In preparation for my photoshoots for Blind Dog Rescue UK coming up I wanted to research tips on getting good pictures of dogs. A lot of my dog photography so far has been of my own dogs or dogs I choose to photograph on the street. This time I do not have such control so may be paired up to do photoshoots with either extremely scared dogs or very hyperactive dogs. In this way I feel as though I need to research to be fully prepared to know how to deal with these scenarios.
I also want to ensure I completely understand the guidelines which have been set to me by the charity so I can fulfil the client brief as best as possible. Looking at the charities other photos and other dog charity sites and the photos of dogs they have on there will help me.
The dogist is a dog photography I have enjoyed for a very long time. His images of dogs are paired with text from their owners which explains a story behind the dog with its personality and details of when the owners got the dog, its age and its breed. I love the concept behind this, being similar to the ‘Humans of New York’ project. I have seen many images by him of dogs which seem extremely active, and think if I can find some advice given by him this would help me feel more relaxed about what type of dogs I will be paired with.
The images are all so crisp and in focus, always with great attention from the dog, showing all of the dogs character.
To try and get some more insight into how he takes such great portraits of dogs I looked up some article interviews with the photographer to get some tips:
His tips on here that I picked up on as useful for me:
- Taking dog treats with me
- Using toys to get the attention of the dog
- Using noises such as barks to get the attention of the dog – I could get some squeaky toys?
- Go to parks at peak dog walking times to capture more dogs
I thought it might be a useful thing for me to look at pictures of dogs in dog magazines. They are often very commercialised pictures of dogs, very different to the artistic style of dog pictures that I usually take.
This magazine I found in the dentist waiting room, and I found quite useful. For example, the image of the golden retriever… for me this isn’t a particularly spectacular image of a dog however I can see how it works in this context:
- The dog is looking happily at the camera/viewer
- their whole body is shown, giving clear dimensions of the dog
- The dog is next to a ball, giving the image a playful context
- The editing is barely noticeable and it looks natural, not taking attention away from the dog
Looking at other dog charity photos
Blind Dog Rescue UK
It has been really useful to look through the charities pictures, to see what they allow. Some of the pictures I have seen show the dogs quite close to the boarders of the image (something they requested not to) so I know that if I get any good images but unfortunately they are close to the edges, I should send them anyway etc.
Non of the images are heavily edited, and I think I should keep to this in my editing. I should keep it down to just trying to get the dogs features to stand out eg using the brush tool in Lightroom to make the eyes stand out.
looking at the images on the dogs trust website I can see on most posts they show the dogs via headshot photos, photos of them interacting with people and through photos showing their whole body
the RSPCA has a similar vibe again, very standard but pleasant images of the dogs.
Blind Dog Rescue UK have given me a link to what they consider ‘bad images’ and what they consider ‘good images’. After this research I feel I have a very good knowledge of what image to avoid getting and what images I need to try and get