Top tips for photographing my dog in the garden.
Embrace this additional time we have been given with our pets.
In one of the biggest changes this world has ever seen in such a short space of time, people have taken not only to having to attempt tasks (like cutting each others’ hair) they previously trusted only to the professionals but are also using this newly given time to engage themselves in creative or new pursuits as a way of keeping both mind and body calm and sane.
I think it is also really important that we record these different times; notice what is around us more; so I hope these easy tips will help you on your way. They can just as easily (on the whole) be applied to taking photographs of your kids.
Most of these shots are taken in clients’ gardens.
Bright sun is not your friend!
1. We have been blessed recently with some much needed warmer weather and brighter skies. However you should wait for a cloudy day or until the sun is much lower in the sky before you get your camera out. Good images require soft light, not the contrasty light of blue skies. If you must take them on a very sunny day and time then find some shade in your garden.
Take their collar off!
Take your dog’s collar off! On of the biggest advantages of shooting in your garden is that your dog is usually safe so if you are able to remove their collar this is better as it only acts as a distraction.
Place your dog away from the background
3. Aim to take your photograph of your dog with the biggest distance possible between him and the background. If you are using a DSLR put it into a portrait mode or if you know a little more about photography open up your aperture. Your aperture is called your F Stop and you are looking to choose an aperture that throws the background out of focus whilst at the same time keeping all of the dog’s head including its nose in focus. If you are using one of the newer Iphones you may have a Portrait mode you can play around with. This can be quite fake as it drops from sharp focus to complete blur quite randomly but it can still give some nice results.
Consider your backgrounds
4. Remove distractions from the background like hosepipes or garden chairs. You want the focus of your image to be your dog. If it isn’t easy to move things, then turn around and see if shooting the other way will give you a better background.
5. If necessary lie down flat on your stomach. The best dog portraits show the world from the height of the dog.
Headshots are your friend!
6. Start off by just working on trying to photograph your dog’s head either from the side or in front. These shots can be easier to control.
It’s all in the eyes !
7. If your camera is capable of allowing you to choose a point of focus then the dog’s eye should be it. Otherwise just concentrate on holding your camera still!
Use a friend !
8. Get someone to help you. Our relationship with our own dogs can make taking photographs of them very hard as they want to come to us. So either get someone to help you pose them or try to catch them naturally when they are watching something for example.
The head tilt!
9. Use a squeaky toy. These can be great for getting a head tilt.
10. If like the hair cut, you know you need to see a pro when all this is over – you know where I am!
Nic is a multi award winning dog photographer based between Kent, Surrey and Sussex in Dormans Park near East Grinstead. She travels to areas such as Oxted, East Grinstead, Tunbridge Wells, Hartfield and Copthorne at no extra cost. She produces photographs for dog owners of the highest quality; memories to be cherished for years to come.
If you’d like to book a session with me or simply have a chat or ask me about this blog do email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Nic is an award winning portrait photographer cover Sussex, Kent and Surrey. She is also a family, children and dog photographer. She also shoots both headshots and “days in the life of” style images for your small business websites and social media.
More information on her dog photography can be found here.