LovePets met up with Christopher Ball to find out more about his “Animal Posers” photography.
Hi Chris, so tell us, why take pictures of pets?
Well, I’ve been a portrait and advertising photographer for many years now and I have a fascination with capturing character and personality in people. It seemed like a natural progression to shoot pets as they are so integral to our lives.
Tell us more about taking the pictures
The approach I’ve taken to photographing animals is to take them out of their natural environment and bring them into the studio. I feel this concentrates the portrait of the pet so you have no distractions in the background. That way you really connect with the picture and have an almost hypnotic experience while you study the final printed image of the dog or cat or whatever your animal you choose to have photographed. You see things in the print that you might not have seen before on your pet because of the detail in the photograph. That’s what really shows their character so well.
How on earth do you keep them so well behaved?
Ha! I use a variety of ways to get the animals to look where I want them to, which I discuss with the owners on the best techniques before hand in a consultation, but at the end of the day if a dog doesn’t want to do something, it won’t do it, so patience is vital during a shoot, along with a few tasty treats and nibbles. Also the time frames can vary for a shoot as I like to be completely satisfied I have the shot before ending the session, but at the same time I’m always aware of the pets attention span, so I try and not make the shoots too long.
And what about the technical side?
Well, my shoots are quite technical and complex when it comes to the lighting. I use a setup of around five or so lights to give the images the impact I want. Once the shoot is complete and the clients have chosen their images to be printed and framed, I use my retouching experience to add a few more enhancements to really make the images stand out and to adjust any color balances.
Here are a few pictures Chris has taken. For more information about Chris and his work, visit www.ChristopherBallPhoto.co.uk