So you have a lovely hamster and you want to share their funny personality and good looks with your friends.
Does every photo turn out a blurry mess?
Here are five tips to get you better hamster photographs.
Hint: it’s all in the preparation!
Tip One: Safety
The most important part of any hamster photoshoot is safety. No photo is worth scaring or injuring your hamster.
Keep wires out of reach. Check lighting doesn’t make the photo area hot. Make sure that your hamster can’t fall or get lost.
A playpen is useful to keep your hamster safely contained. But it allows them freedom to move away from bright light or props they are not sure about.
Tip Two: Light
Good lighting can make the difference between meh and marvellous. Hamsters can move quickly so having a little extra light can help get those photographs in focus!
There are lots of options for additional lighting. Choose one that gives a non-coloured light without producing heat, for example white LEDs. If you have good natural light, then you could take your photos near a window or door (this is best for photos of hamsters being held for safety reasons).
This battery-powered LED light has helped take many hamster photographs here at Vectis; no wires and no heat plus its portability and flexibility make it very useful.
Tip Three: Background
A plain background helps your hamster stand out. Think about the colour of your hamster; white hamsters and white backgrounds are a tricky combination!
You can buy photo boxes or tents online that come with several different options for background. You could also use what you have at home, such as a blanket or curtain (under supervision, of course, to prevent nibbling.)
If you are planning on posting your photos online and you don’t like drama, have a little look at anything that is visible in the shot for their drama-causing potential.
Tip Four: Camera stability
Now you’ve got your safe area, light and background set up, take a moment to see how you are going to stabilise your camera or phone.
If you have a tripod, you could use this. However, it can limit your ability to respond to unpredictable hamstering.
Find somewhere you can rest your camera or phone, or your hands when you are holding it. Be prepared to take a LOT of photos to get that one nice shot. Check the memory on your device before you start!
Tip Five: Personality
Now it’s time for your hamster!
Great hamster photographs capture something of the personality of that individual. Don’t aim to take a photo that looks just like one you’ve seen.
Not all hamsters like being in a photo box for a photoshoot. Your hamster may prefer to have their photo taken when you are holding them. This is fine, and can make for a really sweet photo that captures that individual. Make sure that your hamster is well-supported when held, and not dangling their weight from a grip around their upper body.
Bonus Tip: Props
Props can be a cute addition to a photoshoot. Always remember the safety rule!
However, you don’t need a lot of expensive kit to make a sweet memory. I mean, look at what you can do with one bit of baby sweetcorn!