TV’s Dr Chris Brown shares his tips for great photos of pets … and kids!

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Dr Chris Brown, well-known for Bondi Vet and the Living Room, is also an ambassador for Canon, and here he shares with us his tips for getting the best photos of your children ... and fur children!

Q: What are your tips on how to get kids participating in photography during the family holiday?

Kids can be a bit funny when it comes to having their photo taken – it’s either all fake smiles or constant fidget and face pulling. My number one tip is never ask them to smile. Ask them to say their favourite ice-cream flavour, mention you’ll tickle them or in the case of my nephews, using an app that produces funny sounds (the fart sounds app is always popular) can work. Shooting off a longer lens with more zoom makes a big difference too and is more likely to get a candid shot.

Q: What are your tips for capturing the best photos of the family on holiday?

If possible, just like animals and your pets, think about capturing them in their environment! So not so posed … just enjoying being on holiday. It could be jumping in the pool, looking at the view or just having fun. Don’t forget to include yourself in the photo – most cameras have a self-timer if you can’t find someone to take it for you.

Q: How can families take more unique photos on their travels?

Think about where you are and why you love being there – is it the sunset, the food or the people. I love animals, so of course I’ll try to find a local pet or animal to include in the image. A photo is a great way to record a special memory that you’ll look back on for years to come. There are many ways to switch up your images – go wide angle to show the landscape you’re in, use silhouettes instead of perfectly exposed people, change your perspective - so get up high or down low (avoid just standing and snapping) and be prepared to capture the unexpected.

Q: What are the most common mistakes families make when taking photos on their travels?

I don’t think there are any mistakes; just enjoy taking photos and enjoying the moments with your family. You want those photos to be just as good as your memories of the moment. And don’t forget you can use the video setting on your camera also.

Q: What is your number one tip in capturing scenic photos while travelling? 

Trust your judgement. If you see something that captures your eye as you’re driving past, then stop if you can. You’ll never see that moment again and you’ll never regret taking just a minute to capture that image. Some of my favourite shots have been from believing in what I just saw flashing past in the car was worth a picture.

Q: How can we capture our pets in photos?

Get down to their level. Pets love it when we can look ‘eye to eye’ and they feel more comfortable with you. By doing this you can also make sure you focus on their eyes – the window to their soul – and get that perfect frame.

You can also photograph them with their favourite toy, bed or place in the sun. If you can capture them happy and relaxed you’ll bring out their true personality.

Q: How can we get our pets involved in the family photos while on holiday? 

I always believe the key is to work with them. Don’t try to ‘create’ your shot. Instead, work with their natural behaviours and you’ll often get something that’s even better than you had planned before… If you’re spontaneous and work with them then you’ll see more of their true personality...

Q: What is your favourite type of animal to photograph?

I’m a massive fan of cheetahs, leopards, whales and turtles, but honestly, it’s probably a cow. I’ve always loved their chilled out personality mixed with their massive size, so they’re a real favourite.

Q: Kids and pets often move quickly and we sometimes miss moments. What are your tips on capturing these ‘blink or you’ll miss it’ moments?

Set your Canon camera to a high shutter speed, so 1/250 or ‘Sport’ setting if your camera has a shortcut. This will freeze the action and capture them without blur.

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