There aren’t many other photography subjects that elicit more gasps, sighs and general doting than those of sweet and lovable puppies. Puppy photos bring out the softy in some of the most seasoned curmudgeons. Like babies and kittens, photos of puppies reach a vulnerable spot in most people. The same qualities that make us love looking at photos of puppies are the same qualities that often make it difficult to take puppy photos that make viewers swoon. Whether it is running and bounding, rampant licking, attempting to get to your camera to give it a nibble, or general puppy attention deficit disorder (PADD), capturing your canine subject may prove more challenging than you thought possible. Puppies Are Unequivocally Adorable, But You Will Have to Do Some Work to Capture the Moment to Evoke the Response You Have In Mind As photogenic as puppies and dogs naturally are, you are going to need to learn and apply some skills, strategies and general tips that can help you get the shots that will create all those sensory responses in your viewers when they see your own brand of dog photography. Following are 5 special tips we believe can help you when photographing puppies:
1. Remember That Patience is a Virtue That Puppies Demand and You Should Taper Your Expectations.Already having discussed the highly effervescent nature of puppies, you probably have an idea of what you might experience when you walk into your studio or meet at the designated spot for the shoot. Accept that you might not — and probably won’t — get the photograph you have in mind. However, if you go into the dog photography session with a laid back attitude and a willingness to just see what happens, you are likely to get a string of puppy photos that far exceed your expectations. Watch the puppy at play, while sleeping and while up to general puppy malfeasance to come up with something amazing. Consider a special “puppy-themed” background setup to enhance the fun, playful style of your photos with a pet or animal backdrop.
2. Give the Puppy — and Yourself — a Rest.While puppies have what seems like an endless supply of energy, they do get tired. And when they become tired, that’s it. They need to lie down for a good old-fashioned nap. Again, photos of sleeping puppies often evoke as gushing a response as fully awake pups, so observe them during rest to see if you can find a slumbering gem. And when the puppy awakens, you will see a new burst of energy, which might come accompanied with a brief bout of attentiveness.
Featuring: Color Block Floordrop
3. Enlist an Assistant for Puppy Herding and Holding.Even if you generally work on your own, anytime you work with animals and children, you might need an extra hand, as well as another perspective. If nothing else, you will probably need someone to chase after the active puppy and help him or her stay…and sit. You can even ask your assistant hold the puppy in the photograph since the sight of humans cuddling with sweet puppies often brings out a feeling of warmth and the desire to cuddle with a puppy themselves.
4. Meet Puppies at Their Level.Whether you are photographing a Great Dane or a Yorkshire terrier, get down on the ground and experience the world from his or her perspective. Roll balls to your mini model and use the squeaker toys to connect with the pup. Sure, you’ll sustain some licks and paws to your knees or chest, depending on the puppy, but getting this perspective — a special view of a lilting ear, an unusual expression or a spread paw coming at you — can make a big difference. If you worry that you will find this approach too distracting, create a small riser upon which you can set the puppies then create a small barrier. With this approach, you can still catch the action at the ground level, but you miss out on the licks and loving in exchange for getting the shot you want.
Featuring: Lemon Planks Floordrop
5. Speed Up Your Shutter Settings.A faster shutter speed gives you the best of all possible worlds when you are working on dog photography. You can let your puppy run free to see what he or she will get into. With a faster shutter speed, you can capture real action in real-time to catch a true slice of puppy life.
Are you a pet photographer? What ages do you most often work with?
-Backdrop Express Photography Team
Interested in reading more tips on pet photography? Check out our blog: Pet Photography: Indoor or Outdoor?
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