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Picture Perfect, Page 2: Tips for Frame-Worthy Pet Photos

Winning photographs from the HSUS/HSI World Spay Day 2012 Pet Photo Contest

All Animals magazine, January/February 2013

Rule of Thirds

Centering the subject is not always the best option, Layton says. To make a photo more dynamic, try the rule of thirds. Imagine a tic-tac-toe grid over the scene in your viewfinder, then place your subject at the intersection of the lines. The off-center placement “gives the subject space to breathe.” Aaron Amano took the grand prize in the judged category of last year’s photo contest with the above shot of Chewie.

Eye Level

Get down on the ground with your pet, advises Morgan. “You’ll get better expressions.” In the photo above, Wyatt shows his joyful spirit to owner Derrick Carpenter.

Watch & Wait

“We always want animals to perform on the spot for us, but it doesn’t always work that way,” says Layton. “The more time you spend with them … they get more comfortable with your presence and the camera clicking. Let them show their personalities to you.” Beth Stewart caught Akeela’s mischievous side in this “cat in a bag” photo.

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