That’s how the Pic Stitch App was sold to me.
“It’ll change your life,” claimed my much younger and social media-savvy coworker.
For me, it wasn’t such a stretch. I desperately needed it and have been grateful for the FREE tool ever since.
Allow me to digress for a moment.
Our new initiative at the television station where I work (WCYB-TV), is to truly embrace social media.
As I diligently tried to follow the directive, I found myself fumbling through Facebook and regularly tweeting out tweets BEFORE attaching my relevant photograph. I was a disaster.
My much younger co-workers patiently put up with questions like this:
“How the heck do I use a hashtag?”
“Why won’t this button flip my picture?” (Confession, it was the refresh button. Don’t judge.)
“How do I tweet two pictures at the same time so I can show the before and after from this story without sending out two tweets?”
That’s when I was introduced to Pic Stitch. Cue the angels…ahhh. And I quickly discovered it’s also awesome for sharing pics of the kiddos and pups with adoring aunties and uncles, along with doting grandparents who are even worse than me with technology and don’t want to open 7 attachments with each email.
So with my new found tool in hand, I had to get some great shots!
Stand still…okay…smile. Wait! Turn Dasher this way. Ignore the kitty, Jeffrey. Um, please don’t do that on the plants. You get the picture.
Thankfully, with Pic Stitch a group photo could just mean a giant collage of individual images. Victory!
But when it was time to get serious and snap some cute pics of our four-legged family members, I had to turn to an expert.
Here are some tips from pet photographer Mandy Elliott who owns M.J. Photography (the above collage is from one of her sessions):
#1. Be Patient // When taking photos of your pets, one of the main things to keep in mind is that it takes time to create a good photograph. Pets are like small children and have a short attention span. First, make sure they’re in a calm, relaxed environment. Allow them to move about, run, and even play as that will burn energy and you can grab some great action shots, then take advantage of their calmness later for portrait photos. Talk to them in soothing tones, use funny noises, and remember to keep your distance until they’re comfortable with the camera. Getting too close to them can make them shy or scared if they’re not used to it.
#2. Get On Their Level // If you have ever seen me at a photo shoot with a pet, you’ve probably thought I was crazy. I can’t tell you how many times you’ll find me lying on the ground with a dog or cat, talking to them and making weird sounds. But by trying different angles, you can often capture their personalities a little better and you’ll have a better chance of them actually looking right at your camera.
#3. Bribery and Rewards // It is no secret that every single shoot I do, I have a form of bribery and treats on hand. Whether it be snacks, squeaky toys, or feathers on a string, I make certain to know what motivates the pet I’m shooting and use it to entice my subject. Make certain if you’re bribing your pet for a good photo that you reward them though with either praise or a treat. Otherwise, they may get frustrated or even bored and lose interest.
And when you’ve captured your pet’s wonderful personality and you can’t decide which picture to put on your holiday greeting or Christmas card, remember my new favorite app: Pic Stitch (and no, I am not receiving any compensation whatsoever for singing its praises – I’m just a technology dinosaur who likes simplicity!).
What are your favorite tools for taking and sharing pics of your pets? I’d love to hear from you!