Saturday, October 30, 2021

Capture the true art of doggy photography

Whether you want to set them up with an Instagram account to rival Doug the Pug or just love the idea of sending your loved ones daily doggy updates, you’re going to need to find out how to take a decent picture of your pooch to make it happen. Unfortunately, if you’re anything like most dog owners, capturing the photogenic side of your four-legged friend is a task much easier said than done.

After all, most dogs would prefer to attack a camera than pose for it. Some may even have a creepy sixth sense of running away before you can snap them about their business! Either way, by the end of the session, you can’t help but think how relevant the saying ‘never work with animals’ is.

In reality, though, as Doug and other dogs like him prove, every pooch has the potential to unveil his photogenic side. Instead of despairing and blaming your dogs for your failures so far, you as the photographer could therefore benefit from putting your head down and thinking about how you’re going to bring it out using these fundamental pointers. 

# 1 - Get your dog used to the camera

Unsplash Image: CC0 License

Whether your dog’s a laid-back lad or a hyperactive honey, the chances are that they don’t react all that well to new things. With this being the case, suddenly turning on them with a camera could result in real-action pictures of them either running away or opening their mouths wide to attack. Neither of which is going to show them in their best light. To avoid this, it’s vital to get your dog used to the camera before you invest too much time here. The good news is that, with most of us now having great cameras on our phones, you’ll already be halfway there with this. Further those benefits by turning off any startling features like flash, shutter noise, etc., and just getting your dog used to no-pressure photoshoots where you likely delete all of the results anyway. Then, when you do get down to the serious business of trying to take decent doggy pictures, they’re way more likely to get on board with whatever they’re up to without batting so much as an eye about whatever you’re strange things their owners are up to.

# 2 - Take all of the pictures

You might be able to capture a good family portrait in two or three goes, but that’s not the way that dog photography rumbles. Rather, this is a candid free-for-all that relies on your ability to capture potentially hundreds of pictures and pick the best from the bunch in the end. Before you embark on your next dog-based photoshoot, it’s therefore especially worth setting your camera, phone, or and other devices to burst mode so that you can capture continuous sequences for results in real-time without the stress. Make sure, too, that you simplify the mammoth task of sorting through them all by downloading an app like Gemini in advance so that you can delete duplicate photos en masse. That way, you significantly increase your chances of not only capturing the perfect picture in the first place, but also that you’ll spot that gem from the crowd in half the time.

# 2 - Remember that timing is everything

Unsplash Image: CC0 License

Even human models would struggle to perform their best if they were exhausted after a long day or had just woken up. Dogs are especially susceptible to moods and a lack of cooperation if they’re tired, hungry, or otherwise disgruntled. Hence why it’s also essential that you time these shoots well to ensure the best results that don’t see your dog turning its back on you altogether. Mid-afternoon is perhaps the most obvious time to choose as it should see you with well-fed, post-nap dogs to capture. However, you should also think about what you’re trying to capture in the first place here, with energetic shoots often best early on or pre-walk, while a more chilled out snuggly photo vibe might mean waiting until after walks and mealtimes when your dogs are more likely to sit still while you work on finding their best angle.

It can be undeniably frustrating when everyone else is cracking out the puppy portraits and you struggle to capture more than those teeth coming to attack your camera, but just as all dogs can be trained, all dogs can look great in a picture. You simply need to keep these pointers in mind to make it possible. 


This post was written with the Life According to Steph audience in mind, can you tell why? LOL

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