Tips and Tricks for Taking Pictures of Poultry

by Lauren R

Published May 18, 2023

Hey there, fellow poultry enthusiasts! Whether you’re trying to capture the cuteness of day-old chicks, the beauty of growing birds, or the majesty of a full-grown gobbler, taking the perfect picture can sometimes be a bit of a challenge. Here at Meyer Hatchery, we take a lot of poultry photos and we’ve got you covered with our top tips and tricks for a successful photo shoot!

Step Up Your Poultry Photography

Occupy Your Subjects: Keep Your Chickens Busy and Happy

We all know that chickens can get around rather quickly and may seem more like moving targets when you’re trying to take a picture of them, so it’s important to keep them occupied and happy during your photo shoot. Try throwing some treats to keep them interested and engaged. Clap, whistle, or use other sounds like “CHICKIE CHICKIE” to grab their attention and get that perfect shot.

Lighting: Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (or the Light)

Good lighting is crucial for any photo shoot, and poultry photography is no exception. But don’t be afraid to experiment with different lighting conditions, from bright sun to overcast skies. Just be mindful of shadows and washed-out images. The direct noonday sun isn’t usually the best time to capture your best images. And whatever you do, avoid using your flash at all costs – it’s a surefire way to make your feathered friends squawk in protest.

Background: Keep It Simple, Keep It Natural

When it comes to backgrounds, less is definitely more. Choose simple, natural settings that won’t detract from your subjects. A clean, uncluttered background can work wonders. And be mindful of your bird’s coloring – you don’t want them to blend in with a dark or busy background.

Ayam Cemani Rooster - Meyer Hatchery
Light Brown Egg - Cell phone photo - Meyer Hatchery
Depth of Field and Focus: Keep Your Chickens in Focus

No matter how cute your chickens are, they won’t make for a great photo if they’re out of focus. Make sure to keep your camera settings in check.  Avoid zooming in because it can lower the quality of your photo on a smartphone. By adding depth of field, you can make your subject stand out even more. By keeping your subject in focus and blurring the background, you can draw the viewer’s attention to the main subject and make it pop.

Don’t Snap Just One: Take Flocks of Photos

Photographers know that taking multiple shots is the key to capturing that perfect moment. So don’t be afraid to snap away and take multiple photos of the same setup or scene. That way, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from and can weed out any shots that don’t quite make the cut.

Clean Your Lens: Keep It Clear

It may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to double-check that your lens is clean and free of smudges or dirt. This will ensure that your photos come out sharp and clear, and not blurry or smudged. I recommend wiping your lens off with a soft, clean cloth, before going to take a picture.

Perspective: Get Low and Get Creative

When it comes to poultry photography, the right perspective can make all the difference. Don’t be afraid to get down on your chicken’s level or try out new angles and perspectives. You never know what kind of magic you might capture with a little creativity and a lot of enthusiasm. 

Tell a Story: Add Some Whimsy to Your Photos

Sometimes, the best photos are the ones that capture a special moment or a bit of whimsy. So keep your eyes open for those magical moments – like your child hugging a favorite goose or your rooster crowing at sunrise. With a little bit of timing and a ready camera, you can capture a photo that tells a captivating story.

Runner Duckling - Meyer Hatchery

Ready – Set – Snap: Tips for Smartphone Photography

Nowadays, most of us use our smartphones to take pictures. While professional cameras can produce better-quality photos, you can still take great pictures with your phone. Here are some tips for both iPhone and Android users.

iPhone Tips:
  • Use the grid: Turn on the grid feature in your camera settings. This will help you line up your shots and create a balanced composition.
  • HDR Mode: Turn on HDR mode to capture a wider range of light and dark tones. This is especially helpful in high-contrast situations.
  • Lock Focus and Exposure: Tap and hold on to your subject to lock focus and exposure. This will ensure your subject stays in focus and properly exposed.
  • Use the Volume Button: Use the volume button on your phone to take pictures instead of tapping the screen. This will help you keep your phone steady and avoid blurry photos.
iPhone screenshot pictures of poultry duckling Meyer Hatchery
iPhone screenshot pictures of poultry Meyer Hatchery

The screenshot above shows the recommended photo settings for your iPhone to achieve the best results. The screenshot below shows the settings page on an Android device. Pay close attention to the size of the photo you capture, as reducing its quality may disqualify it from the Calendar Contest and diminish your photos’ overall quality.

Android Tips:
  • Adjust Settings: Look for the gear icon in your camera app to adjust settings such as megapixels and quality. Make sure to set these to the highest possible settings for the best photo quality.
  • HDR Mode: Turn on HDR mode to capture a wider range of tones.
  • Take Multiple Photos: Take multiple photos of your birds to ensure you have plenty of options to choose from. You can use burst mode if available, or simply snap away.
Android screenshot pictures of poultry Delaware Chicken Meyer Hatchery
Android Photo settings - Meyer Hatchery

With these tips and tricks, you’ll be well on your way to taking picture-perfect photos of your feathered friends. Remember to be patient and take your time setting up the shot, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different angles and perspectives. Whether you’re using a professional camera or your smartphone, the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the process. Happy snapping!

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