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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> Calling all dog photographers!
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08/29/2007 07:30:42 PM · #1
A coworker of my husbands has a new shitzu puppy that she wants to me take pictures of. I don't own a dog and I've never really done animal photography, does anyone have any tips to getting good animal portraits? I'm not charging her much, it's a pretty informal shoot, she just wants some cute pictures of her puppy and I'm pretty sure I can get what she needs. Part of me is still a little nervous though because I'm not totally sure about shooting dogs. If you have cute dog pictures you could share with me, or tips for photographing them, I would really appreciate it!
08/29/2007 07:32:21 PM · #2
Originally posted by Wenders11:

A coworker of my husbands has a new shitzu puppy that she wants to me take pictures of. I don't own a dog and I've never really done animal photography, does anyone have any tips to getting good animal portraits? I'm not charging her much, it's a pretty informal shoot, she just wants some cute pictures of her puppy and I'm pretty sure I can get what she needs. Part of me is still a little nervous though because I'm not totally sure about shooting dogs. If you have cute dog pictures you could share with me, or tips for photographing them, I would really appreciate it!


I got a puppy two months ago, and I found myself on the ground with my 50/1.8 quite a bit. :) Natural light was a great asset since dogs don't really care about your lighting or your composition, they just want to put their snout on your lens!
08/29/2007 07:35:41 PM · #3
Be very careful if the dog is black or white... it is very hard to get a good photo of a black or white dog... and if all else fails, use peanut butter!! :)

Here are a few I did of my Aunt's little dog Alice (yes, she wears hats, it is silly) hehe

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08/29/2007 07:40:39 PM · #4
Get down on dog level, that's the first thing to remember. I also like taking shots from below dog level, just holding the camera in one hand and aiming up and letting the shutter trip like mad. Might be tough with a puppy as they are pretty short.
08/29/2007 07:44:15 PM · #5
i have done a couple of dog piccys but never puppies...but the only thing i can say is i use cheese...dogs love it ...use toys..specially ones that squeeks.

Message edited by author 2007-08-29 19:44:58.
08/29/2007 07:48:56 PM · #6
Yeh, pretty much don't be afraid to lay down on the floor and make stupid noises to get them to suddenly look at you. Even then you won't get long to snap the photo so make sure you're already in focus at that point. And speaking of focus, shallow DoF makes them look so much cuter! :)

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Message edited by author 2007-08-29 19:50:26.
08/29/2007 07:59:57 PM · #7
Those are impressive shots, Ben.

Plan to take a bunch of shots and bending down is paramount!
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Watch your background...
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Make funny noises...
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Use props and clean their eyes...
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Reshoot if needed....
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Or add a cute kid.
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Message edited by author 2007-08-29 20:04:28.
08/29/2007 08:06:33 PM · #8
Those are all awesome tips and seriously cute pictures! They make me want to go out and buy a dog, lol! :)

Thank you for your help!
08/29/2007 08:09:01 PM · #9
Originally posted by Wenders11:

Those are all awesome tips and seriously cute pictures! They make me want to go out and buy a dog, lol! :)

Thank you for your help!


Adopt!!! Please..
08/29/2007 08:13:38 PM · #10
I would say take an assistant.
I shoot animals at the SPCA (with a camera!!!).
And it's hard to get their attention, keep them away from the camera and take the picture.
08/29/2007 08:21:56 PM · #11
Puppies can be really hard sometimes because they move a lot, you just have to be patient. Take photos outside and inside to capture the different behaviours, Oh and have fun :P

3 photos from my new pup :)
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08/29/2007 08:25:12 PM · #12
elsapo.....your pup is sooooooooooo cute.and there just real stunning piccys of him/her,love the one where its looking up to the camera.
08/29/2007 08:26:44 PM · #13
Props and posters!
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08/29/2007 08:30:50 PM · #14
A squeaky toy, strategically squeaked, behind your back, when you are all ready to press the shutter release, will get you that "curious" and "intelligent" look. (Sometimes!)

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08/29/2007 08:34:00 PM · #15
Sometimes when you are trying to set up for something else they present themselves for your photographic pleasure.
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08/29/2007 08:35:28 PM · #16
Also helps to have a dog who is well trained and very calm.

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08/29/2007 08:36:45 PM · #17
Treats work well too' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/599/thumb/435442.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/599/thumb/435442.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
08/29/2007 08:40:40 PM · #18
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just be patient and wait for the moment :)
08/29/2007 08:42:23 PM · #19
no solid advice but try some low angle stuff...

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08/29/2007 10:28:59 PM · #20
Sometimes it's nice to go in with a wide - Also think about a nice shot of the owner too?

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08/29/2007 10:53:46 PM · #21
Patience. If you know what the dog wants, you can use that to get its attention. Hold it right next to the lens (I used The Ball for this shot) to get them to look into the camera.

If you are going for a shallow DOF (especially with f/1.8), make sure you're focusing on the eyes (though the nose is pretty interesting, too).

Oh, and more patience. Dogs are silly, puppies doubly so. Just keep shooting - you never know when you'll capture something.

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08/30/2007 12:59:16 AM · #22
Good article from the San Francisco Chronicle on June 17, 2006.

I was just reading it yesterday, after saving it for over a year. Hmmm.
08/30/2007 01:01:09 AM · #23
Originally posted by hahn23:

A squeaky toy, strategically squeaked, behind your back, when you are all ready to press the shutter release, will get you that "curious" and "intelligent" look. (Sometimes!)

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Lol, but not always... my 50lb dog was terrified of 'em and would take off!
08/30/2007 01:05:54 AM · #24
If you put a puppy on a stool he will stay put for a few, and make it easy to get at eye level or below for a minute. You may want to shoot a few existing light indoors too if you have a fast lens.
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08/30/2007 01:36:20 AM · #25
Puppies can be a handful but they can be managed. Watch out for cords, light stands and other objects if they are running around. Also, make sure they have taken care of any bathroom business before you start. The excitement of lights, camera, people, treats and attention can bring out the best and messy in a puppy. :D

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If the puppy is a black dog, here are some helpful hints... they also apply to many dogs, not just black ones:

Shooting Black Dogs

Mike

Message edited by author 2007-08-30 01:37:19.
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