Photographing pets and kids with the iPhone

Photographing pets and kids can be challenging under any situation but try and use them to add some life to your interior design photos and it can be exasperating. The problem is, pets and kids don’t like to stay still for more than a a nano second and for an interior shot you often need a longer exposure than normal. Magazines, blogs, and websites are full of images of beautiful interiors showing perfectly obedient pets and perfectly posed children. In reality though it’s not always easy.

My dog Nevers is notorious for being difficult to photograph. Every time I point my camera or cell phone at him he looks away or quickly gets up and walks off. It’s so funny but he is what I would call “camera shy”. Here are my typical photos of him taken with my iPhone on just the normal camera setting. I do everything to get him to look at the camera and at the exact moment I push the exposure button he looks away, walks away or licks his nose.

Nevers composit

My dog Nevers being camera shy

So what is the best way to photograph pets and kids using an iPhone? It’s a feature called Burst and this is how it works.

Once you frame your photo, simply push firmly down on the exposure button. The iPhone camera will then continuously shoot ten images a second until you take your finger off the button. (When using my iPhone 4s I had to gently tap on the screen first but with my iPhone 6 that is not required). Once you are finished your phone screen will look similar to this.

iphone screen after taking a series of photos with burst

iphone screen after taking a series of photos with burst

If you look in the upper left corner you’ll see Burst ( 36 photos). This means I have 36 images from which to choose from. Now look at the bottom of the screen and you see the word Select. Simply click on Select and you can scroll through all 36 images. Once you find one you like you have the option of saving just that one and deleting the rest or saving as many as you like. In most likelihood you are going to want to delete all the ones you don’t like so you don’t use up all your available storage space.

Now truth be told, I didn’t get even one of Nevers looking toward the camera so I deleted all 36 and started over. It took about five tries using the burst mode and twice as many treats to get this one final image.

My perfectly "posed" dog

My perfectly “posed” dog

He was obviously not enjoying the photo session so I didn’t prolong his misery any longer than necessary but at least I got one semi decent photo.

Side note* You can see the light is very bright coming in the large windows so I corrected the exposure first using the exposure trick I showed you last time.

I have one more image to share (again those darn light filled windows!)  While taking iPhone photos of my client’s sitting room the day her window treatments were installed, her adorable French Bulldog Bella keep jumping up on the ottoman. Just as fast as she jumped up she would jump off. I couldn’t get her to stay still long enough for a photo so I used the Burst mode and captured a perfect image of sweet Bella.

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

I hope lesson two has been helpful, and if you missed lesson one you can catch up here.

I focused this post on photographing pets and kids in interiors but burst mode is great for any moving subject. A person jumping across a puddle, a dancer or your daughter scoring a goal.  Anytime there is movement and you want to increase your odds of capturing the “perfect” shot I recommend using the burst mode.

What is your biggest challenge when taking interior photos?

 

4 Responses to Photographing pets and kids with the iPhone
  1. lori fischer Reply

    love these tips, linda! it was fun playing around with last week’s and seeing the difference. now off to find a dog to photograph…..

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thanks so much Lori. I’ll keep sharing as many tips as I can think of because the posts have been popular,

  2. Carla Aston Reply

    Awesome. Did not about Burst! Pets are always winners in interiors shots, but hard to get.

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thank you Carla. It made such a difference once I learned about burst too!

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