How to Take Beautiful Pictures of Poultry and Land Your Bird on the Cover of the Meyer Hatchery Catalog

Every chick’s dream is to be on the cover of the Meyer Hatchery catalog. Help make your chick’s dream a reality by taking really great pictures of your birds. To ensure your photo is cover chick quality, read through our list of tips and tricks to set up your photo shoot.

Occupy your Subject: Taking pictures of moving objects can be a challenge, so setting yourself up for success is key. Try throwing out some treats to keep them occupied and clap or whistle to get their attention for a great shot!

Clean Your Lens: Always double check that your lens is clean and ready to take the best photo it can!

Perspective: Consider your angle! The best angle may require you to kneel or even lay on the ground to get the shot. In general, it is best to be eye level with your photo subject. Or, experiment with perspectives you haven’t considered before.

Lighting: Understand where the light is coming from and how best to use it. Photos taken in full sun at noon, for example, may look washed out and have funky shadows. Overcast conditions can provide good lighting without the weird shadow, but morning and evening sun can be reliable options too. Never use your flash.

Background: The background of the photo should not detract from the subject. Uncluttered, natural backgrounds work well, as do barns. Consider the color of the subject you are shooting. A black feathered bird will be difficult to see against a dark background.

Depth of Field and Focus: It may seem obvious, but a good photo should have the subject in focus. Never zoom when taking a picture, as it lowers the quality of the photo.

Don’t Snap Just One!!! There is a reason that photographers capture so many photos of the same scene. Having options will allow you to toss the photos that are not technically good. Things like out of focus subjects, blinking, uncooperative birds, and changes in lighting can all impact the quality of a photo. Aim to take at least 5 slightly different photos of the same setup.

Capture a Moment: Sometimes being in the right place at the right time is all you need to photograph a moment that tells a captivating story. Does your cherubic child get hugs from a favorite goose? Does your rooster perch on a fence post and crow every morning at sunrise? Do your ducks play in rain puddles? A bit of whimsy, good timing, and a ready camera can make for great photos!

Ready – Set – Snap! Capturing a good quality picture on your phone can be accomplished if the right settings are applied. Follow these easy settings, along with the tips above on your iPhone or Android for great quality photos.

Send us Your Photos: For a photo to be usable for the cover of our catalog, we must have an 8×11, vertically orientated image with a minimum of 300dpi. When you are ready, you can upload your photo entries here!

This year, you also have the option of submitting photos on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter! You must use the hashtag #MH2018CoverChick. For Instagram and Twitter, you can simply add the hashtag to your own post. For Facebook, you must post the picture on the Meyer Hatchery wall and use the hashtag. Please keep in mind, in order for us to use your photo on the cover, it must meet the 300dpi minimum, and be an 8×11 vertically orientated photograph. If your photo is chosen, you will have to send in the raw original. For the 2018 catalog, Meyer Hatchery will accept entries starting on Aug 1 and no later than Aug 31.

Tips on how to use your phone for great pictures

This next section is for those using their smartphones. Great pictures can absolutely be taken with your smartphones, as long as we have the right settings. We have compiled some iPhone and Andoid specific tips to help point you in the right direction.

iPhone:

  • Use the grid: Go to Settings – Photos & Camera – Scroll down and turn on Grid

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  • The iPhone camera has a few different options to pick when taking a photo. The best option if posting to Instagram is picking Square, since all instagram posts are square. This will ensure your photo doesn’t get cut off.
  • Make sure HDR (High Dynamic Range) mode is turned on.
    Ensuring this mode is on lets you take photos that have high contrast light sources and still give you a photo without distorting the light or dark areas of the photo.
  • Hold down and spot your viewfinder to lock in on your desired object – this helps to lock in your focal point, so your phone doesn’t switch to another object.
  • Slide the exposure meter to lighten or darken images that you locked in your viewfinder.
  • Turn off your flash!
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This is what your screen will look like when set up with these options.

  • Snap photos with the volume button – this can help you gain better control over your phone and not loose your desired subject by trying to push the screen.
  • Use the burst mode to take action shots – this will allow you to pick the best picture from your moving target.
  • **If using side volume button, it will take picture after picture until you lift your finger off of button
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In your camera roll when looking at a photo that is part of a burst in the upper left-hand corner it will show you how many photos are part of your burst.

Andoid:

  • Your Android phones will have variations in camera settings between your different brands, but the following basic settings should apply to all. Look for the universal “gear” icon once you enter your camera app to adjust settings.
  • Megapixels/quality – make sure you are setting your MPs or quality to the highest setting. This will insure the best detail and quality of photograph. Not adjusting this setting could mean the photo will not be usable for our catalog cover.

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  • Adjust your mode to HDR – using this setting will help you capture your light, dark, and everything in between for a more realistic and enhanced photograph. More advanced users and phones can take it a step further and use the RAW setting for the most professional quality.

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  • As with the iPhone, take multiple pictures of your birds. You can use the burst setting if available, or simple get comfortable and snap away.

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