Rabbit Photography - Tips
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
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!
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.
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
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
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?
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.