Photography, your dog, is a great way to capture a special family member. It’s also a great practice that will help you improve your photography skills.
As with any portrait session, it is important to visualize what you want. This step is crucial. It can be difficult to choose the right one. If you know what you want, it is much easier to create a portrait that you love.
Is it a working dog? What size dog is it? Is it a small, friendly lap dog? These are just a few of the questions that will help you choose the right backdrop. A stunning picture of an Irish Setter standing at sunset in a field full of wild grasses would look amazing. You might never see your Chihuahua again if you stick it there! A Chihuahua sitting on the brim of a large Mexican hat would make a cute picture. It would be absurd to imagine an Irish Setter sitting there. (And smash the hat!
Your dog will obey you. It can be difficult to get your dog in the right position. Then, every time you go to take a shot, the dog follows you lovingly. You may need to take your dog back if you are alone and reposition him multiple times before you get the idea. They don’t understand the situation, and you shouldn’t be mad at them. Your dog will not be helped by your yelling. It will make them feel bad, and it will ruin any shots they do get.
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Don’t give your dog treats to get them to stay put. You won’t get a good shot if they are looking at the food and chewing on it. They’ll then come back to you, hoping for more once the treat is gone.
Ask someone to pose your dog if you are able. This will ensure that you are ready to take the shutter when you get a good shot. You should use a wide-angle lens to narrow your field of vision. Your helper can stay close to the dog and grab it whenever it moves. The dog will eventually get the idea and start to pose for you.
Long lenses allow you to fill the frame without having to move your helper.
THIS IS VITAL!
Pet portraits are most often destroyed by making your pet too small for the frame. When we see the beautiful scenery, we shoot it, and then when we look at the final print, the dog is just a small blob in the corner. Fill in the frame! It’s better to eliminate the background than to not be able to see your subject. Same with people.
Take photos at the dog’s level. Unless you’re very short or your dog is very tall, it’s impossible to imagine a session in which you’re not on one knee or both.
Concentrate on your eyes. Sharp eyes can save many photos that might not be as good. You need to get back enough that your eyes are sharp without blurring the nose or distorting it. Make sure you have a catch light for your eyes. It’s better to throw away any photos that don’t have catch lamps.
Dogs must be alert and attentive. You can do this by making sure your ears are up. Here’s how. You can give your dog a squeaking toy without him knowing. Once the dog is properly positioned, you can squeak it. You will see the dog wiggle its head and give it a great, attentive expression.
BE READY AND FOCUSED
Snap the picture as soon as the dog looks at you. The shutter button should be at least halfway depressed to enable autofocus. It is important to work fast! It takes more time to read the last sentence than it should. It takes a lot longer to read the last sentence.
You can take many photos of each pose. It is amazing to see how quickly a dog can lick its nose and swoop its tongue.
At least one shot should be taken of them lying down at 45 degrees to the camera. One shot from each side (from the right and left), and one straight onto the camera. The same sequence applies to sitting. Zoom in to get a full-frame head shot. If you are lying down, get head and front feet–just like the Sphinx. Begin by talking gently to your dog while you take a few full profiles and 3/4 photos.
These are just a few of the ideas you can try. You will be amazed, I’m sure. I’m sure the people who see your photos will be astonished.