Tips & Tricks for Taking Good Paw and Nose Photos

It's easy to get a clear photo when you try these suggestions
Getting a good photo is the first step to creating a beautiful and detailed pet paw or nose print. The traditional method of using ink, paint or clay imprint can be stressful and messy.  A lot of pets really don't like having their paws or noses touched and handled.  Luckily, getting a photo should be a much easier task so you can get a paw or nose print keepsake without the hassle.
two cats sitting next to frame cat nose print keepsake

What makes a photo "good" ?

As much as I absolutely love seeing cute dog and cat photos all day, there are specific things I look at when checking if a photo will work well to create your pet print keepsake.

Here's what I need, in order of what is most important to the least:
  1. Photo is in focus!  Specifically, the paw/nose is where the camera is focused
  2. Camera set to high-quality mode
  3. Pet paw/nose not turned to the side too much
  4. Not too dark or too light
Let's go over these one by one so you can get the best photo possible.
Here's what "good" photos look like...

Photo is in focus (& close up)

If you aren't quite sure how to focus your camera, you should spend some time playing around and learning the basics. If you are too close or in low light, the camera can't focus.  You may need to tap the phone where I want the camera to focus. You can tap and hold to lock the focus, which can help if your pet is not holding completely still. 

Of course, your pet isn't always going to just sit completely still so you can get your photo in focus.  I recommend trying to take a photo when you pet is usually calm and relaxed, not right before walk-time!  Nose photos are easy to get while your pet is sleeping, and paw photos can be easier if you have someone to help you and might be possible while your pet naps.

A recommended distance from the paw/nose to your camera is about 8-10 inches.

After you take your photos, have a look at them to see if they are clear and in focus.  Zoom in a little to see if you can see the details of the paw and nose or if they are blurry. 

Taking photos is free so take as many as you want until the paw or nose photo looks crisp.
All of these photos could use a little work...

Camera settings are set for Highest quality

If you are using a smartphone camera to take your photos, you should check the photo quality settings.  Because we take so many photos these days, often our phones are set to a mid- or low-quality setting so that the photo takes up less storage.

A few tips for all types of phone cameras - Clean camera lens before taking photo, take photo in good light and don't use the camera's zoom.
For iPhone
  1. Open camera settings
  2. Tap on "Formats"
  3. Select "Most Compatible"
For Android
  1. Open camera settings
  2. Find the "Camera Ratio" or "Photo Size" setting
  3. Choose the setting with the highest MP (mega pixels) available - 12MP, 20MP, 64MP, whichever is the highest your phone is capable of
If you'd like more information on improving photo quality on a smartphone, this is a helpful article.
More good photos...
More photos that could be better...

Paw or Nose is Facing forward - not turned to the side

Because the prints are made from a photo, if part of the paw or nose is turned from the camera so it can't be seen, the missing part can't be captured

Try to get your pet's paw or nose face as straight to the camera as possible.  I know that can be tough, especially if you have a pet that doesn't like to look at the camera.  For nose photos, you can try getting them to look at you by holding a treat by the camera.

You also have the option to submit multiple photos.  This is recommended so that if a part of the paw or nose is hard to see or out of focus, it can be pulled from another photo to create a complete print.

Photo has good lighting

While modern phone cameras use enhancing technology to brighten dark photos, it’s best to locate your pet in a well-lit area

A room filled with natural light is your best bet.  Try to avoid heavy shadows over the paw/nose. Check that your head, camera or hand are not casting dark shadows.

And don’t use the flash on the camera because it will wash out the fine details of the paw and nose - and those are the details you really want for your personalized pet gift.

Tame that Fur & dirt

Stray fur, dust and other imperfections will be edited out for a clean and clear print, however it is best to start with the cleanest paw or nose possible.

Too much fur between the paw pads blocks part of your pet's paw.  So, for the most accurate print it is best to trim the fur if possible.

The same is true for dirt and debris. You only need to do a quick wipe to get any big pieces off, the paw and nose don't need to be completely clean, but the cleaner the better.

Avoid sending screenshots

If you are like many pet owners, you've posted lots of cute photos of your pet on social media.  So when you think about grabbing a photo of your pet's nose, you know of one really good one you've posted and it seems easiest to screenshot it and submit it for your keepsake.

The problem is that all the high-quality settings from your camera get stripped when you post things to social media and a screenshot an even lower quality image.

Sometimes customers are trying to surprise a pet owner with a keepsake gift and screen shot from the pet owner's social media to get a photo.  And, while this can work - just keep in mind that some of the details will likely be lost.

Whenever possible, it is best to send the original photo from your camera reel, it it's original quality.

Create your keepsake today

Now that you're familiar with how to get a really good paw or nose photo - don't wait to preserve your pet's prints, start your custom keepsake now!
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Pet Paw & Nose Print
$ 55.00

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