I've been a chicken lover for years! Just like many(all) of you, I want to show them off to friends, family, BYC-ers, and strangers who happen to accidentally ask me about my hobbies.
However, chickens are NOT the most cooperative subjects to take pictures of. I know I've gone through thousands of pictures looking for ONE that didn't make them look too light, too dark, too gangly, where did their other leg go?, do they really look like that?, etc.
The first thing I did was take to the ever-knowing Google for suggestions on photography. After taking this new found knowledge out to practice....a lot, I have some tips for anyone else trying to get that magazine-ready cover shot.
- Location, Location, Location: The background is probably just as, if not more important, than the chicken. Open fields, side of a barn, freshly mowed yard, etc
- Angle: Get a towel or yoga mat and lay down on the ground. You want your camera aiming at them mid chest. This helps them look proportionate and gives you a chance to really show their features.
- Lighting: Shadows are not friendly for chickens. They make dark chickens disappear. Bright sunshine isn't normally ideal either. The chickens will squint or you can loose white chickens with the reflection of the sun on their feathers. Early morning and overcast days are my favorite.
- Help: This is what really makes or breaks the photoshoot. Having chicken savvy help that can help herd the chickens back into the frame, while not being in the picture themselves, takes real skill.
- Patience: Even during my best shoots, the resulting 10-15 photos are a product of thousands of shots. Some are website worthy and others are photo-bloopers worthy. There is no magic number of shots or time it takes to get the 'perfect' shot. Some hens are just photogenic, and I could get the right picture in 5 frames.....others, I took 200 and still couldn't be satisfied.
What has your experience been? Where have your best shots taken place? Care to share your pictures? I'd love to see them!
Edited by MyPetChicken - 10/9/15 at 8:14am