlooked for adoption more often than pets of other colors. So try to capture that inquisitive look or goofy pose that makes them stand out in the line-up and makes a potential adopter want to know more about them.

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