In this digital world, anyone can be a social media star – including our pets.
Cute cats and dogs can even become pet influencers, like Pomeranian Jiffpom, who has ten million Instagram followers and can earn his owners £25,000 with a single sponsored post.
But to be an internet sensation, you need perfect photos, but that is easier said than done.
My Westie, Ernie, has been my little shadow in lockdown and I know he has star potential.
But there is a serious side to all this. Animal charities report that adoption requests rocketed in lockdown. And the better a dog looks on their websites, the more chance they will have of being snapped up for rehoming.
So how do you become a puparazzo? Some phones make it easier than others.
The Sony Xperia 1 II has great pet-friendly features. Sony has even tweaked its face recognition feature to include animals, as well as humans.
Here, animal photographer Liz Greggs reveals how to get the best photo, whether you want to share it with millions or frame it for yourself.
■ It’s all about the eyes. The Xperia1 II has an Animal Eye AF feature that focuses on your dog’s eyes so you can get great pictures, even if they’re camera shy.
■ Think fast. The faster the shutter speed, the easier it is to capture moving objects, such as dogs running, and keep them in focus.
■ Frame your photo. Get creative. Lie on the ground to find a new angle, or frame your pet with flowers in the foreground.
■ Stock up on treats. For a great action shot, snap away as you throw a treat straight to your dog’s mouth. The Xperia 1 II has continuous AF, which refocuses on your pet as it moves.
■ Keep it fun. Make sure photoshoots are a good experience. Keep sessions short and be sure to reward your dog.
During lockdown the All Dogs Matter charity recorded a 54 per cent increase in visits to their website from people looking for a pet companion.
They’ve also had a lot of interest from people wanting to rehome their dogs. Laura Hedges of alldogsmatter.co.uk, said: “Every dog has a unique personality. So we’re following Liz’s tips to make sure our new dogs’ headshots really bring this to life.”