What happens on an outdoor dog photoshoot with Nic Bisseker Photography? Your questions answered!
Nic is an award winning specialist dog photographer having had many hours of training and experience photographing your furry friends. Her panel of pet portraits won best Licentiate Panel in the UK at the Master Photography Association Awards in 2020. She believes photographs of your dog are as important as those for your children. All too often we don’t think about creating memories of our animals until it is too late.
What types of photographs would you take of my dog ?
Every commission I undertake is tailored to your dog and your family. If you choose me to take some professional photographs of your pet, I will liaise with you beforehand to develop a brief specific to the types of shots you would like. If you would prefer the natural environment as a backdrop to your photographs as most dog owners do, then an outdoor shoot is perfect for you and your pet. My dog photoshoots take place across Sussex, Surrey and Kent.
Do you want both portrait and action shots ? If you would like images of your dog jumping, running and leaping, an outdoor dog photoshoot is just perfect.
Does your pet have any particular personality traits you would like me to try to capture? Perhaps you would like to be in a few of the photographs? I LOVE capturing the relationship between owners and their dogs and often find these end up being the most heart-warming images I provide. I generally recommend you are in a few. You will thank me for it afterwards!!
I am also a family portrait photographer and this separates me from most specialist dog photographers and makes me ideally placed for family and dog or couple and dog photoshoots. Why not bring the family along and we will get a mixture of family photographs with your dog?
Where I am looking to display my dog photographs?
From the outset it is great to think about the type of art you are looking for and where you may like to display your images. This helps to ensure that I can tailor the shoot specifically for you. Are you looking for one large piece of framed art or a canvas perhaps to display horizontally above the fireplace with a couple of desk top pieces for your office? Or would you like various medium sized images perhaps as blocks to hang vertically up the stairs? Do you have shelves which would suit an easel where you could interchange smaller mounted prints across the weeks? Maybe you are buying for a present and need to think about where they would like to display the images. My Print and Product Guide will be sent to you from the outset to give you an idea of the types of Collections and individual products I supply and samples are available after the shoot at the Viewing and Ordering Session ( see below.) . Prints and Frames
Where would the dog photoshoot take place?
I am based in Dormans Park on the tri county border of Kent, West Sussex and Surrey placing me amidst the beautiful countryside of the south east of England and within close proximity of London and the M25. I love to shoot in Tunbridge Wells in Kent and Oxted in Surrey. It’s nice to have a variety of backgrounds for the shots so I often visit Hargate Forest, the Tunbridge Wells Common and Dunorlan Park in Tunbridge Wells for example and Limpsfield Chart near Oxted.
Barnett Wood in High Brooms is fantastic with little ponds, fields, bridges and woodlands and is often quiet. However we can meet also at a place where you like to walk (30 minutes travel from me is included in my Session Fee), or somewhere in between. If you need me to travel further this is not a problem, it will just increase my session fee due to time etc. When deciding on our location I weigh up whether your dog is good with other animals and children or unpredictable if it can hear traffic etc.
What about having photographs taken in my garden?
I am also happy to come to your home instead, particularly if your dog is elderly or poorly, but this generally works better if you have quite a large garden/some land with shade. I offer Last Days shoots which are tailored short sessions in your garden if you have just been given the sad news there are just days left. If you have recently got a new puppy I also have specific Puppy Sessions which offer wonderful value to capture those all important early days.
What if my dog is unpredictable or has some health issues?
Please tell me about any medical or behavioural issues in advance of the shoot and note these on the session form. We can discuss beforehand whether these are likely to be an issue and how if possible we can work around them. You will be responsible for your dog throughout the shoot and I want it to run as smoothly as possible. I have a Rhodesian Ridgeback – I understand not all dogs are straightforward. Dog photoshoots with me are not stressful. We find quiet spots within forests and we work around any issues we have. Please do not be afraid to call or write to discuss if you are interested in a session but are nervous.
What if it rains on the day the shoot is booked?
On the day I will assess the weather beforehand, sending you a confirmation by text or email that everything is going ahead as planned. I try to avoid cancelling after we have a booking, but obviously camera equipment and heavy rain do not mix so we will need to reschedule if the forecast looks poor. On bright sunny days I prefer to shoot away from the noon period to ensure the light is soft so we can get the best shots possible. This will usually be about 9/9.30 am or 2pm ish in winter and 6pm ish in summer.
How long is the dog photoshoot?
Outdoor shoots are usually around 1.5 – 2 hours long and I will take some time at the beginning getting to know your dog before we start. I am extremely patient though, so there is no rush and I will of course continue until I am happy with my shots.
What do I need to bring to my dog photoshoot?
For outdoor shoots please bring treats and any special toys. If your dog likes to retrieve please bring his favourites. I will try to avoid using too many distractions at the beginning so your dog doesn’t get overexcited. The shoots that work best are where there is a toy used that is super quiet, enough to turn their heads for that perfect shot, but not something they would jump to try to grab. I also advise an old towel for muddy days. Some owners like to have their pets groomed in the run up to their photoshoot. I also encourage owners to remove their dog’s collar during photographs and dogs are generally off lead. However in between shooting locations, some owners choose to pop it back on for security. I also find a slip lead that doesn’t require a collar quite useful to guide dogs quickly into a position and then be slipped off without the hassle of then also having to remove the collar again.
What do I need to wear to my dog photoshoot?
I always encourage owners to be in some of the photographs with their dog and I love capturing that emotion and your relationship. Sometimes these can be the most endearing images of the session. Although we often wear more relaxed clothing on a dog walk we can still be stylish and smart for our dog photoshoot. The same guidelines apply and you can see how gorgeous this owner looks blending in with the seasons. Even wellies can look great if cleaned and tied with a smart neutral jacket.
I will send you a Pinterest board in advance to suit the season with suggestions for what to wear. This makes a real difference to the overall look of the image. For anyone who doesn’t know what these are – you just click on the link I have gathered a large number of example colours and ideas relevant for the season and the type of shoot you are booking with me.
In some of the images in this blog you can see the Autumn fabrics and colours. The owners blend magically with their surroundings and if in a couple with each other. That is key. The Pinterest Board gives some excellent examples of this. I always tell families to avoid logos, slogans and bright patterns. Basically don’t wear anything that will distract from your gorgeous faces because I trust you it will always be the only thing you and others see in the photograph afterwards!
What happens after my session?
After the shoot I will go away to edit the photographs . I will generally have taken well over 150 photographs from which I will select and edit the best for you to peruse. This is usually approximately 15- 20 for outside sessions depending upon you have also chosen to take part in the session. We will book in a date for your Ordering Session where you will visit me at my Dormans Park base to view these on a large calibrated screen without watermarks. I have samples of all my products on my Product and Pricing Guide. ( If for some reason this isn’t feasible as you have travelled a long way for the session we can do a Zoom meeting instead.)
Once we have decided what you wish to order, I will do final edits, before submitting the files to my professional printer. Usually I ask for you to collect all prints and products from me to help reduce onward costs, but Postage and Packaging can be added to an order if necessary of course and it delivered direct.
Please feel free to chat any of your ideas through with me before hand – this is what I’m here for and I promise you it will make all the difference.
If you’d like to book a session with me or simply have a chat do email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Nic is a multi- award winning portrait photographer covering Sussex, Kent and Surrey. She is a specialist fully qualified dog photographer having had many hours of training and experience photographing your furry friends. She is also a family and children photographer and she shoots both headshots and “days in the life of” style images for your small business websites and social media. Find out more about her dog photography.