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Rabbit Photography - Tips

Updated on April 5, 2012

Learn to take good photos of your rabbit friends

You don't have to have an awesome camera to take nice photos of your rabbit friends.

Photographing rabbits can be difficult, they like to run around, they don't follow directions, and they can easily become frightened if proper precautions are not taken. In this lens I will share with you my tips and tricks for photographing rabbits. While the focus of this lens will be on rabbits, keep in mind that these tips can be applied to just about any animal friend that you may have.

This lens will continue to grow as I add more information. If you have any comments or suggestions as to topics I should cover, I would love to hear from you.

Well what do you know...

This lens has donated $2.19 to the ASPCA since its creation! (updated 4/5/2012)

Capturing Personality - Every rabbit is unique

Grumpy Gatsby
Grumpy Gatsby

Is your rabbit a joker? a lover? a troublemaker? just plain shy?

Sometimes it can be very difficult to capture these different aspects of your furry friend's personality. Here are a few tips to help you out.

Familiarize them with the camera

"getting to know you and your camera"

Rabbits might not understand what you're trying to do at first. A normally outgoing rabbit can become quite shy around new things, such as a camera.

Try to start out taking pictures for brief (5 minutes max) periods of time. These pictures don't have to be fantastic, they don't even have to be of the rabbit(s). At this point it is just to expose them to the camera and all of the weird noises it may make.

Afterward, reward your furry friend with some time together, give them pets, talk nicely to them, give them a favorite chew toy, perhaps offer them a small piece of banana. Let them associate camera time with good things.

Continue doing this until your rabbit feels comfortable with you and your camera.

Suggestions from fellow squids

GraceQ17 suggested turning on your camera on regularly around your buns, but don't take any pictures, so your buns get used to the whirr without getting anxious.

hotbrain said "Sometimes when I take pictures of pets, I put my camera on silent mode, which minimizes the noises it makes!

Byron makes it hard to clean his cage
Byron makes it hard to clean his cage

Know your rabbit's habits

Just like people, rabbits have their own schedules.

For example, Byron is most active in the later part of the morning/ early afternoon, and then again from about 10 at night to 1 in the morning. If I were to try to take a picture of him in the early part of the evening I would get a picture of a sleepy/grumpy bun. Of course as you can see, sometimes getting a sleeping picture isn't a bad thing.

Knowing your rabbit friend's routine

Know your rabbit's likes and dislikes

Strange noises, new large objects, children, flashes- these are just a few of the things I have found that my rabbits don't like

Timing isn't the only important habit to take notice of. Think about what situations make your buns happy. Gatsby loves it when the cardboard boxes are rearranged into a new layout, Byron loves playing with blankets, they both enjoy checking out humans in weird positions. Setting up these kinds of situations will greatly increase your chances of capturing your friend's true personality. So go ahead, find out what makes your rabbit happy and keep your camera ready to capture those special moments.

Try to avoid things that they don't like

Rabbits will let you know if there is something they don't like, either by stomping or running away and hiding.

Perhaps you tried to put your rabbit friend in a basket, maybe you and your camera got a little too close for comfort, whatever the reason your friend has made it clear that they no longer enjoy their photo session.

When that happens the photo session is over. DO NOT agitate your friend any further or else they may come to think of your photo sessions as a form of torture and will not want to take part at all. Give them a break, play with them, and let them know that they are loved.

Byron runs
Byron runs

Getting great action shots

"they like to move it move it!"

As stated earlier in this lens, one of the best tools for taking photographs of your buns is the knowledge of their daily routines. Anyone who has every spent enough time with a rabbit will tell you that they sometimes have these extreme bursts of energy that come out in the form of jumps, twists, side shuffles, and just plain old running. Rabbit enthusiasts often refer to this kind of behavior as a "binky"

I know that Byron will come running out of his cage binky-ing first thing in the morning, while Gatsby will reserve his binkies for when he is just about to be fed. Because of this knowledge that I have about the habits of my rabbit friends, I've been able to capture some great action shots.

Once you are armed with the knowledge of your rabbit friend's most active times it is all a matter of waiting.

Make sure that the area in which you will be shooting is well lit and clear of anything that could be potentially hazardous to their safety.

In order to avoid blurry photos, you'll need to use a faster shutter speed on your camera.

Avoiding red eye - Because sometimes you don't want to take a picture of a demonic looking rabbit

Byron already has red eyes, but in pictures they glow!
Byron already has red eyes, but in pictures they glow!

Why red eye occurs

Red eye occurs in photographs of animals that have no tapetum lucidum, such as humans and rabbits. The tapetum lucidum is a layer of tissue that is behind the retina that allows some animals(often nocturnal in nature) to see in dim light. Red eyes in pictures are caused by light passing through the pupil, bouncing off the back of the eye and out of the pupil, this bouncing of light creates the red eye effect.

Avoid the flash

Why?

Typically the flash is used in situations where the lighting is dim. In dim light our pupils and the pupils of our furry little friends are dilated in order to allow us to see better. When the flash is used our eyes take a little bit of time to adjust, at which point the light from the camera flash has already entered our wide pupils, bounced off the back of our eye, back out through the adjusting but still fairly large pupil, creating the monstrous looking red eye effect.

One of the easiest ways to avoid red eye when taking pictures of rabbits is to not use the flash at all.

This will require that you have adequate lighting in the location where you are taking photos. If your lighting is somewhat dim and your camera has the option to switch to manual take this time to change the exposure on the camera to a slightly longer exposure. You will need to have a steady hand when taking photos, or better yet a tripod. Of course if your rabbit subject is moving you will most likely get blurry pictures with a slightly longer exposure.

If you must use the flash

try different angles

If you must use a flash for your photos try taking the photo at ground level. When you take photos at this angle using a flash, you will be able to avoid capturing the light bouncing off the back of the eye, which produces the unwanted red eye effect.

Try experimenting with other angles and see which ones allow you to capture great images sans red eye

White tissue paper

If you have white tissue paper on hand try cutting out a small square and taping it lightly over your flash. The tissue paper will act as a diffuser for your flash light source.

What issues have you had when taking pictures of your furry friends?

See results

Remember!

Know your rabbit's habits

Try to shoot in a well lit area to avoid using the flash

If your rabbit friend becomes agitated or frightened, photo time is OVER

If you liked this lens and need to pick up something for your rabbit friends, consider purchasing it here. This lens is set to donate to the ASPCA.

Guestbook - I'd love to hear any comments of suggestions that you may have about this lens

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    • goldenrulecomics profile image

      goldenrulecomics 4 years ago

      Nice advice!

    • Dustbunnyodoom profile image
      Author

      Dustbunnyodoom 4 years ago

      @anonymous: So very right about photographing black.dark furred rabbits, it's super difficult unless you have proper lighting (natural being best)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I just get blurs! Partly because she's so nosy she comes up and sticks her nose onto the lens, nudging the camera all over the place... Also she's black which makes it hard to catch good pictures unless the light is really good

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I had two pet Rabbits growing up and now I have a Family of them living near my Home!! :)

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 6 years ago

      I have to bless this and put it on my photography tips lens! Love it!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Wish I have these pictures to put in one of my lenses.

    • Dustbunnyodoom profile image
      Author

      Dustbunnyodoom 6 years ago

      @MargoPArrowsmith: Glad to see someone appreciates a good Jung joke!

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 6 years ago

      I assume this all works for chihuahuas too! :-D

      (I loved your Jung joke)

    • profile image

      ShamanicShift 6 years ago

      Snapping great pics of my colleague the Tortoise Cat can be a challenge because she questions the value of the endeavor -- but she kindly obliges occasionally. You certainly have a knack for catching bunny-fun!

    • ChrisDay LM profile image

      ChrisDay LM 6 years ago

      awesome images - thanks

    • wilddove6 profile image

      wilddove6 6 years ago

      Great lens!

      A lot of these excellent tips go for taking pictures of pet birds too!

      The bunny photos are great!

    • profile image

      grannysage 6 years ago

      My son had a rabbit once, but I really didn't get to know it very well. It is interesting how they have different personalities just like other pets. Very good ideas for taking pictures of the buns, as you delightfully describe them. Blessed by GrannyFairy Angel and featured on GrannyFairyAngel Blessings lens.

    • bizgrrl profile image

      bizgrrl 6 years ago from Vancouver, Canada

      Interesting topic! :) I don't like when I see red eye in pictures either! How many rabbits do you have? I'm a HUGE rabbit lover myself. :)

    • Dustbunnyodoom profile image
      Author

      Dustbunnyodoom 6 years ago

      @bizgrrl: Just the two for now, possibly more when I no longer live in an apartment. Thanks for stopping by!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 6 years ago

      Well, you're right. I just took photos of my friend's rabbit and they're mostly of his bunny butt. He kept hopping away from me and didn't want to wear his Christmas sweater.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      You are off to a fantastic start on Squidoo and although I don't plan on taking any bunny pics, I absolutely LOVED yours, bunnies are just so gosh darn adorable! Kathy

    • KarenHC profile image

      Karen 6 years ago from U.S.

      We used to take some candid shots of our pet ferrets -- they didn't seem particularly upset about anything, though, including camera noises and lights. But, it was difficult to catch them in the poses we wanted to photograph since they liked to MOVE! We had a few demon-eyed photos as well. You have a great set of pet photography tips here!

    • thedan1984 profile image

      thedan1984 6 years ago

      You've got wonderful buns!

    • Fcuk Hub profile image

      Fcuk Hub 6 years ago

      good tips, helpful lens :)

    • hotbrain profile image

      hotbrain 6 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      Cute bunny pictures and some great tips! Sometimes when I take pictures of pets, I put my camera on silent mode, which minimizes the noises it makes! Squid Angel blessed :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I love your lens. Your tips and suggestions and very helpful. As much as I love my seven buns I have very few good photos of them because of the reasons you state in your lens.

      The only other suggestion I have is to turn your camera on regularly around your buns, but don't take any pictures, so your buns get used to the whirr without getting anxious.

    • IlanaMoore LM profile image

      IlanaMoore LM 6 years ago

      I don't have a rabbit to photograph, but this was an entertaining lens to read nonetheless :) Thanks!

    • profile image

      webtoys 6 years ago

      Thanks for this tips.

    • profile image

      editionh 6 years ago

      Thanks for tips! I remember our rabbit Rosy very well! :). I think there is a lot of belly crawling involved in rabbit photography!

    • LisaAuch1 profile image

      Lisa Auch 6 years ago from Scotland

      My daughters name is Rebecca too and she loves taking pictures of her rabbit who is very cheeky, I will get her to read your tips too, I would love to add this to my jura The lion lop rabbit lens for others to see how to capture their furry friends! excellent work keep it up!

    • WildFacesGallery profile image

      Mona 6 years ago from Iowa

      These are good tips for any owner of a small critter when trying to capture it on film. I paint from my own reference photos so for me the biggest thing is to photograph them at eye level. Great lens, nicely done. :)