I don’t know about you guys, but my human Mum is so obsessed with taking my photo and posting it online, that I have become quite a celebrity in my Subiaco neighbourhood.
The only problem, from my point of view, is that I never get the “final shot approval” before the photo is uploaded. Bad photos show the world my grumpy side, my overexposed white hair, or me squashed in among a mass of other dogs’ tails!
My mate Jack (pictured left) thought his dad Steve had taken a lovely photo, until he realised that his little private bit was showing. He told his dad “Please be more careful in future”. I still think it is a lovely shot of a very cute puppy.
It occurred to me to put together a few tips for our human friends so that they can reveal us doggies in our cutest, most lovable state. I enlisted my new friend Cadbury and his Mum Anna to help.
If your human follows my suggestions, we will appear gorgeous or handsome every time!
“Ten Tips for Getting Perfect Shots of Your Furry Friend”
First up, set the scene. A quiet, open space without too many other people or dogs around is best if you want me to pay attention. If it’s a portrait that you would like, find a nice corner of the backyard with even early morning sunlight or light shade. If you’re after an action shot of me running through grass, then the local park outside of peak play times is best.
Avoid busy backgrounds. Check where you would like to shoot the photo from so that there are no parked cars, rubbish bins, or tree branches sticking out of my head.
Check the direction of the sun. Strong direct sunshine will make me squint and will over expose my subtle features. Try side lighting while still allowing some sunbeams to hit my eyes. Bright, middle-of-the-day, sunshine is too harsh, so please schedule our photoshoot in the morning or afternoon.
A natural setting is better than a studio. I don’t like the bright lights and flash of the camera in a boxed in studio set-up. Natural lighting is more flattering of my best features and allows me to relax and have fun.
Please bath and groom me. I like to look my best if the world is going to see my photoshoot on the internet. I’m sure you don’t like photos of yourself when you first get out of bed with your hair uncombed and scruffy! As “The eyes are the key to our soul”, remember to brush my hair away from my eyes to allow my cheeky glint to shine through. If your furry friend is black, make sure he is looking at the morning or evening sun. His face will just be a hairy mess if there is no glint is his/her eyes.
Don’t bother with a tripod. I know what a tripod means – I have to sit still and pose. As soon as I know this, I’m going to start fidgeting around. You’ll be better off taking free-hand shots where you move around with me. You’ll also get more of a candid image and not a stiff unhappy doggie face.
Be on my level. Don’t fear lying on the ground, level with my eyes. Although I must say this is best avoided if I am a young puppy with an urge to jump and lick your face (and camera)!
Use your knowledge of my personality and behaviour. You know me better than anyone else does. Bring my favourite toys please. If you want that action shot, bring a friend along to throw a ball for me to catch and chase. You know that I will focus and won’t even think of being camera shy. If you want me to smile, let’s play a few games first to get me in the right mood.
Use a little food bribery. Have your friend bring some special treats (BBQ sausages are my favourite). Use them to redirect my attention if I show any signs of wanting to take off and explore! When you want me to sit still, do that after the action shots when I need a little rest. Your friend can hold a treat to direct my eyes where you want my eyes to look.
Set the camera to ‘burst’ mode. Not every shot is going to work, and this is a case where quantity over quality is actually the best approach. Once you have worked out roughly what you want the shot look like, make sure the camera takes a series of rapid shots when you press the button. There’s a better chance of getting a decent shot that isn’t blurred, has me blinking or looking away at the last second. Happy photography
by KoKo Potter (Self called “Subiaco Celebrity Dog”) and Cadbury (the ‘furry inspiration’ behind Love That Pet online pet supplies)