Our fuzzy, scaly, zero-to-four legged friends are part of the family. It’s fun to pull out your phone and capture one of those goofy, adorable moments; but trying to get that perfect shot can be tricky, even more so when you try and get the whole family in on it. Whether you’re aiming for a family picture or a solo with Fido, here are some ways to prepare:
Just like people, our pets look their best after a trip to the salon. Schedule your portrait within a few days of grooming for the best results. With shaggier breeds, make sure to get any hair around the eyes trimmed.
While a studio setting will provide an elegant look, it can be unnerving. The flash is bright and irregular, there’s a lot of equipment around and the prop might be strange or uncomfortable for them. It’s better to work outside. Even in a strange setting, dogs will relax when they’re outside. If the location is closed in, a little off leash time will help settle a dog’s nerves. They’ll get the chance to relax and explore. Allot about ten minutes for this. When the dog comes back to your side, that’s the cue they’re ready. For cats, if they enjoy their carrier, use it as much as possible.
In this case, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of bribery. A treat or favorite toy can help focus the pet’s attention on the camera. It’s amazing how often this trick gets overlooked, but it can make a huge difference.
If you’re bringing outfits for your pet, make sure they’re familiar with it first. The sitting can be stressful enough without adding a strange new element. Have your pet wear the outfit a couple times and praise them extensively to build up a positive association. so they get excited when they see the costume. Then, when it comes time for the sitting, the outfit isn’t another twist thrown into the experience.
Pet sessions shouldn’t go longer than an hour. In that time, give your pet time to relax; while you’re switching outfits, let them have a wander. They don’t understand the situation and saying “Cheese” might have them expecting a treat. Let them have a few more minutes to explore their surroundings before getting back to it.
If your pet’s allowed on the furniture, let your photographer know. Suddenly being in the Studio and asked to hop on to a forbidden piece of furniture can be confusing for dogs. Otherwise, prepare to get down on their level. Closeness is always key.
It all boils down to preparation and relaxation; certainly the more relaxed and prepared you are, the more comfortable your pet will be.
September 29th, 2018