Ever feel like your dog is just so unfocused, that you'll never get a good picture of him?
You see professional photos of people's pets in framed photos, on social media, and on photographer's websites, and think, "My dog would NEVER be able to pose like that, especially for someone else. They don't even pose nicely for me!" Well, I'm here to tell you that you have nothing to worry about.
There are some key steps that I can take to help you (and your pup) get those showpiece photos and I'll let you in on some of my secrets!
First off, what are some of the common reasons your pet might have trouble posing perfectly?
I know what you're thinking. "Well, great, now what? How do I make sure nothing goes wrong?"
It's totally normal for your dog to have trouble with one or all of those things.
If you're working with a photographer who has experience with all sorts of dogs and their unique characteristics, you have nothing to worry about. I know what I'm doing and I'm here to help you get the best possible photos of your pup.
Here's how I get around these potential issues:
Your dog could get bored modelling for photos, and with good reason. They don't know that we're capturing GORGEOUS photos of them, they just know that you keep interrupting their play time while you ask them to stay put and keep looking at some gadget.
But at my photo sessions I use positive reinforcement and give pets LOADS of treats to keep them engaged and having fun. We'll also reward any nervous nellies with treats, toys, and all the cuddles to encourage them to be brave. Making sure your furry kid is having fun and feel like they're doing a super awesome job is super important.
KEEP YOUR DOG ON A LEASH
My biggest secret...I almost always photograph pups on their leashes. If I hadn't told you, you'd NEVER have known! This is primarily to keep them safe, but it's also super helpful for posing dogs.
They might get distracted by a noise, or squirrel: they might just feel like running around or are wanting to get just that little bit too "out of focus" close to the camera. You won't even notice afterward as I edit the leash out of the portraits when I am editing. This helps us get more control of the photographs that we're taking and get you the best possible shots.
BUT WHAT IF MY DOG REALLY CAN'T BEHAVE?
Don't worry, I've got you covered. On top of all my regular tricks, I've got one more up my sleeve. I will read your dog and follow their lead.
They're super nervous? We'll spend some time at the beginning just making them feel at ease (and getting them comfortable with the camera equipment). If they're not comfortable doing something, we'll never force them.
They're over posing? We take a break. Your dog is bouncing around all hyper and won't stay still or calm? We'll limit rewards that are too exciting and give them some time to burn off some of that energy.
It's all about being patient and reading their cues. They'll let us know how they're feeling and that's how we can get the best possible photos of them, while still capturing their personality.
LET'S CHANGE WHAT WE CONSIDER "MISBEHAVING"
Lastly, what you may consider misbehaving and naughtiness isn't really anything bad! Once your dog is outside, or in a new environment (like a strange indoor place with weird funny looking things pointed at him) it's not that they're wanting to disobey you, they're just SO excited and experiencing sensory overload (especially with having a new person there with them).
They want to sniff new objects, say hello to new people, and just let off some steam. That's just normal dog behavior!
They key isn't to view these actions as disobedience but as little personality quirks. These quirks made you fall in love with your dog to begin with, and photos showing these quirks will be treasured memories in the future.
Working with a professional definitely helps make the experience a positive one for both you and your canine family member because we can use our vast knowledge and past photoshoots to help guide both you and your dog. Not only will I create gorgeous photos of your dog at our session, but they will have an absolute blast while doing it.
Sit back, relax and let me worry about getting those amazing photos for you. Still think your dog is just that much too unruly for a photoshoot? Contact me to tell me about your dog's unique needs and we can chat about how we can make a photo session super fun for them.