Are you thinking about having a professional dog photo shoot, but you’re worried about what’s going to happen during the shoot? How will your dog behave? What if he won't sit still? How are we going to get those beautiful pictures you want to display in your home?
The first thing is DON'T PANIC! All dogs have their own fantastic characters and the aim of your photo shoot is to capture that character in a printed memory for you to treasure. I understand that some dogs may be nervous or react differently to the studio lights I typically use, so I've designed an easy process so that we both know what to expect during your dog photo shoot and we can get those pictures you'll want to display in your home.
BEFORE THE DAY
We'll arrange a time before the day for me to give you a call and we’ll have a chat about your dog. We'll cover any likes/dislikes, any behavioural issues or anxiety your dog may have so that I’m aware of anything that may affect the photo shoot. It’s also an opportunity for you to ask any questions. Things you might want to know include:
- how long the photo shoot takes
- what happens if the dog won’t look at the camera or won’t sit still
- do I have to take my dog off his lead
All of these questions and more can be answered during our chat, but if you think of anything else you can always call me at a later time or send me an email.
ON THE DAY
The answer to most of your questions is that it's all about patience. On the day, I'll normally come to your house with my studio lights and I'll set up in the available space. I will let your dog get acquainted with me, and he can have a sniff of my camera and lighting. Hopefully after a little while he’ll settle down in front of the lights and will be able to get some beautiful shots. The most important thing to remember is it can take time - that’s why I advise that your dog photo shoot could last 2 hours. Throughout the shoot, my priority is that your dog is happy and relaxed, so we work at his pace at all times.
Once the dog is settled in front of the lighting, I may ask you to adjust his paw slightly or reposition his tail for a better shot. I ask you to do that because your dog is used to you and he will be happy with you handling him. If a strange person came up to us and started moving our arms, we'd get nervous and upset - and your dog is no different!
It’s possible that your dog may not like the studio lights. Most dogs don’t mind the lights but it can happen, and if that’s the case we may have to change how the session takes place. It could mean going outside or using natural light - everything is based on what makes your dog happy, comfortable and relaxed.
I normally use a variety of noises and sounds to get your dog's attention. We may also use a favourite toy which I might ask you to hold where he can see it, but I try not to use treats as dogs tend to get a slightly intense look..... you know the one: "She's got FOOD. Am I getting FOOD? Is it my FOOD? It must be for me. I like FOOD!"
Remember we really don't need your dog to pose for very long. A split second can be captured by the camera, and although a 2-3 hour shoot sounds like a long time, in reality much of that time is spent allowing your dog to settle. My black labrador image of Jess was taken in a split second when she heard a sound she hadn't heard before - and she never did this head tilt again during the whole session!
The most important thing to me is that you and your dog have a relaxed and enjoyable photo shoot, to give you those memories that you can cherish forever.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
After your photo shoot, you'll have your Viewing & Ordering Session, which is when your images are revealed for the very first time! To find out what that's all about, check out my blog all about the Viewing Session