Thursday, October 19, 2006

Photographing Your Puppy

The process of taking puppy pictures is not easy. However, it can be fun and successful if you follow a few guidelines. I wish I had known these tips earlier in my career in dogs and the photos we have would have been a lot better.

Everything related to dog photography of course has been helped by the invention of the digital camera. These cameras take photos that can be fixed later on if they are too dark, too light, etc.

It is truly remarkable that a photo, which at first glance would have been toatlly unsatisfactory can be transformed into a very nice photo. Here are the photo tips:

1) Always brush up your puppy or dog before taking a photo, it helps to mist the coat with a
spray bottle slightly.

2) The best photos are usually taken outdoors in the morning or afternoon. Avoid the bright
sun of mid-day.

3) THE MOST IMPORTANT THING - Keep your camera level with the puppy or dog. Do not
stand up and shoot down on the dog. To get level with the puppy or dog's eyes you will have
to have someone hold the puppy in their arms, as shown in the photo here, or you will have
sit down on the floor with your camera.

4) For Head Shots Get in Close - Don't be afraid to take a head shot and get in close with your
camera. Some cameras have portrait settings and you can try a few shots with that setting
or just use automatic.

5) For Standing Shots Use a 3/4 Pose - Most dogs do not photograph well in a full side shot
turn the dog in 3/4 to the camera. Check the legs to make sure they are straight.

6) YOU NEED HELP - Usually to photograph puppies you will need 3 PEOPLE. One to take the
picture, one to pose the dogs and one to get the dogs attention with a squeaky or other toy.
Over stimulating with the toy or noise does not work - let the person see what does work -
everyone making noises and throwing things only confuses the dog.

7) IF YOU ARE BY YOURSELF TRY THIS - I have taken some very good puppy shots by
myself but it does require patience. Scatter some playthings around an enclosed area. Plastic
flower pots are good, cloth toys work well, sit down and let the puppies play with your
camera ready. Let the puppy get engaged with the toy and at a good distance from the
camera. Softly make a noise. That is how the second picture above was taken.


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