Never work with children or animals: how to photograph your rat

On the heels of yesterday’s photo-taking expedition I thought I’d write a quick owner’s guide on how to snap your rat in action and what to expect when taking pics 🙂

The most important thing is to understand what to expect. The photo you want to get is this one. (Stolen from a page on rat anaesthesia):

Perfect rat photo

See? Perfect focus. Handsome rat. Cute pose. Nice background. Manage your expectations, friend; you’re taking a snap of your own scruffy and not exactly camera-trained beloved pets, against the backdrop of your cheerfully cluttered home. And since most rats aren’t camera-trained and happy to sit still, the photo you actually get will be much more like this:


Or this:


Or even this.


You see rats, blast them, are either not interested in the camera at all or far too interested in it. They also don’t like sitting still – or having red lights flashed at them while the autofocus takes.

Speaking of flashing lights, here’s a great tip for convincing all your relatives you’ve taken Satan’s minions into your home: photograph your red-eyed rats with the flash on. Salt fhtagn!


The one positive tip I have is if you can, use a camera with a good, fast burst shooting mode: that way you’ll capture the few moments of stillness as they bounce around. And even if you don’t, the outtakes will make hilarious animated GIFs! My camera is a Canon Powershot S100, a moderately nice compact, and copes fine. The photos below come from one “take” of Pepper on the scales – all in all I took 39 shots to get the two I published in yesterday’s post!



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