Monday, May 5, 2008

Paw-tography: How to Snap the Best Pictures of Your Pooch

Go Digital - Digital cameras are the best! You may have to take 30 pictures before you find that one that grabs your eye. Keep snapping! Go for quantity... there is bound to be a good one!

This photo took several shots!

Lighting - Use natural lighting when possible, be it indoor or outdoors. The flash generally causes most animals to have red eye, which is nearly impossible to correct (even in Photoshop). Avoid the entire problem by using natural light. This will also capture the truest color of your pet's fur, while not frightening with the flash.

This karate kid's tone always looks best in natural light

Shutter Speed - Set your shutter speed to a fast enough setting to capture a moving animal, as we all know movement is inevitable when taking pictures. Check your camera manual to determine if you have a setting called "AI Servo AF." This setting will continuously re-focus on the subject as it moves. After setting your camera to AI Servo AF you then focus on your moving dog by pressing the shutter button half way down. Keep the AF point on the dog and the focus will remain continuous. Sometime the candid photos are the best, and you certainly don't want to miss out on that jump, spin, or roll!

Caught in a cute roll!

Location, Location, Location - Choose a location where your pet is comfortable. If your pet is use to spending most of his day inside your home, then try for an indoor photoshoot. If your dog loves the backyard, shoot outside. Sometimes the best photos are when your pet is the most comfortable and relaxed. Don't force it... it just won't work!

Max feels the most comfortable on his pillows

Go to Them - Since you can't expect your pet to know what is going on when you start pointing a shiny metal device at them, you certainly can't expect them to know what to do. Go to your pet. So many times we only think to snap the shots from the easiest position for us, standing up. If he is sitting on a chair, try getting down to eye level with him for a good close up. Even try to shoot from down up. Work with different angles to get the dog's eye view instead of just the bird's eye view.

Getting some face time with Max

Use Basic Commands - If your pet knows basic commands like sit and stay be sure to use these commands. If there is a trigger word that your pet knows, feel free to use it too... just don't over do it or your pet will ignore you in the future. As for Max, when we say "Do you wanna..." or "Outside?" his ears perk up and he tilts his head to the side, which we think is pretty cute. However, this only works for a few shots. Otherwise, he realizes "these people aren't taking me out, they are tricking me!" At which time, he totally tunes us out.



Eye contact and perky ears... Max is definitely ready to go outside!

Treats - When your pet starts to tune you out, you can always use the treat technique. Request a command, with treat in hand. If you are trying to get eye contact, simply hold the treat near the lens and the photo will appear as if he is looking straight into the camera. This is especially helpful when using a prop or posing your pet. Just don't overdo this one either, or your little guy will end up with the tummy ache!



As a puppy, treats were the initial allure for Max's interest in photography

Plan it Out - Try to pick a time when your dog is relaxed. After Max's baths he is wild and crazy. This would be the worst time for us to try to snap a shot because he just doesn't stand still. Rather we pick a time after a walk or play group when Max is relaxed and maybe even a little sleepy.

Maybe a little too sleepy for this photo shoot!

Be Patient
- Not only do you have to be patient, but you have to be prepared. Some days I wish I could just have my camera in hand all day because I want to catch a shot of him jumping or yawning. You can't exactly force your pet into posing, but you can be ready for his next cute move.

Finally, the wind blew in his hair as Max gazed into the distance

14 comments:

Simba said...

Dropping by to say hello. Hope you had a good weekend.

Simba x

Sparky said...

Great tips, thanks for sharing them! Those are all wonderful pictures of you, Max!

Sparky

CaliChi said...

Thanks for the tips!

David said...

Hi Max!

I hope this letter finds you well. I'm glad you recovered from your recent bout of pancreatitis.

Thanks for your questions about the dangers of large bodies of water. You have nothing to fear from large bodies of water, as it is well known that dogs can swim. And no, you are not being punished when given a bath. The purpose of the bath is to clean your outer fur covering. Amusingly, your human servants must think you smell bad or something like that. Ha ha! That is the reason for the baths.

No long-term harm comes from bathing, and if you like you can always roll around in something smelly immediately afterwards to undo the short-term effects.

As to your question about sea creatures such as sea-lions, yes they do exist, but aren’t found in baths or pools or lakes. Only out at sea! So no worries there Max.

Neither squirrels nor cats prefer to live in water, and I don’t believe there is such a thing as a “sea-squirrel” but I’m not positive about that. I’ll have to get back to you on that one Max! Ha ha!

Talk to you soon.

Your human friend,

David

Crikit, Sparky & Ginger said...

MAX! what a super model you are! The camera loves you. This is a pawsome post and we had mom take notes. We also made her re-read about the symptoms doggies may be having instead of a tummy ache. Give your mommy some love licks fur us k?

waggin TX tails restricted from barking loud right now cos it's late xo

Putz said...

thanks max for your ashely's visit...i.like the advice how to snap pics, our four dogs and cat were to pose for a christmas picture and i endnded up drawing pictures, if you go back to just before christmas last year you can see how AWFUL they are

Maya and Kena said...

Thanks fur the great tips! The pictures really reflect on the tips, they're pawsome!
Wags and licks,
Maya and Kena
PS. We're glad to know that Max is feeling much better now!

happy said...

Great tips! Thanks for sharing them here. Love your pictures, Max!

Asta said...

Max
I can't believe that thewe is any way to take a bad pictoowe of you..you awe simly adowable and sooo photogenic
I hope you'we feeling totally well now...
love and smoochie kisses
Asta

mdbnet said...

I took care of Max for a few days while Ashley was on vacation. I made up some rules for taking care of Max. Perhaps you can refer to these rules should you be asked to Max-sit.

The Rules of Max, a dog.

1. Change the water in Max’s bowl at least once a day.

2. Max will probably not eat so much as he doesn’t like his healthy food and he will try to conserve it in anticipation that you will be stingy with him. So keep the bowl filled up anyway.

3. Leave a night-light on as Max is scared of the dark a bit.

4. Max needs 3 walks per day.
a. Max’s collar is a bit tricky to get on him. Please persevere in your collar-donning efforts until successful Max/collar mating has been achieved.
b. During a walk Max enjoys urinate on things and barking at cats and squirrels.
c. You may optionally dress Max in a red shirt that matches his collar and leash if it is cold out.

5. After a walk, Max enjoys being given a food treat and played with a bit. You can throw a toy towards Max and Max will run around a bit with it in his mouth and such-like.

6. When Max comes back from a walk, he will roll over and put his feet in the air. What he wants you to do is to clean his feet with a moist towelette. You could also wipe his belly area a bit, because he will likely have peed on himself a bit in that region. He won’t get up if he thinks you haven’t done a thorough job; he is quite particular about having clean feet.

7. When entering a house he will wait outside until you say “enter”. He doesn’t like to enter a darkened house, so you should turn on a light first if it is dark.

8. Max likes to watch TV with the family and to be loved and told that he is a good “fur-covered person”.

Max's human friend,

David

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