Quick — she’s be­ing cute again

Tak­ing mem­o­rable photos of your pets is chal­leng­ing but not im­pos­si­ble. Fol­low a few easy tips, and you could have an In­sta­gram star in the mak­ing.

Los Angeles Times - - THE PETS ISSUE - By Ken Kwok ken.kwok@latimes.com

Your pet is do­ing that thing again. It’s the cutest thing ever, and it must be snapped, shared and for­ever im­mor­tal­ized on so­cial media. Cats and Dogs of In­sta­gram, here we come. But what hap­pens? Just as you reach for the cam­era to com­pose the killer shot, your sub­ject bolts. The mo­ment is gone for­ever, as are your dreams of In­sta­gram star­dom.

We get it. Tak­ing mem­o­rable photos of your pets is chal­leng­ing. But it’s not im­pos­si­ble. Here are some tips.

1 In­stead of try­ing to get your pets to stare squarely into the cam­era, con­sider pho­tograph­ing them in their nat­u­ral state, where their quirk­i­ness and per­son­al­ity emerge. Sleep­ing, play­ing, hunt­ing, bathing or even get­ting caught in the act of chew­ing up your fa­vorite pair of run­ning shoes can make for truth­ful and in­fin­itely bet­ter photos.

2 Mo­ments hap­pen in the blink of an eye, so be pre­pared and an­tic­i­pate. Whether it’s an iPhone or a point-and-shoot cam­era, be fa­mil­iar with its set­tings and ready to shoot when cute­ness strikes.

3 Good pho­tog­ra­phy is all about light. Soft, even light out­doors works best, with morn­ing and late af­ter­noon the best times to shoot. In­doors, turn the f lash off and use avail­able light. The flash pro­duces a harsh ef­fect as well as red eye, and some pets are spooked by it. Try pos­ing your pet by a large win­dow or open door.

4 Ex­plore all an­gles and try the un­ex­pected. Crouch down to their level and shoot from their per­spec­tive. Zoom in for vis­ual im­pact so their face fills the frame. Iso­late a par­tic­u­lar de­tail, like that big f loppy tongue or those gor­geous green eyes. And don’t for­get to pay at­ten­tion to the back­grounds — you’ll want them to be clean and free of clut­ter.

5 Bribery usu­ally works. For dogs, try squeaky toys, treats or that click­ing sound you make with your tongue. For cats, use treats or a lit­tle bit of cat­nip sprin­kled on the floor. A piece of yarn or a feather teaser will work too.

6 Fi­nally, take lots of photos and be pa­tient. It’s all a num­bers game, and in the Dig­i­tal Age, the duds can be easily erased. If you can get one or two win­ners from each ses­sion, the shoot will have been a suc­cess.

Pho­tog raphs by Ken Kwok Los An­ge­les Times

WHEN pho­tograph­ing your pet, bribery usu­ally works. For a cat, try toys, treats or cat­nip; for dogs, treats, toys or noises.

BE PRE­PARED for the next time your pet strikes that In­sta­gram-wor­thy, cute pose, such as Har­mony, here in squir­rel huntress mode.

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