3 Tips on How to Photograph Pets in Costumes

The pursuing is excerpted, with permission, from photographer and author Andrew Darlow’s post, 5 Recommendations for Phoographing Animals in Costumes. Browse his complete piece on the photzy web page.

Every single yr, millions of men and women in a variety of nations throughout the world costume up to rejoice Halloween. And like with so several other loved ones activities, pets are often bundled in the exciting. I’ve photographed really a couple animals carrying costumes more than the a long time, and I have found photos of pets wearing everything from baseball hats to comprehensive-physique “hot dog” suits, complete with mustard-hunting trim. (Of system, Dachshunds are practically generally the style of doggy chosen for this humorous glance!)

[Read: Fun Halloween Photography Tips and Tricks]

When it comes to photographing animals sporting costumes, it’s really important to always think about the safety of the animals you plan to photograph. Some pets will have to have more supervision than other individuals. Some of the costume-associated items to be careful with consist of:

  • Any little things, this sort of as toys or accessories that could possibly be mistaken for food items
  • Any costume that results in a pet to grow to be way too heat
  • Any item that restricts a pet’s motion, respiration or eyesight
  • Any costume that is made up of sharp or pointed products.
want to photograph pets wearing costumes. Here's a chihuaha wearing protective goggles and a leather bomber.
With just a pair of sun shades (or specially-produced eyewear like this protecting eyewear produced by Doggles), plus a bandana or fake leather jacket, you can transform your canine or feline into a neat dude (or dudette!). Photographed with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon 24–105mm lens @ 105mm. Aperture: f/5.6 | Shutter Speed: 1/100 sec.| ISO: 1000 (Photo © Andrew Darlow)

3 Strategies on photographing pets donning costumes:

1. Come to a decision which costume(s) you will acquire or build.

Some tips for what Halloween costumes usually work very well for animals are:

  • A ghost: a white costume can be created from a sheet, material, or t-shirt.
  • A witch: a modest hat can be purchased, and optionally, a black costume can be created from a sheet, other material, or t-shirt.
  • Jack-O’-Lantern: an orange costume can be produced from an orange sheet or other cloth, with slash-out black styles glued or sewed on to the fabric.
  • A Court docket Jester: Possibly invest in or make a stylish neckband. Here’s a hyperlink to a Do it yourself option from hgtv.com.

This chihuahua (higher than) would most likely fetch additional sweet than most if he went trick-or-treating in his tremendous interesting costume! His eyewear is built by Doggles, and his jacket was created for puppies, but obtained from a keep that specializes in human outerwear. Lights came from three ongoing lights in softboxes on stands, positioned side-by-aspect (digicam right), about 10 feet from the matter. The rationale was twofold: Several lights offers the experience of several windows when you seem into the subjects’ eyes (when the subject matter is seeking straight ahead) and the further lights was essential to stay clear of blur, even with about 1000w equal of Compact Fluorescent Bulbs in each softbox. Two large white reflectors have been positioned camera remaining to fill in the shadows.

two Newfoundland dogs with wings.
I took this photo of two Newfoundland pet dogs with a white umbrella and I pointed a shoe-mount flash right at the canine through the umbrellas to simulate the look of the daylight that was coming from the left facet. Photographed with a Canon EOS 6D and Canon 28-135 IS @ 56mm. Aperture: f/9 | Shutter Pace: 1/80 sec. | ISO: 640 (Image © Andrew Darlow)

2. Get great images with off-camera flash or just a reflector.

There are numerous approaches to use an off-camera flash, and simply because of that, there are lots of appears to be like you can generate. For case in point, you can use a white umbrella and generate a glance related to the sunshine, or you can use a black umbrella with white or silver reflective materials for softer shadows. The most important point to know is that it is comparatively uncomplicated and affordable to established up a wireless flash technique for your digital camera.

Using one particular or far more fill cards or reflectors can do miracles for your images. A fill card can help to direct gentle onto the subject. Reflectors can be white foam boards, white partitions, posters, aluminum foil (for additional extraordinary outcomes) or nearly anything else that allows to fill in or increase drama to the primary mild.

The sun shades generally applied to continue to keep automobiles neat can be great fill cards, and some even fold up nicely into a smaller circle, like much more highly-priced alternatives from picture-associated organizations.

photographing pets wearing costumes—dog with court jester collar.
For this image of a beagle sporting a courtroom jester neckband, I reflected again gentle coming from camera left working with a gold “5-in-1 round reflector.” The gold solution labored very well for the Halloween topic with the Jack-O’-Lantern mainly because it added a warm glow to the scene. Photographed with a Canon EOS 6D and Canon 70-300mm lens @ 110mm. Aperture: f/6.3 | Shutter Speed1/500 sec. | ISO: 800 (Picture © Andrew Darlow)

3. Photograph your family when observing or collaborating in sporting functions.

Seeking for more thoughts on photographing pets wearing costumes? Animals and workforce products can be a really humorous (and in some cases high priced) blend. You can convey your love for your favorite teams by outfitting your pet dog or cat with shirts, jackets, or other equipment especially produced for them (or you could be able to use or alter human clothes marginally to make it in shape).

Even additional photographically exciting is to have pets match the relaxation of the relatives on game working day. Nonetheless, do not just limit the fun to expert staff don. Consider making outfits with the exact same colors as the Very little League baseball or football groups in which your family members participates, or invest in shirts or sweaters with matching colours. Then hit the field (or yard) and capture the color-coordinated enjoyment!

Photographed with a Canon EOS D60 and Canon 28-135mm/56mm lens. Aperture: f/5.6 | Shutter Speed: 1/2000 sec. | ISO: 200 (Photo © Andrew Darlow)

I photographed this man and his Chinese Crested canine at an outdoor dog agility celebration in which the pet was taking part. I requested for his permission and then photographed the two of them from a number of various angles (in each horizontal and vertical orientation). I selected this image since I believe it captures the distinctive bond concerning a man and his sports-loving pooch. I additional the capture lights you see in the dog’s eyes to support give a lot more sparkle and daily life to the photograph. Organic daylight on a distinct day provided all of the lighting.

Andrew Darlow is a NJ-primarily based photographer, writer, and electronic workflow coach. His images have appeared in numerous publications and media retailers, which includes: People today Journal, Animal World and Rangefinder Journal. He is editor of ImagingBuffet.com, an on the web useful resource with information, testimonials, and interviews masking the topics of images, printing, and new media. He is also the author of four award-winning textbooks, together with: Aim and Filter (Ulysses Press), available in both of those English and Spanish, Pet Photography 101: Tips for Having Far better Images of Your Doggy or Cat (Focal Push), and Biscuit for Your Views? Philosophy According to Canines (Ulysses Press). For workflow movies and excerpts from Andrew’s guides, go to ImagingBuffet.com/e-newsletter.