ALL ABOUT DOGS and CATS   Resource Center for Canine & Feline Lovers
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Tips For Photpgraphing Your Dog
by Amber Smith

Often an owner with a decent camera, patience and a knowledge of their own dog's quirks and
expressions can get better shots of their dog than a professional ever will.

There are so many variables when photographing dogs, everything from fairly standard
considerations, like color and texture of the coat, whether it is glossy or has more of a soft
finish, how reflective it is to highly individual traits that only an owner would know or be able to
anticipate and either catch or ignore.

There is always an element of luck involved in capturing that perfect pose or moment when
dealing with dogs, but having a strong knowledge and being able to direct your dog gives you
a real edge over the pro.

Most modern cameras are not only very forgiving, they are downright idiot proof and can make
even the most lost of photographers look like budding geniuses. That's not saying that having
at least a passing knowledge of adjusting for lighting and shutter speeds and aperture isn't
worth your while and won't improve your photography immensely, but you don't have to wait
until you know everything there is to know about the science of photography before you can
develop your skill in the art of photography.

Choosing where to shoot your pictures is the first decision. Lighting is usually easier outside
on a moderately sunny day, since you won't have to use a flash as you might indoors. Using
existing light outside allows you to neatly sidestep the issue of the dreaded laser beam, horror
movie eyes.

Another reason you can get shots of your dog that a professional can't is because your dog
knows you. He's not going to be suspicious of you and kick into guard gear because you're
there pointing something strange at him like he very will might if a stranger does the same
thing. You'll be able to get in close to get the personality shot, which is what you're really after,

You can also
gauge when your dog is in a good mood for a shoot and pick up your camera and
start clicking away rather than having the added stress on both of you of having a set
appointment time and having to coax a tired or nervous or just plain distracted dog into the
right frame of mind -- or at least behavior to get a few good poses.

Now that you have some idea of why you should take photos of your pet yourself, you can start
concentrating on how you want them to look.

One of the best “rules” to use is to g
et down on your dog's level and really look at him.
Get his world from his point of view
. It's very different from the one where we stand and
look down, I can assure you. And while those photos shot with a wide angle lens from above,
giving a picture of a cute (but with very limited expression showing) shot of a huge nose
covering most of the photo are pretty adorable, there isn't much variance in expression. They
all just look kind of alike.

You've watched your dog when he's active, running, playing, chasing and generally going mad,
so you have a pretty good idea of how to anticipate where and how he might move. This
knowledge gives you a decided advantage over a hired lens.
Learn to pan your camera with
your dog's movement
so you can catch the exact moment you want to remember and share
with others, whether its the graceful extension as he leaps over a log or the moment of comic
infamy when he misjudges the distance to the object of his attention and lands on his butt. No
one is going to get that shot but you, so what are you waiting for?

Provided by
Amber Smith of Where you can find great  Dog Training
Collars and Pet Stairs
Pet Photography 101:
Tips for taking better photos
of your dog or cat

By Andrew Darlow