HOW TO PHOTOGRAPH
Designate a spot – Natural lighting is your friend, but clear bright artificial lighting can work too. In my case, I use a table beside a window. (10am-11am and 3PM – 5PM are my optimum photo times. This will probably be different for you based on the location of your house/placement of the window) Shades can be turned up and down to change the tone/brightness of the lighting coming through the window.
White back drops are ideal as they help lighten the photo without adding a tint, but other colors can be used too. Be mindful of your rats color when selecting a backdrop – black rats wont show well on a black background.
After you pick the backdrop, add whichever, if any, props you’d like. Rearrange and play to see what looks best or what you like most. Be aware your rats will likely rearrange for you to some degree and any props should be rat-safe because of this.
NOW the hard part – Adding the rats.
Your rat, especially if they’re a nervous type, is going to dislike being placed in an area with bright lighting. They’re gonna try to scurry, or hide, or typically move a lot in attempt to find somewhere else to go – this is fine, let them. Keep placing them back in the spot you want them to be.
This is time consuming and patience testing, but just keep putting them back. If they decide to investigate the props, let them. If they try to run, put them back where you want them.
Nervous rats will take longer, but eventually they will stop trying to run and start grooming themselves, or investigating the area you keep placing them at. Most will become acclimated to this new area and calm down enough to start taking photos.
I place the phone (which is what I use) on the table to keep it steady and keep my finger ready to snap a quick photo when they become randomly still/start grooming.
TIPS & TRICKS -
Blow just a bit and most rats will turn to smell your breath (Chewing a piece of gum or some other smelly food before or while doing this helps peak their interest).
To keep them in a spot, dab a bit of extract in the spot you want. Most rats will stop to investigate. OR you can let them play on the fabric and then use it as a backdrop. The fact it smells like them, helps calm them down.
Sucking your teeth to make a noise can grab their attention for a minute, but this varies rat to rat.
Some rats will try to constantly investigate your phone/camera. There's really no fix for this other than discouraging or allowing the behavior. Discourage by moving them or the camera away -- encourage it by allowing them to investigate your device until their curiosity is sated.
- Getting decent pictures also has a lot to do with quick reflexes and chance. Rats will pause randomly and you've got to be ready to click the button
I use Picsart to brighten my photos a tiny bit more.