Fur parent hugs pet in golden hour lighting

Lights, camera, action! Why lighting is the most important element for your pet photography session – Canberra Pet Photographer

Light is the most crucial element to any photography session whether it is a pet photography session or a wedding.  Without light, whether natural or artificial, there is just no photography session.

To a non photographer, the best light is when the sun is at it highest point in the sky.  It is when it is at its brightest.

To a photographer, the midday sun is the worst light because it casts awful shadows on your subject.  Rather the best time is golden hour – either early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the sun is low and casts a beautiful yellow glow on your subjects.  Alternatively a perfectly cloudy day offers beautiful light for a photographers because the clouds are acting as a huge big softbox casting gorgeous soft light on your subjects.

So rule a line through those midday photoshoots as there are much better times for pet photography sessions in Canberra. As Kaylee Greer states in her book, Dogtography, “Give high noon the middle finger”.

If you are still thinking of arranging a photo shoot at that time, this blogpost will outline why there are better times at scheduling your photo shoot.

Golden hour pet photography photo

Harsh awful shadows

Non-photographers and those that are new to the industry that have not had the opportunity to study what is good light and what is bad light generally select midday for their photoshoots.

However, if you are standing in a open field without shade in the middle of the day (around noon and 1pm) you are faced with the burning phenomenon called brightness.  The sun is also directly over your head.  As a result, the areas not being hit with sunlight, under the chin and nose, under their crown of their head and eyebrows are cast in dark shadow.

You will have super bright areas and super dark areas.  This super contrast is not very flattering.  Even for a dog.

To overcome these harsh shadows you turn your subject to the front lit and suddenly you have a new problem – squinting because the sun is in your eyes.

One way to address this is to use flash to fill in the dark shadows and you have probably seen wedding photographers use flash even in the middle of the day.

You need to bear in mind that pets do not have the ability to move marginally to place them in good light and secondly, flash may not be always possible to fill in the harsh awful shadows, particularly as some pets are extremely nervous around the flash.

So if the middle of the day is the worse time to photograph portraits, when is the best?  We will look at that later.

Hot midday sun

It is the middle of summer the sun is beating down of you as you try to finish your photo session.  What becomes pretty clear after a while is neither you nor your subject is very comfortable in the extreme heat.

The summer months can be uncomfortable—even dangerous—for both pets and people.

We can help you keep your pets safe and cool through the summer months.  The first thing to rule out is to arrange your photo session in the middle of the day as we should be keeping our pets out of the midday sun.  We should also be avoiding the direct sunlight between 11am and 3pm.

Pets that are suffering from heat stroke or panting excessively in the bid to keep cool do not make attractive photography subjects.

Your pet’s safety is only paramount by Moist Nose Pet Photography so I will advise against midday photo shoot when the temperatures are excessive.

The cooler time of the day will be better for your dog to run around

Dogs and cats just love to explore new areas, including running around excessively if they get the opportunity.

I therefore like to select the time of the day that is not only cooler but also when the light is at its best.  So when is this?

As I stated early in the blog post, the best time for pet photography sessions in Canberra is early in the morning (around sunrise) and late in the afternoon (just before sunset).  These are the times that Moist Nose Pet Photography likes to recommend to its clients.

Not only is the day cooler at these times, making it a better experience for your dog or cat, especially if they are very active. But the light at this time of the days, is just so beautiful.

That glorious golden hour light

If you are not convinced of the light at this time of the day, put you hand up to face at sunset when you are walking your dogs next and watch the gorgeous yellow and orange light wrap around your arm.  The colour temperature of the sunlight will get warmer as the sun dips towards the horizon.

Ask any photographer of the best time for photographs and they will quickly tell you it is golden hour.  At these times of the day, the direction and angle of the sun in lower in the sky, Here the sun is lower in the sky, wrapping the subject around in golden orange light.

Here you put your subject in front of the light, to the side of the light or have them backlit.  At the end of the day, most viewers will see these images are more flattering to both the subject and the overall scene.

Fur parent hugs pet in golden hour lighting

While there are many things that you can control in photography, the most important of these elements is lighting.  As a creative photographer, I want to leave you with incredible images and the best way to creative these images is through scheduling your photography session at sunrise if you are an early riser or sunset for those people that struggle to get out of bed in the morning.

Trust me, all I want to do is shoot in incredible light.

Are you ready to book a pet photography session in Canberra?  Why not contact me for a non-salesy photography consultation.

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