Animal photography never goes out of style. People are especially fond of dog pictures since they capture the true essence of our loyal pets. Experts like to pick up on various aspects of the animal that can seemingly mirror human emotions. However, these pictures could get messy if you are unsure where to start.
If you are new to dog photography, this post is for you. It contains various tips, like how to pose your pet correctly or use the best photography cameras and tools. You’ll also find general tips for improving your results on every photoshoot.
7 Best Dog Photography Tips
Dogs are ideal for every pet photography shot. Dogs are ideal models for capturing the innocence of nature, as well as playfulness and unpredictability. Even if you don’t have much experience with them, their friendly and compliant nature makes them excellent subjects for beginners.
Dog photography gives you much room for learning and experimenting. While they are amongst the easiest pets to handle, it is always a good idea to be extra prepared. So, here are the seven best dog photography tips for impeccable outcomes:
1. Create the Appropriate Environment
The first and most vital tip for dog photography is creating the perfect setting. Dogs are very intuitive and can immediately sense a shift in their surroundings. So, while being professional is a priority, you must maintain general decorum in the room.
One of the first things you must be mindful of is not overcrowding the dog. These pets have a brief attention span, and multiple distractions might quickly overwhelm them. Further, if you are trying to get some tranquil shots, a hectic environment will likely throw your subject off.
2. Make Early Preparations
The next thing you should do before a pet photoshoot is to ensure early preparations. You should arrive at the set a couple of hours before the subject and check to make sure all the props and tools are ready. Since pets usually require constant attention, it would be tough to manage these things once the dog arrives. Further, you must also plan out your shots beforehand and get the correct tools.
If you want some fun portraits, select a wide-angle lens. Because these lenses have a short focal length, they can take pictures with a wide frame that is still sharply focused on the subject. With the correct lighting, these portraits can turn into true gems.
3. Select the Right Methods
All good photographers need a steady hand, an active imagination, and a calculative mind. If you are planning to shoot a subject you cannot instruct, you might as well adjust to its nature. Further, the person behind the camera needs to understand the subject’s mind on the other end. So, when your subjects are playful pets like dogs, their frenzy is one of the first things you should expect.
Once in a playful mood, a dog rarely stays still. It will keep moving and running around, fidgeting with the props and the surroundings. In such cases, using “burst mode” is ideal. It is suitable for capturing some strikingly candid shots that give off an immersive illusion.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Improvise
Along with being fidgety and chaotic, dogs are highly spontaneous. One minute, they might dig the ground, and the next they might roll over. Even if you have thoroughly planned out all shots with every possible outcome, you must be prepared to veer off track slightly.
If you see your subject taking on a different pose during a shot, do not hesitate to capture it. You can discard the image during the final review if you do not like it. Leaving room for improvisation lets you catch the subject at its most honest. Shots like these establish a sense of intimacy and comfort between the subject and the viewers.
5. Keep Your Subject Happy
As we mentioned earlier, a dog is quick to sense a mood shift in its surroundings due to its intuitive nature. If you want wide shots with props and scenic backgrounds, you should ensure that your subject is up for it. Dogs usually mirror your energy. So, if you want them to exude fun or mischief, try instructing them animatedly. If you appear stern or tired, the dog will instantly grow solemn.
You can also use props like chew toys to keep your subject busy. Giving the dogs timely breaks will help them stay energetic for much longer.
6. Accept Help When Needed
Most photographers are in the habit of being the only instructors around, and they prefer posing the subjects and selecting the environment to their liking. However, if your pet subject has an owner or a trainer, you should consider their opinions. The owner would know your subject better than you. Hence, they could give you several tips on how to handle them.
7. Keep Yourself Relaxed
The final tip is the key to your successful photoshoot. It would be best if you kept yourself patient and relaxed with your subject. Animals can be frustrating to shoot since they do not understand you or professional models. However, you would only prolong the process if you lost your patience. So, when you give your subject a break, it is advisable to take one yourself. Moreover, tolerance and relaxation would allow your mind to clear up and present you with some great ideas.
7 Dog Photography Tips: Keys to the Perfect Click… Final Thoughts
Animal photography can be challenging when you don’t know your way around it. While shooting dogs in particular, you must be careful about several things. It will help if you get everything in order before the subject arrives on set to avoid distractions. Further, using burst mode is best for capturing candid shots. You can create a happy environment or give the dog some toys to keep it playful. Finally, involve the subject’s owner and capture the dog’s most raw moments.