Today we’re talking taking better pictures at the zoo! If you want your photographic memories to be even better than your actual memories (after all, meltdowns are adorable in pictures!), just follow these 7 tips to better zoo pictures!
1. Get there early! There are a lot of reasons to go first thing in the morning. The weather is usually cooler and more animals are out, but more importantly you will also have better lighting and less people in the background of your photographs.
2. If your zoo has lots of windows looking to the animal habitats you will want to wear something dark so that it doesn’t reflect in the window, stopping you from getting good images of the animals.
3. If your zoo has fences make sure that you are focusing on the animals and not on the fence by moving the focal points or camera. Using an open aperture will virtually remove the fence from the image. If you don’t know about apertures try using the portrait icon.
4. Of course you want lots of photographs with your children interacting with the animals and exhibits but don’t forget zoos are landscaped beautifully and they are the perfect place to capture a more traditional portrait. I also love to look for spots that will frame the subject like caves, gates, doors, and windows.
5. Don’t forget to hand off the camera. Maybe you are like me and by the end of the day at the zoo you feel frazzled and not at your cutest, but don’t think about how you feel now. Think about how your children will feel as adults looking at the photographs. Wouldn’t you treasure a photograph of you with your Mom at the zoo like this image of Amanda and her sweet Vivi? Or Sarah being hugged by all the kids? I know I would love to have a photograph like that.
6. If you plan on getting great animal and people shots bring your longest zoom lens. It will help for capturing the animals yes…but really it helps a lot in being able to stand back a little and capture the action of your children with a more photojournalistic view.
7. Remember they don’t always need to be smiling at the camera. Give them something to do! Below you can see Vivi checking off her list, Sebastian pretending to be an alligator, Charlie wandering, Afton and Sebastian petting snakes and all the kids feeding the birds. They aren’t looking at the camera in most of these but it perfectly captures a fun day at the zoo.
These are just a few simple tips but they can make a big difference! I hope they help you out in the future capturing your zoo visits.