Yes, we enjoy photographing man's or woman's best friend :)
About 2 weeks ago, we did a portrait shoot for a client (Jonathan), with a slightly difference. Jonathan wanted us to shoot his pet as well, a beautiful male greyhound dog called “OM”.
Today we’re going to look at few images from this photo session, and provide some tricks and tips we used to keep the pets in the frame.
When Jonathan arrived to the studio, he requested to get few headshot portrait for himself and as well for OM.
He let us suggesting ideas about lighting and background. The session lasted 90 minutes.
To nail these type of canine portrait session, it’s important to have a relaxed animal.
OM was little nervous when it entered our Sunnyvale studio.
It could not stay still.
We asked Jonathan to take OM for a little walk in our neighbour for 10mn. it helped the dog to relax.
It is important to minimize distractions, such as moving light all around, changing the setup too much. It can scared the animal.
Don’t have people yelling at the pet. If you relax, and everyone in the room relaxes, the animal will relax. So, keep calm and take your time.
To make the pet feels comfortable and at ease, so instead of forcing him to come to you, just go to him. Getting down to its level is important: Sit on the floor and remember shooting from its eye level or below.
We would say that cats will definetly freak out with the strobe lights.
A dog,in general, will freak out about everything in the studio : the photographer, the space, the lighting , the action …
We were lucky with OM since it was very cooperative. For really tough dogs, you have to wait out. We usually back up and ask his master to interact and loosen up the dog.
It is better if the animal is treat motivated. You can give a treat every time the lights go off.
The trick we use is that we do not always give the treat. We keep the treat in our hand and we go up to the dog and let them sniff it. We grab its attention and we snap a photo.
After few shots, we give the treat. What we found is that treat motivated dogs totally ignore the strobe lights in favor of the treats.
But non-treat motivated dogs stay afraid since they are too scared to care about the food.
Pets usually does not hold still.
Trick is to let them play quietly and, once you ready to shoot, have the owner or someone to whistle or call its name.
This trick will surprise him and caught his attention. But remember, you will have 2 or 3 seconds to capture the shot.
This is a no brainer tip but having the owner involved is important. You would be surprised how many owner expects the photographer to deal with the pet.
So we usually get our clients involved, and tell them to calmly pet and soothe their dogs once they’re in the position we want.
Once the pet is calm down and get used to sitting/laying, the owner will move away at the last second, and we will ensure to be quick on the shutter in order to get the shot.
The more obedience a dog knows (especially the “stay” command), the better, and the easier the photographer’s job becomes.
In the below photos, we wanted Jonathan and OM to lay down together. In order to keep it still, we asked Jonathan to put his arm around his pet and with his hand to control the dog head angle.
if you are interesting to have your pet in our studio, feel free to check our price and booking for glamour portrait.