1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Submit your articles and reach your targeted audience with Afritalks.
    Dismiss Notice

Pet Photography Part 1

The importance of quality pictures can not be over stressed when showcasing our four legged friends. The article will give you basic knowledge on...
Rating:
5/5,
  1. Oluomoadebayo
    Every time you take out your phone, tablet or you are professional with the power of a 50mp DSLR camera, to take a shot of your dog, you are motivated by one or more reasons.

    One of the most important skills of an animal photographer is the ability to capture the animals lightning-quick movements. This skill takes practice to develop.

    Pet photography combines the action of sports photography, the intimacy of portrait works, and the patience of a saint. But let me warn you upfront, this exercise could be messy and chaotic. But it can also be fun all the way.

    So let's get down to the basics.

    Question. The last time you took out your phone/camera to snap your dog, what was the reason?

    I must also mention that while I’m aware of the place of some editing software to enhance pictures, many of these images are the raw deals. The presentation is simply a combination of skills and good products (the dogs).

    But whether your dog is a mongrel, bastard or has the pedigree power of some of the dogs around, great photos can turn them into something completely different.


    Most dogs are any breeders top choice. Super dog,super body, great character. But does today's picture reflect any of these attributes?

    Obviously, No.

    What went wrong?
    All dog photo sessions will normally seek to achieve one or all of these 4 objectives:
    1.To show the character & personality of the dog
    2.To show the features of the dog
    3. To show the athleticism of the dog
    4.To express the beauty of the dog


    Q. What feelings do you have when you see quality pictures?


    So let’s look at a few tips to keep in mind when taking photos of your dogs


    Start with your dog’s personality. Before you start, ask yourself ‘what sets my dog apart from other animals?’ Think about what type of personality it has and then attempt to capture some of that in your shots.

    Get in Close.Dogs come in various sizes, but most are smaller than humans and as a result, they tend to get lost in photos unless you make an effort to get close to them. Of course getting close is not always easy, especially if you have a dog that likes to move around, but the detail you get and the personality that can be captured by an up close and personal photo shoot with your dog can really lift a photo to a new level.

    Get On Their Level. Get down on your dog’s level where you can look at them eye to eye. Images taken when standing up and looking down on animals not only leave you too far away from your subject but the shots end up having what I call human perspective.

    The best shots are taken when it’s from the dog’s perspective
    Lighting. Light makes any photograph what it is. Personally , I would not recommend using a flash as they tend to distract pets and in some cases will even frighten them or give the image what is called ‘green eye’ (similar to red-eye in human photos). Natural light is much better than using a flash. So I consider outdoor photo shoots to give the best images. Daylight for me is the best time of the day for dog photography.


    Be Playful. Dogs can be playful. So don’t get frustrated trying to get them posed. It's often very effective to go with their playfulness and catch some great moments

    Catch them Unawares. Perfect shots can be fun and effective but one thing I love to do (whether it be with animals or people) is to photograph them paparazzi style, that is, catch them unawares

    Be patient. People often rush to capture an image, the key behind any animal portrait is patience. Wait for the perfect time to capture the image, connect with the animal you are photographing and make sure you never force them to do anything. Many times you may have to take several photos and delete the poor ones

    Be Playful. Dogs can be playful. So don’t get frustrated trying to get them posed. It's often very effective to go with their playfulness and catch some great moments

    Catch them Unawares. Posed shots can be fun and effective but one thing I love to do (whether it be with animals or people) is to photograph them paparazzi style, that is, catch them unawares

    Be patient. People often rush to capture an image, the key behind any animal portrait is patience. Wait for the perfect time to capture the image, connect with the animal you are photographing and make sure you never force them to do anything. Many times you may have to take several photos and delete the poor ones


    Take backgrounds into consideration. Eliminating distractions in the background will help turn a simple shot into a beautiful photograph, so pay attention to what is behind your dog to avoid ugly or distracting elements ruining the shot

    So here are the things to remember when taking a photograph of your dog:

    1. Get in close so that your dog fills the frame
    2. Keep it Fun and be Patient
    3. Use natural lighting without flash
    4. Get down to the dog’s level
    5. Take lots of pictures to increase your chance of capturing just the right moment.
    6. Take photos from several angles or different poses
    7. Choose pictures that show your dog’s personality
    8. Don’t face the sun to take pictures. Always let the source of light be behind you
    9. Move around to find the best angle for the photograph. Get down to her eye level by sitting, kneeling, or lying on the floor.

    Exercise is very important before you shoot, but do not totally exhaust the dog so they have no energy to sit for the camera. Judge the amount of exercise based on your dog's ability. Sometimes it takes several hours of playtime or exercise to get your dog relax or fall asleep and then you go for the killer shot
    There is also a professional way of presenting and capturing show dogs images. It is called stacking. Most GSD are stacked at shows for those great photos of GSD you see. We will look at this in the second part of this article.



    Here is an exercise for us to discuss on this article thread.

    Let’s use some of these tips here and go back with our camera/phones for a photo contest. Let's see who can take the most stunning picture. You are to capture any part of your dog that you love. E.g his wet nose, curly tail, monster headpiece, expressive eyes, broad muscular chest, full body, response to obedience, in athletic/prey drive, anything. Just capture the moment and let's discuss.

    Credit: Segun Eleboda

    Share This Article

    Stefan likes this.