Taking photos of your sweet ratties isn't like normal pet photography..it's extreme pet photography! If they aren't asleep then they're grooming and zooming. How many blurry rattie photos do you have on your phone right now?! 50, 100?! These cuties can be so hard to photograph on the fly so here are a few tips I've found to help you get a clearer shot of your bub when they're up and about.
Think about lighting - it can be tricky to achieve clear photos from inside the cage because it's usually darker inside with all the layers of hammocks and platforms. If you can't brighten the inside of the cage easily, like opening nearby blinds, then think about bringing your ratties into a free range space that's been set up for them like a table, suitable room or on your bed. This also avoids having photos with cage bars in the foreground and background which doesn't have a great aesthetic and makes the photos so busy. Plan a photo shoot! It's easiest to do a photo shoot on a smaller surface area like a table or a couch.
You'll need a hide - Try using a hide you really like the look of, I always like how the mulberry wood bridges look so I pull them out of their cage to use. Having a hide will often give the rats a spot to take a break from exploring, they'll rest a minute and this is your moment to take photos!
If your ratties are always on the go try using food, I like to use pumpkin seeds or a few broken up nuts. I also recently picked up some seed as a very special treat and this worked particularly well because it took a while for Sushi to work through the seeds. As she carefully ate each one and moved to the next she sat quite still which offered some great photo opportunities.
Try having a few ratties out at once for photos. I bring out at least three ratties if I'm wanting to take some photos because not everyone will be interested in being near the camera. Rats also seem to be more confident when more of them are in a space so this helps them to behave naturally so you can capture those grooming moments or cute stretching that they do.
Some ratties will be more photogenic than others too so try rotating through your ratties for the photo shoots. It's best to keep the shoots short and sharp, I'll focus on photos for 10 or 15 minutes then we just hang out. Be patient and don't stress. Some days you might only get one or two perfect photos, but the more often you have these little photo shoots the more likely you'll get better photos and the more comfortable they'll become. Be warned though..you'll always get belly-feet shots because someone will always want to come and investigate that interesting contraption your pointing at them, be it your phone or digital camera!
..and remember the more interactions you share with your ratties like this the more you'll bond and see their unique personalities shine.