Archive for November, 2010

Four Pre-Session Tips for Pet Photographs

November 9, 2010

Buttercup: Recently adopted through Austin Pets Alive!

I take pictures of our dogs every year on their birthdays. I also take pictures of adoptable dogs every Tuesday during my lunch break and anytime that a foster dog in the Austin Pets Alive! system needs some updated portraits. Along the way, I’ve had to wake dogs to take their pictures, clean their faces, bribe them to sit still and try to find just the right angle to get their good sides.

If you’re getting your dog ready to have his picture taken for a modeling gig, a visit to Santa or even just for a new picture to show off on your desk, I encourage you to consider the following:

  • Take a damp cloth to the face. Some photographers can do amazing things with photo-editing software, but a clean face is a clean face. Using a damp cloth, give your pup a quick once-over to get rid of eye boogies, dirty noses and loose hair.
  • Hit the streets. I’ve taken dozens of pictures of the same dog that all end up just a terrible blur. If you have an energetic dog, consider a long walk right before the photo session. He’ll be calm and relaxed, probably a little more in focus as well.
  • Show some personality. I’m not one to dress my pets from head to paw, but a little something definitely helps an animal stand out and show some personality. Whether it’s a studded collar, a pink ribbon or a Texas bandanna, a little detail can really show some individuality.
  • Keep a treat close. For a dog who is motivated by food, a treat is a necessary piece of photography equipment. Hold a treat up close to the camera lens, or have a friend hold it just over your shoulder. The resulting pictures will make it look like that dog is looking right at you like the perfect model he is.