Snap! You got the shot. The light was right. The dog was perfect! But you didn’t necessarily want it from the back end!
How do those people get the perfect picture? There is a lot of luck for sure and it takes patience and time to wait it out but if you want an interesting picture of your pet, then discover what it does naturally and catch him in the act. Explore the dogs own natural curiosity and be ready to grab the unique action or quizzical turn of the head giving you a new perspective of your pet. The reward is sometimes catching a certain look or feel you might not normally observe and the result might just be the big picture! The perfectly trained pet will definitely sit when you want or even jump over the hedge on command so you frequently catch the action doing what the dog loves to do…for you! If you are like me, however, there is most likely a drawer full of similar pictures.
So step out of the normal sit/stay/snap images and seek the unusual by letting the dog take the lead. With this nice warm weather that seems to be all over the country, why not experiment and create a circumstance that is out of the norm for both you and your dog? Get out the garden hose and the sprinkler and encourage some splashing around with Spot. If you are the photographer, and failing your participation, get the kids to do the splashing and take a moment out of the training regimen to just plain play with the beast. Use new and unusual fetch toys or dare I say allow a short romp in your flower bed or maybe some knee high grass as an alternate, but whatever you choose, make it a unique experience and you will have created some great photo opportunities. Now, if the water play and field grass doesn’t do it for you then find a local walking trail that you don’t frequent regularly with some great scenery and stroll the path at sunset. Catch the “golden hour” light an hour before and half an hour after sunset. You will be amazed at how beautifully creative the shots can be as you saunter a woodland trail or the edge of a high rock or beside a waterfall…there, it’s calming already and the dog’s not necessarily wet and you haven’t ruined a prized flower bed.
The point is to get your dog into a safe and comfortably unfamiliar circumstance and let the inner puppy show through your lens. I’ll bet lots of folks would love to see your shots when you post your comment.
If you are already wise to the ways of basic photography, seeking some expert advice from the internet is a good idea and there are lots of places detailing the “How To’s” of pet photography; but for a quick 10 tip reference, just check out the article from the archives of Dogs in Canada magazine right here on the blog site.
But now folks…the most important aspect of photographing and getting great dog pictures…it’s pretty obvious…but you must have a dog. If you don’t, borrow a friends because taking the path less travelled can be rewarding.
‘Till next post, yours in dogs…