Shooting tips from an amateur dog mom photographer

You see those photos you just can’t stop looking at. It’s clear, creative, fun and evokes emotion. For me that is what a good photo will do to your soul. So how do you get those shots?
In short lots of practice and patience. I know that is not what you wanted to hear, but it is the ugly truth. You are only going to improve your skill with practice, practice, practice!
Now for a few good tips I use when shooting Diorabelle:

1. Always start with a good happy attitude, your pet will feed off your energy.
Making a positive connection with the camera will yield better results.

2. Introduce your pet to the camera slowly. It is a big foreign object you are shoving directly in their face and it might even make noises and flash at them. How scary?!
Treats are you best friend, make sure they are high value treats (we use bacon 🥓).
Always let them explore the camera before you take your first shot, and make sure to give praise and treats for everything.

3. Remember your focus is the pet, and everything around them is just “noise”. Focus in on their eyes and you will always see the expression you are trying to convey in your photo. Again treat, treat, treat and praise, praise, praise.

4. Find the noise or noises that makes your pet give you that face, tilt their head, stick their tongue out or whatever you are trying to convey ... noises make dogs do things ... find the noise that gets your baby giving you those looks you are after. You can’t be afraid to make a fool of yourself to get that shot!

5. You need to shoot a product with your pet ... Your pet won’t cooperate? Won’t go near the product. What now? Treats!
High value treats (we use bacon 🥓) should get your pet to do virtually anything. You can even rub a bit of the treat onto the surface of what you want your pup to touch, smell, taste or simply go near. This works every time with Diorabelle. Sometimes they need a little coaxing to try something new and a tasty treat is often the thing that will do it for them. They need to trust the item is safe.

6. Pack a pet photo bag ... include everything you need for a day of shooting. Brushes/combs, hair accessories, water/food/treats, squeaker for getting their attention, leash and collar/harness, change of clothes, poo bags/pee pads, cbd oil (if you have an anxious pet this works wonders), toys, carrier, all camera equipment including extra batteries and sd card, lighting, filters, reflectors, diffusers etc.

7.  Most important tip ties back up top to tip number 1

Food for thought and discussion...
Where is your favorite place to take pictures with your pet and why?


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