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Ten tips for better Dog photos!


Ready to take really great pictures of your dog? Great, here we go!

 

1) First, plan ahead. Just say to yourself, “This weekend...I'm taking Barney and Louis up to the Mountains and we're going to take some great photos of him out there amongst all the nature.” As you go about everyday life just make good mental notes when you run across cool places that might be great for backgrounds: the 50 year old bridge at the edge of town, your favorite park in the fall where colorful leaves fall, a desolate road that beckons with history, those old buildings downtown decorated with artful graffiti. You get the picture. And don't forget the time of day. Pick a time in the late afternoon or early morning to get the most favorable lighting.

 

2) Shake out all the "silliness" ahead of time. Dogs love to play. Its the first order of business. So throw the frisbee or take him for a run to tap some of that energy. After your Dog settles down you'll find him to be a much more relaxed and cooperative subject for photos.

 

3) Treats. Like your camera....Don't leave home without them. And by treats, we mean the special stuff. The treats your dog lives for. No matter what happens on location you can use this to get your Dog's attention or bait him to stay put for a few minutes while capture that perfect photo.

 

4) Bring someone with you to help get your Dog's attention. Why? You can't effectively do this and operate the camera at the same time. No, for this you need a willing and cheeful accomplice to bait your dog's attention toward you. Draw the dog's attention to your camera with a favorite squeaky toy or anything else your Dog finds interesting. While your Dog's attention is captured...let the shutter fly. Remember, digital photos are free...so just keep firing. You're looking for quizzical looks. Cute head tilts. Whatever focused expressions you can get from your dog.

 

5) Get up close and personal! Set your camera's focus point on your dog's face. Remember, the eyes are the window to the soul. A sharply focused image will go far to convey your Dog's unique character.

 

6) Shoot your images tight. This means....ZOOM IN kids. This is an artful technique where the goal is to eliminate anything in the background that distracts from the essence of your dog's beauty.

 

7) Make sure your Dog understands “Sit” and “Stay”. Make sure your Dog understands these two basic commands. This will help you maintain control long enough to get the shot you're looking for. Work on this in advance if you have to...otherwise things could get a little wild out there!

 

8) Stay out of the mid day Sun. The last thing you want are deep shadows on your Dog's face. Well, thats what a bright Sunny day will get you. It just makes your Dog look old and angry. Its better to look for shaded areas in the late afternoon or early morning - or pick an overcast day. What you're trying to achieve is an even dispersion of light across your Dog's face and body. All subjects, Dogs and people look better in this kind of light.

 

9) Watch out for CLUTTER. Think for a moment like an Artist. Try to free your shots from noisy cluttered backgrounds like: Chain link fences, garbage cans or that big Fed-Ex truck in the distance. “Photography clutter” is everwhere in City life. Try to create an eye for keeping earthy tones and textures behind your dog and avoid backgrounds that feel 'busy'.

 

10) Try the 'Down-Low'. This means on your knees, your belly or your butt. Think about it...you see your Dog everyday from a superior height position. A more imaginitive and intimate perspecitve can be created by shooting up from a low position near ground level. Again, you're trying to create Art...so you're looking for new angles to view your Dog's beauty.

 

Well, thats quite enough to remember don't you think? And remember, the great thing about digital is the photos are all free. So don't be afraid to experiment and push the envelope. You'll almost certainly learn quickly what works and what doesn't. And what you consider a “good” image today may very well take a backseat to the better images you capture tomorrow.

 

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