Advice animals tips

Surprise your pet

One of the most difficult aspects of pet photography is keeping your pet still. (Especially if you have a pretty energetic pet…) So here’s an easy trick: First, let your pet play quietly. Then, once you have your camera set up and ready, give a quick whistle. This will surprise your pet. With luck, you’ll have a few seconds to capture them in a nice, alert posture!

Go macro

Macro pet photography is intimate and often stunning. And it’s not tough to do, either. Simply use a macro lens, a telephoto lens, or some type of close-focusing camera. Then fill the frame with your pet’s face and fur! You’ll soon find that close-up shots make some of the best pet portraits!

Highlight your pet’s character

You know your pet better than anyone else, and a successful picture is one that conveys the character of its subject. So try to display your pet’s character in your photos. If you have a lazy cat, show them yawning. If your animal is of the playful type, show them in action performing their favorite trick. Really, the opportunities are endless! Just ask yourself: What is special about my pet? And then try to communicate that in your next photo!

Go to your pet

It is very important that your pet feels comfortable and at ease. So instead of forcing your pet to come to you… …go to them. Most importantly, get down on your pet’s level. Sit on the floor or lie on your belly and remember to shoot from your pet’s eye level or below. We all know how a dog looks when viewed from above; this is the way we always see them. Instead, show us how your pet sees the world!

Keep the eyes sharp

Sharp eyes are always important in portrait photography – and pet photography is no different! As they say, “The eyes are the window to the soul.” And your pet’s eyes can be very expressive. So make sure to focus on your pet’s eyes. Keep them tack sharp. (If you’re working with a shallow depth of field and can only get one eye in focus, make sure it’s the one closer to the camera!) These days, some cameras offer eye AF for animals. With eye AF activated, your camera will identify your pet’s eyes – and nail focus consistently! So if your camera does offer this feature, I highly recommend you try it out.

Know when to seek help

Both the woman and the man should consider having an infertility evaluation if the woman is 35 or older and has not become pregnant after six months of having sex regularly without using birth control, Pavone said. Pavone also recommended that a woman who is under 35 and her partner should consult a fertility specialist if she hasn't become pregnant after one year of having unprotected intercourse on a regular basis.

Kick the smoking and drinking habits

Smoking can lead to fertility problems in both women and men. Chemicals found in cigarette smoke, such as nicotine and carbon monoxide, speed up the loss rate of a woman's eggs, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Smoking ages a woman's ovaries and depletes her supply of eggs prematurely, according to the Mayo Clinic. In a study published in 2020 in the journal Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, researchers looked at scientific findings around smoking, alcohol, addiction and fertility; they found that smoking is linked to decreased fertility. It's also a good idea for women to stay away from secondhand smoke, which may affect their chances of becoming pregnant. Marijuana and other recreational drug use should also be avoided while trying to conceive. It's safest for a woman to avoid alcohol when she is hoping to become pregnant. A woman should also stop consuming alcohol if she stops using birth control because she wants to get pregnant. That said, a 2019 Danish study of 1,708 women over a five-year period did not find a link between regular alcohol consumption and binge drinking, and fertility, according to the study published in the journal Human Reproduction. However, a 2017 study published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology found that about half of pregnant women in the United States drink alcohol around the time they become pregnant or in early pregnancy, usually before they know they are expecting. Drinking alcohol at moderate (one to two drinks per day) or heavy (more than two drinks per day) levels can make it difficult for a woman to get pregnant, according to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Once a woman becomes pregnant, there's no safe amount of alcohol, Pavone said.

Be aware of age-related fertility declines

As women get older, their fertility decreases. This is because of age-related changes in the ovaries that cause a decline in the quantity and quality of her eggs. With advancing age, there's also an increased risk for some health problems, such as uterine fibroids, endometriosis and blockage of the fallopian tubes, which can contribute to a loss of fertility. There's a gradual fertility decline in women beginning in their 30s, a sharper decline after age 37 and a steep fertility decline after age 40, Pavone said. These declines mean that it may take longer to become pregnant.

Prepare yourself for kids with a wide range of skills.

“Be ready for kids who are readers, kids who have never seen letters, and everything in between. I love my kinders dearly and find so much joy in watching their little light bulbs go on for the first time! They’re a different bunch to be sure, but they’re a blast!” —Maggie V.

Cut back on strenuous workouts

Being physically active most days of the week can help a woman's body prepare for the demands of pregnancy and labor, and has been associated with a reduced risk of fertility problems, scientists reported in the March 2020 issue of the journal Human Reproduction. But getting too much exercise or doing frequent strenuous workouts could interfere with ovulation, Live Science reported. Doctors see a lot of menstrual disturbances in women who exercise heavily, and a lot of times these women need to cut back on their workouts if they want to become pregnant, Pavone told Live Science.