You have 0 items in your shopping cart

View cart
single-blog-image >

Dog Days of Summer – How to Photograph the Fur Baby

Author: Libby - Printique by Adorama

It’s the Dog Days of Summer and what better way to embrace them than to find out from one of our favorite members, what’s the best way to photograph those fur babies? Sunny is an Printique member and she and Wallace have graced our social media channels over the years with their signature style and dog swag. Sunny sits down with us to give us a little more insight into how to keep calm and not let the fur fly when photographing our four legged friends.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m currently a stay at home mom and in between changing diapers, wiping noses and picking up after 2 year old twins, I’m photographing every special moment. Over the past year, I’ve been photographing my dog, Wallace, for his Instagram account. I’ve always been a crazy dog mom, taking countless pictures of Wallace. But now with Instagram I am able to share my love of Wallace and photography with others and be more creative in capturing Wallace’s personality. Wallace is a 9-year-old rescued pit bull mix. He is just spreading some love through photography and sharing how gentle and lovable pit bulls really are.
unnamed (9)
How is pet photography different than any other kind of photography?
The challenge with pet photography is your model may not always be cooperative. You may have a great idea for a photo, but getting your pet to execute it the way you envisioned it may not be possible. You have a limited vocabulary to give directions in: sit, down, stay! Sometimes, a short attention span and just plain stubbornness! Pet photography is very similar to small child photography. A lot of times you just have to roll with the punches and adapt to what your pet is willing to do for you. You may not get the photo you originally wanted, but often times will still get an amazing photo you didn’t expect!
I had this great idea to string hearts from an umbrella. I wanted Wallace to sit under the umbrella so the hearts would look like rain falling around him. However, he was not to keen on having something hovering over his head. He had this scared look on his face and hunched shoulders. So instead, we had to hold the umbrella behind him in the background. Not what I had envisioned, but still looked great! Eventually Wallace let me hold the umbrella over him and we were able to get some photos with raindrops and falling treats instead of hearts.
unnamed (10)
What’s the key to having a successful pet portrait?
The key to being successful photographing pets is knowing what your pet is capable and comfortable with. Wallace will wear hats and things on his head. My mom’s dog will not. The second key is to capture their attention long enough to snap that picture. I find that the best way to keep adog’s attention is with a treat. I always have treats on hand when photographing Wallace. I like using small ones since I usually have to give him several during a shoot and we don’t want an upset tummy! When you bend down, like when you’re getting ready to take a picture, this is an automatic signal for a dog to come to you. So I use treats along with a basic stay command to keep Wallace still and in place. And I will hold the treat out with my hand in the direction that I want him to be looking.
unnamed (11)
How do you establish a relationship with them?
The best way to a dog’s heart is through his belly. Treats and belly rubs! It’s really that simple! Wallace’s favorite photo shoots are the ones where he gets to eat the props! 
unnamed (12)
How do you try to photograph their character?
Animals are like humans, each has their own distinguished personality. The easiest and best way to capture it is to just let them do what they do best. I spend a lot of time photographing with props and backdrops which are fun and great. But I have some really great photos of Wallace just doing what he does best, flashing those puppy dog eyes! The ones that make you cave and give him that one extra treat!

Wallace spends most of his day napping. I’m a sucker for doggie snuggles and love to capture Wallace all curled up. This is another great way to capture a dog’s personality, let them be comfortable and relaxed in their own atmosphere. The simple moments can sometimes be the best ones.
unnamed (13)
What’s in your camera bag?
I use the Nikon D700. Most of the time it’s with the Nikkor 24-70mm lens. For close ups of wet noses and furry paws, I’ll use the Nikkor 60mm macro lens. And of course for photographing dogs, a handful of doggie treats!
unnamed (14)
When you invest in good camera equipment and time in creating beautiful photos, you want the best when it comes to showcasing them. That’s why I love Printique photo books! The quality and workmanship is outstanding. And I wouldn’t trust anyone else with the printing of my memories! – Sunny & Wallace
unnamed (16) unnamed (15)