Dog Photography Tips: How to Capture the Perfect Moment
How to Get Your Dogs to Model
I love photography and my dogs make perfect subjects. I've been successful at photographing them because I always make sure that they are happy and feeling playful when we do photoshoots. I update their photos from time to time because I regularly submit images of them with my articles to pet magazines. I am also active in at least two dog forums where I post my dogs' pictures. I also post their latest photos on Facebook regularly so that friends can see how cute they are as they grow old gracefully.
While I'm no professional by any means, I have had great success at capturing special moments. In this article, we will talk about how to master the following:
- Action Shots
- Glamour Shots
- Look-at-the-Camera Shots
- Sit-and-Stay Shots
- Cute-and-Cuddly Shots
The Secret to Good Dog Photos
Keep in mind that this article is not about professional photography, rather, it's about my personal experience as a dog owner and lover of photography. I enjoy taking photos of my dogs and I like to take good pictures of them without it being stressful.
I will not be discussing camera techniques in this article, so you should refer to a professional photographer for further training. But here's a secret: Capturing a good dog photo is all about the connection between you and your subject—nothing more and nothing less.
1. How to Get Action Shots of Your Dog
Getting an action shot means taking photos of your subject(s) while they are playing. When it comes to dogs, it is very natural for them to be in action—they can move around according to what's natural for them.
For a good action shot, dogs don't even have to get told to play . . . they will do so naturally. In order to capture the perfect shot, simply have all the right presets ready to go on your camera and keep your camera with you at all times. Is your dog having fun? Have your camera ready. You never know when you will catch that golden moment.
2. How to Get Good Glamour Shots of Your Dog
When it comes to glamour shots, dogs are required to wear cute or casual dog clothes. It can also mean that your dog might wear a hat that matches his or her harness or a shirt or cute dog accessories.
It's the photographer's role to capture the subject's most glamorous look and pose. It's important that you are quick to react and capture that moment when the opportunity presents.
3. How to Make a Dog Look at the Camera
Depending on the dogs' moods, it can be a bit of a challenge to make them look at the camera. The person taking the photograph must be able to call the dogs by name. If you are just photographing one dog, it's a bit easier, but if you want two dogs to look at the camera at the same time, this requires that the dogs are already bonded.
Dogs normally look at you when you call their names, so you can simply use this technique during the photo shoot. Try to be funny—my dogs look at me playfully whenever I make funny faces at them. You can also try to make funny and distracting noises that draw their attention—just never anything scary.
4. How to Get a Dog to Hold a Pose and Sit Still
Getting your dog to stay still can be a lot harder than trying to get your dog to look at the camera, though in this type of shot, looking at the camera will not be required—you simply want to get the two dogs to stay together. Again, making one dog sit and stay is far easier than doing it with two or more. But remember that dogs will look up to you and will generally follow your command.
Bribe them with treats every time they obey and soon you can make them sit together. This will take time, but there is a chance that your dogs will just simply sit together without being told. Just make sure to be quick in clicking the camera—dogs are impatient models, too.
5. How to Get Cute and Cuddly Shots of Your Dog
When is the best time to take pictures of your dog? The best time to take photos of your dog is when they are sleeping. The cuteness in these photos is just so natural and innocent. Just be careful with your movements because you can easily wake them up with one single noise.
Good Photography Habits: Tips, Suggestions, and Techniques
Here are some important dog photography rules to follow:
Make Sure Everyone Is Comfortable
Dog photography is easier when both the humans and dogs have a good rapport with one another. This means that the dogs that are being photographed are comfortable with their humans and that the participating humans know the behavior of the dogs well.
Remember: Dog photography requires patience. Our models are dogs and not professional human models that can understand all of our instructions. We, humans, are to adapt to what our dogs are capable of doing, not vice versa.
You can use treats or toys to keep dogs looking at you. Reward them with treats and don't ever make them feel pressured to take a photo if they aren't comfortable. Make sure they feel like the photography session is a game and that they are having fun.
Know When to Stop
If you think you are the one running out of patience, it means it is time to stop the photo session and continue on another day. Always remember that we take photographs of our dogs to enjoy the moment with them—not for other purposes.
Never Force It
We must always remind ourselves that we should never force a dog to do something as this can be ineffective and can actually be quite damaging. I can always show my dog photos to everyone in confidence that I never threatened my dog just for one good photo. I hope you abide by the same rules.
Pet Photography Tips From a Professional
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