Say Cheese!

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Try to get a camera with a zoom lens, that way you can stay back farther from your subject and the zoom helps keep your subject’s parts in proportion.

Choose the highest resolution setting on your camera. You’ll hate it if you shoot the perfect picture in poor-quality lower-resolution.

Plan your shoot. Find a nice backdrop or at least remove junk from the background you have. Shoot at the right time of day. Morning and evening lighting is perfect; shooting when the sun is overhead casts deep shadows. Stand with the sun at your back or slightly over one shoulder. Watch to make sure your shadow doesn’t spoil the image.

Get down on your subject’s level. Level with the center of its body is perfect. Kneel, sit or lie on your tummy but never shoot from above (that distorts your subject’s body and gives him short legs).

Ask someone to help you by grabbing your subject’s interest at just the right time. Have your helper toodle a kazoo, squeak a squeaky toy, or roll on the ground.

Fill the frame but don’t cut off ears, feet or tails. Or, learn to use photo editing software to crop your favorite shots.

If you’re working alone, be patient. Sit with your camera ready and wait for the perfect picture to happen.

Hint: if you move position, watch where you put your butt. Mom didn’t last week and she sat on a Nodding Thistle rosette. Ow!

Check out samples of Mom’s photos below:

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