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Photographing Pets with Short and Long Shutter Speeds

Pets have personalities, and sometimes that personality shows through in the face, and the eyes.

A straight forward head shot of a pet with a clean background sometimes can say a lot about the personality (animality?) of the subject. This handsome and smart cat, Sam, was shot with a portrait lens, with natural light coming through a window and fill flash – used with the hope of freezing any movement and highlighting his white parts. The background was a white canvas backdrop. He was asked to sit still, which he did for about 1/125th of a second. Just long enough!

Hinda Schuman Tip1

Using a slow shutter speed (.3 of a second) and a little camera movement Sam, the wonderful cat, was photographed in the garden upon his return from a hunt. I was playing around with blurring the image and this sort of picture has a lot of trial and error to it. One can never really be sure what will happen, as each camera movement is slightly different from the one before, or the one after. My suggestion is to play around with moving the camera left to right, up and down, and varying the shutter speed. It is a photograph that is less about a specific cat and more about color and movement.

Hinda Schuman Tip1a


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