Pro-tips for your Pet Photography
I have been a photographer for a hundred years, pet photography included. Here are my pro-tips:
First and foremost, I have to correct the mistake that I always see in pet photography; Don’t shoot from your standing height! Get down low, belly on the floor, eyeball-to-eyeball with Fido.
Now that we are at the proper height, next is my most important tip; The use of what I call my dog wrangler. Your wrangler needs to know exactly what you need and be right there on the floor, behind your back – Not off to the side. This will keep the dog’s eyes toward the camera. Your wrangler will then help by making strange noises to get the dog’s attention. Squeaks, whistles, snaps – Whatever, will get the subject to perk up their ears and cock his head, for that wonderful expression that we all love. Because the dog will almost always leave the spot where you want them to sit and run to you, your wrangler must also possess incredible patience and perseverance. Your assistant’s job will be to tirelessly catch him and return him to where you need him to be. Squeaky toys must be hidden in the hand and used very sparingly. Most noisemakers will work only once, two times tops. Dogs catch on fast; you are not going to fool them! Having worn it out after two squeaks, change to something completely different – Your choice. But make sure your wrangler keeps the toy hidden at all times – If you show the dog a toy, he’ll want it, and all is lost.
Last but not least, pay close attention to the pet’s eyes – This is where the magic happens. The eyes are the soul of the picture.
Good Luck and good shooting.