photographing your rabbit
BY CAROLYN RAUSCH
Yes, I have an Instagram for my rabbits. Why? Because I love taking adorable pictures of them! I have definitely seen improvements in my photos from when I started their account in June 2017 to the present. Most of those photos I have since deleted off of Instagram, but have kept on my phone. I am by no means a professional. More like an amateur/beginner, but that doesn't go to the core of what photography is about. Photography is about reaching others through your photos, whether that be inspiring them to pick up the camera themselves or making them laugh. That is what I strive to do. If you are aspiring to make an Instagram for your rabbit or just take some pictures of them, I have a few tips. These are just some of the things that I have learned along the way.
1. Decide on your style.
Look at other "bunstagrams" for photo inspiration. Don't completely copy off of them though... I've made that mistake before. One, it's no fun, and two, it's unfair to them. The reason certain accounts stand out is because they're original. Figure out what you like and remember, there is always room for change.
2. DO NOT Pose your rabbit.
This sounds really counter intuitive, doesn't it? If you want to take a picture of your rabbit, why would you not set up lights, backgrounds, props, etc.? Well, because it doesn't work. It's hard to make your rabbit sit still. And soon they'll get annoyed. A picture of an angry bunny isn't as cute. Instead, let you're rabbit do it's thing. Those can be the cutest photos in my opinion. For example, if you know you're rabbit binkies when you shake a bag of treats, try to take your picture then. It turns out to be more candid and super fun! (:
3. Lighting is everything.
When I started out, I took photos whenever, and my feed ended up looking messy. Some photos were light and others dark. Now I take photos at the same time everyday. I know that around noon, the sun shines right through the big window in my room. My photos end up looking really nice and bright. I only ever use natural light. No studio lights for me!
4. Don't forget the importance of positioning.
A rule of thumb is to not position your subject right in front of the light. It casts shadows. When I take my photos, I position my back to the window with my rabbit in front of me. It helps keep your pictures looking crisp, bright, and clear.
5. Show your rabbits personality.
Every rabbit has a personality. Try to show case it! If your rabbit is mischievous, take those pictures of him digging through the trash - my rabbits do it too! Bring the bad out with the good on your account, unless of course it's not the style you're aiming for. It also helps to bring out your rabbit's personality in your Instagram captions as well. One thing that I sometimes do is make it as if my rabbit is talking. For example, if you post a pictures of your rabbit being groomed, instead of saying , "My rabbit is getting groomed," pretend your rabbit is talking and say, "Help! My hoomin is torturing me!" It makes your account more fun.
I hope to see lots more bunny Instagrams! Give us a follow on @rauschrabbitry and @bun_leo_ and we will be sure to check you out.
why every rabbit should try agility
BY CAROLYN RAUSCH
I LOVE doing agility with my rabbits. It doesn't just benefit me, but noticeably my rabbits as well. I first joined agility with my Mini Rex Leo and I honestly found it super frustrating. Leo was not good at agility. I would set her down on the floor and she would refuse to move. My big turning point came when I realized that Leo really wasn't enjoying it. I couldn't understand what I was doing wrong! I was doing it by the book. I had her H harness on snug and her 6 ft. leash attached. No treats were given and if she refused to move I pushed her with my feet. One day at practice, amidst my frustration, I set her down, harness off, and stepped away. And to my surprise she was willing to jump. It made me realize that maybe Leo wasn't bad at agility, maybe I was just interpreting her body language wrong. Now that I better understand her body language, not only has she won a blue ribbon at the fair in agility and can jump 8 bars, but her health, happiness, and our bond has improved. Agility is of course a workout for the bunnies, one that I believe is good for them. And because she enjoys doing it, she gets excited and willing to jump. It is also a fun activity that we do together that strengthens our bond. I listen to her and I'd like to think she listens to me too ;).
To conclude, every handler and bunny should try agility. You can find classes through 4H, your local Humane Society, or just set up a makeshift course in your backyard. Trust me, it doesn't take anything fancy! My backyard supplies works just as well as the 4H supplies. And, with your backyard supplies, you can get creative! Find competitions at your county fair or just do it for fun. So what are you waiting for? Gather your bunny, set up your course, be creative, and have fun!