Tips for Taking Photos of Your Own Dogs From a Toledo Pet Photographer.
You don’t have to be a photographer to enjoy documenting your life through photos. Many of us snap pictures on our cell phones on a daily basis. Kids, food, pets, friends, and activities; do you ever encounter a subject that you wish you could take better photos of? All living creatures are a bit of a challenge. They move, the make weird expressions, they don’t always listen or know how to pose. In this article I specifically want to talk about photographing your wiggly woofers.
Most of photographing animals is waiting for the right moment. You have to go into it with a willingness to go with the flow and take your time. Dogs cannot be communicated with in the same way as a person. You can tell them to sit, stay and lay. You cannot always tell them to tilt their heads, to sit straighter, or not to blink. Often, you will need to follow their lead, (sometimes literally following them around the house), and be ready to catch the best moments as they happen naturally.
Eye contact is not always necessary, but it can give your photos a dynamic connection that brings them to life. Eye contact can be achieved by holding a treat or making silly noises. I click, I whistle, and sometimes I even bring a squeaker to grab their attention. Saying their name can do the trick. You have to be very quick though as the eye contact only lasts a second.
Most of us are aware of situations where our dogs are much more attentive to us than others. At home in the normal routine, my pups are fairly willing to listen to my commands. If someone special comes to visit, they tend to lose their minds a little bit. For your dogs it might be best to put toys away or have the kids go in another room. My dogs get hyped watching the squirrels in the yard so I typically avoid a room with any eye-level windows. Think about those things that could distract your dogs from your directions and remove them while you take their picture.
What is behind your dog can make a huge impact on what your final image looks like. Typically, you want to find a plain background that does not take any attention away from the dog. I try to position them in front of a plain wall, on a piece of furniture or outside in a spot that has a good color contrast to their fur. A black dog on a black blanket in a dark room will not stand out nearly as well as a black dog in the snow. Think about what is behind them as you take their picture.
Having bully breeds has taught me how much you CANNOT FORCE THEM to do anything. If your dogs do not want to cooperate, do not push it. Do not get physical, do not yell, do not discipline them. Your dogs have no idea what you want from them when you point a camera or a cell phone at them. You cannot fault them for being confused or even nervous. Your pups will feed off of your energy and if you seem stressed or angry it will make them feel uneasy. Keep things as lighthearted as possible. It may be better to give treats and play with toys and just document their candid moments rather than trying to make them sit and look at the camera. Knowing your dogs and setting realistic expectations is key to having a fun and rewarding experience photographing them.
I encourage you to take the time to document your loved ones everyday. Whether they have four legs or two, you will cherish those memories you can look back on.
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