5 Tips for Photographing Chickens

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by MyPetChicken, Oct 9, 2015.

  1. MyPetChicken

    MyPetChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    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.

    Here is what I learned:

    • 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.


    Just so you won't think I'm making wild claims, here are some of the bloopers from this past year's shoots:

    Chicken Bloopers

    What has your experience been? Where have your best shots taken place? Care to share your pictures? I'd love to see them!

    Alex
    My Pet Chicken
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  2. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Overrun With Chickens

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    Finger Lakes, NY
    Haha! [​IMG] I'm glad I'm not the only one will a box/camera full of out-takes....good tips, but have you told the chickens yet?
     
  3. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Hey MyPetChicken .. great tips and love the Bloopers!

    I also enjoy taking pictures of my gals and yep, out of hundreds of shots, get one or maybe two nice ones.

    I get as low to the ground as I can [trying hard to avoid the chicken poop but not always successful [​IMG]] as I also agree the pictures look much better if not looking down on them. I agree background is important and can make or break a picture. I like to have 'greenery' in the background; I just love the pics of chickens without wire.

    I have another tip if that is OK, 'know your subject' .. in that I know that Dusty never seems to produce a good body shot so stick with head shots with her and I have a couple who are posers [​IMG]

    I only take the pictures for my pleasure and/or sharing with friends, BYC etc and definitely do not consider myself to be a photographer, but I do have a couple I would like to share.

    Bloopers first .. I also have a shake-it-off [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    "Wait, that feather is out of place!"

    [​IMG]

    "Me too! Feather out of place!":

    [​IMG]

    Dusty:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Blondie:

    [​IMG]

    LuLu:

    [​IMG]

    Babies:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 7, 2011
    Finger Lakes, NY
    Very nice! What camera do you use?
     
  5. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Thank You! :)

    It is a Fujifilm Finepix S-Series
     
  6. Alexandra33

    Alexandra33 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Here are some of mine, if you all don't mind! I'm never without a camera when I'm out spending time with the girls and boys. [​IMG]
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    -Alex
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  7. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Those are some beautiful pics! [​IMG]
     
  8. Alexandra33

    Alexandra33 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you so much! [​IMG]

    -Alex
     
  9. MyPetChicken

    MyPetChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 2, 2007


    Those are great tips, thank you! I love your pictures! I agree that knowing your subjects is important.


    Those are great pictures! Thank you so much for sharing.
     
  10. Alexandra33

    Alexandra33 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you!
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2015

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