Our most helpful advice to you is distilled in these select techniques. No matter how experienced or inexperienced a photographer you may be, these tips can greatly increase the pleasures of picture taking.
Keep Your Camera Ready
How many once-in-a-lifetime pictures have you missed because you didn't have a camera with you? It's easy to avoid that frustration by keeping a camera handy. Spontaneous moments make priceless pictures. To capture them, you need a camera with you. If your regular camera is too large to carry conveniently, consider a low-cost pocket-sized model as a standby.
Get Close and Personal
As a general rule, the closer you get to your pet, the better your pictures will be. You want to "fill the frame" with your pet's image and getting close eliminates distracting, unnecessary backgrounds and shows the subject clearly. Think about showing just enough of the scene to make the picture clear and interesting. Be sure to check your camera manual to learn the closest distance at which your camera takes sharp pictures. Many point-and-shoot cameras cannot focus closer than four feet from the subject.
Take Lots of Pictures
The most important secret to getting that one great pet picture is to take lots of pictures. Even the pros have to shoot multiple rolls to get that "magical" shot. That doesn't mean you have to shoot 5 rolls of film, just shoot several photos in a short period of time.
Use a Simple Background
A simple background focuses attention on the subject and makes clear, strong pictures. Take control and move your subject or your camera to find a simple, uncluttered background. You wouldn't want to be surprised when you get your pictures back and see that an object is growing out of your pet's head!
Place Your Pet Off-Center
There is nothing wrong with placing the subject in the centre of your viewfinder. However, placing the subject off-centre can make the composition more dynamic and interesting to the eye.
Get down to Eye Level
You are tall, your pet is short (unless your pet is a horse) and if you are like most people, you stand with your camera pointed down towards your pet. Unless your goal is to capture your pet looking up at you, get down to eye level with your pet and capture their personality in a new perspective.
Look for Good Lighting
Adequate lighting is essential to expose film, but good lighting can make your pictures more interesting, colourful, dimensional, and flattering to your pet. Strong sunlight is only one of many types of good lighting. Some people are surprised to learn that cloudy, overcast days provide the best lighting for pictures of their pets. Bright sunlight throws harsh shadows. On overcast days, the light is soft and flattering.
Hold Your Camera Steady
Sometimes good pictures are missed by overlooking the basics. Holding the camera steady is vital for sharp, clear pictures. When you push the shutter button, press it gently rather than jabbing it. Even slight camera movement can rob your pictures of sharpness. Use a brace to steady your arm or use a tripod, if available.
Use Your Flash
You can improve your pictures by taking full advantage of the flash built into most cameras. It provides extra light when you need it, especially indoors, and it freezes action for sharp pictures. Be sure to stay within the "flash range." This is the range of distance that will be properly exposed. A typical range is four to twelve feet. Check your camera manual for the effective range of your flash. Flash can improve pictures outdoors, as well. Using flash outdoors will soften shadows and brighten colours.
Choose the Right Film
The four most popular print film speeds are 100, 200, 400 and 800. All cameras are capable of handling these film speeds.
100 Speed Film - is the best in bright sun delivering bright, clear pictures with a striking combination of vibrant, accurate colour, and vividly sharp detail.
Great for close-ups and still-life shots.
200 Speed Film - when you need an all-around performer, this is it. It turns up the colour in variable light with good all-around sharpness. Great for slow to moderate action; this film works in a variety of indoor and outdoor situations.
400 Speed Film - when you want a film that does it all with rich colour and great sharpness. Ideal for extended flash range, as well as outdoor shots. It has outstanding flexibility in a variety of lighting situations that makes it perfect for sports and action.
800 Speed Film - Great for pictures in most light and action conditions. Truly, it's the film that adjusts to the widest range of picture taking conditions.
Using these 10 techniques will help you get the best pictures. Happy picture taking!