The animal kingdom is vast and interesting. While there are plenty of domesticated pets like cats and dogs that you’re around every day, there are so many creatures that are absolutely fascinating outside of that day-to-day realm. These exotic animals all tell unique stories and are absolutely beautiful which makes them outstanding subjects for photoshoots. Taking a portrait of a lion, a penguin, or a snake can be one of those unique, memorable prints that really stands out. What could be cooler than studying and photographing some of the special animals around the world?
As a photographer, taking pictures of these exotic animals may take specialized care and attention. Unlike a person or a trained dog, they may not want to stay for too long. It is up to you to capture them in their element and behaving in their own unique ways. You also may want to use these animals in a photoshoot with professional models as well. The possibilities really are endless. Keep reading for some ideas of how to shoot these magnificent animals safely and effectively. Remember, your furry, scaly, or feathery friends need to always stay safe and comfortable, but if you can provide them that nice environment, you’re sure to get some once-in-a-lifetime shots.
Make sure the models look fabulous as well.
First, let’s talk about the photoshoots that involve more than just animals. Maybe it’s a model playing a game with a monkey or wearing a snake-like necklace or even holding a magnificent eagle. Because your animals may be finicking and run on their own schedule, you need to be sure the model is looking good and ready to go. Make getting ready a breeze with lash liner magnetic fake eyelashes that are easy to apply. Snap your lashes into place, fill in those eyebrows, and contour those cheekbones so you can get on the set. The better the model looks, the more both they and the animal will shine on camera.
Revolve around their schedule.
When it comes to working with animals, there are obviously some communication challenges you don’t experience with people. They can’t tell you when they’re tired or done for the day. They also may have a set sleep schedule that you’ll want to revolve around. Filming a nocturnal creature? You’re workday just became a work night. Remember that these animals have their own set of behaviors, and it is up to you to adjust to those, not the other way around.
Care for the animal first.
Animal safety is of the utmost importance on any set. You should always do your research and know what kind of environment will make each animal comfortable and happy. Chances are, you may be going to them most of the time rather than trying to get an exotic animal to adjust to a studio. It can be a good idea to look up a care guide for whatever animal you’re working with. For example, most people generally understand how to take care of a dog, but what about reptiles? It’s important to understand their natural habitat, the best way to keep them safe, and how to handle hatchlings and adults alike.
If you are photographing a panther chameleon, do you understand the temperature it needs to be in as a cold-blooded creature? Know what their color-changing could mean and how big you should expect your chameleon to be. What temperature and lighting do they need in their terrarium? And lastly, you need to be aware of what food to give them to keep them happy and fed. Throughout your shoot, watch for signs of fear or discomfort from any animals to make sure they are not getting stressed out. Safety and comfort may not be the most glorious part of your photoshoot, but it is important to make sure you’re taking care of your subject.
Create a theme.
Photographing exotic animals can open the door to a lot of different themes and picture opportunities. Maybe you want to take pictures of large cats doing big yawns. Or you can put a penguin in a tropical scene for some comic relief. Check in with pool construction companies in Lakeland FL to see if there are any poolside oasis areas that you could do an underwater shot of some polar bears. Imagine any animal playing around in a backyard waterfall and jumping off the deep end of the pool The key is to utilize natural animal behaviors and use your creativity to make a new spin on it.
Use props if you can.
While we are stressing the importance of natural behaviors, props aren’t entirely out of the question. Curious animals will pick up and play with anything, so you could absolutely get that fun photo of a monkey playing chess or a tiger pushing around a soccer ball. Figure out the story you want to tell and find a way to utilize those props in your photoshoot.
Don’t use actual wild animals.
The definition of an exotic animal is just an animal not typically kept as a pet in the household. So no, these creatures are not entirely wild. When you plan to pose and photograph exotic animals, you want to consult a zoo or animal sanctuary where these creatures are used to being around people. Ultimately, this will help you get better photos while staying safe.
Use the photos to spread awareness.
People love animals and there are so many activists in the world committed to helping with conservation and animal protection. As a photographer, you can use your lens and creativity to spread awareness about species that are in need. Maybe you can photograph some animals on the endangered species list to get the word out about conservation efforts. Or even post photos of animals in need of forever homes in hope that they can be adopted. Use your photographer skills for good and to spread awareness about these incredible animals. You can also spread awareness about breeders, the pet trade, and the best way to support animals in the United States and across the globe.
Photos can be educational.
Not only can your photos spread awareness, but they can also be educational. Take a picture of how two birds eat and communicate. Try and capture a baby cow learning how to graze from its mother. Or snap that moment where two seals are playing underwater. Spread your art to the world, so they can see all these magnificent animals in their natural habitats and how they behave.
Focus on the eyes.
One big piece of advice when photographing animals is to focus on the eyes. For humans, we often say the eyes are the gateway to the soul. Well, it’s no different for animals. Pictures where the eyes are the main element of focus tell a rich, interesting story in a way few images can.
Quicken your shutter speed.
Remember, animals are constantly moving around running, playing, or even fighting. Trying to capture the perfect shot of movement will be impossible without the right equipment. A camera with many shutter speed options can allow you to capture that perfect action shot. Whether you’re working with U.S. chameleon species or insectivores, the easiest way to capture shots for your special occasion is to use the right tools.
Let them be, it’s sure to be interesting.
Some of the coolest exotic animal photos can happen when you least expect them. In an animal’s natural environment, you’re more likely to get natural sunlight and perch pictures without the hassle. . It may be best to just let the animals roam and be their crazy, interesting selves. Stay on high alert so you can snap that picture of a big yawn, get the shot of an animal jumping around, or capture the moment of two birds communicating with one another. It’s sure to be some of the most interesting content you could ever ask for.