Amazingly Your Dog is Not an Asshole. 5 Things to know before your Dog Photoshoot.

Pet Photography Experiences

I’m serious, your dog is not too much of an asshole for a Dog Photoshoot – you really don’t need to worry, and I’m going to tell you why.

Maybe you’re regretting the session you’ve already booked. Or perhaps you think your dog is just too crazy to book a dog photoshoot in the first place? Let’s be honest, sometimes we all worry that our dog is going to be a jerk in public.

dog shaking itself dry

COMING UP – THE 5 MOST COMMON CONCERNS I HEAR FROM MY CLIENTS BEFORE A SHOOT.

Before I dive into them, I should let you into a secret….I still get that scratchy feeling before a photoshoot with my own dogs. They can be absolute assholes from time to time. I’m a professional pet photographer, you’d think I’d be above all that stuff.
So, yes, I hire another professional photographer to take the photographs for me, and I know that they know what they are doing. I trust them to take some awesome pictures and I know that I can relax and have fun with my pack. This brings me neatly to the first important point I need to make. I firmly believe that your dog photoshoot is supposed to be fun! Seriously, if we’re not having fun, what is the point? If you’ve booked, or are thinking about booking a dog photoshoot, you want to create memories to last a lifetime – ones that you can share with your friends and family, that you can print and hang proudly on your wall, images that you will always admire with love and joy.

YOU WANT TO RELAX AND HAVE FUN SO THAT YOU RECEIVE THE BEST POSSIBLE MEMORIES OF YOURSELF AND YOUR PET.

I thought I’d write this post to put to bed some of the concerns that I hear quite regularly from clients. Hopefully, this will help you to set those fears aside. As long as you’re working with a photographer who has excellent pet photography experience and understands how both animals and humans behave on a shoot, you’ll have a great time!

MY DO MOVES TOO QUICKLY TO BE PHOTOGRAPHED

dog running fast

Your dog might be super lively, or maybe is an active breed, but he’s unlikely to be so excitable that a professional photographer can’t take some incredible images. I also have some pretty cool camera toys that will capture even the wriggliest of pups.

Trust me, if a professional photographer can handle a formula one car, I can handle your hound.

MY DOG CAN’T BE OFF THE LEASH

I hear this a lot from my clients. Sometimes, your dog genuinely can’t be off-leash for whatever reason. And that’s absolutely no problem. Literally, none. I’ve been working professionally as a dog photographer since 2006, and as you’re probably gathering, I have a ridiculous number of tricks up my sleeves. I also have Photoshop, and I’m not afraid to use it. Your dog, or dogs, can be on-leash for the entire shoot if we need them to be. We’ll get some amazing, happy, beautiful shots of your favourite furry guys, relaxing and having a fun time. When I get back to my studio, I just edit out the leash. Simple! Not sure if you believe me? No worries. Check out the before and after from this dog photoshoot below.

Gorgeous, right? They were both wearing a leash, as you can see. After? No leash.

MY DOG’S TOO SHY FOR A DOG PHOTOSHOOT

Oh c’mon, everyone loves shy dogs – they’re just so sweet. But it’s a thing and can be a
problem, and I get that. You want to make sure you get the photos that you’re paying for, you’re trying to capture images of them exactly as they naturally are, having fun or playing. These are lifelong memories we’re creating. Going for a photoshoot can be quite an ordeal for these guys and I understand that you don’t want them tense and worried about the camera, the photographer, or the place. I suggest you check that your photographer is good with shy dogs before you book, if you’re concerned it’s going to be an issue. And, yes, of course, I’m good with shy dogs. There are lots of techniques I can use, but the most effective is probably my super long lens – this means I can shoot from 20 feet away and still get close-up-looking pictures. The dog doesn’t have the camera right in their face, and you get the awesome images you’ve been looking for.

Dog running on the grass

MY DOG WON’T POSE FOR A CAMERA

This is totally natural, your dog will want to explore, not pose for the camera. All dogs need to get a feel for their surroundings before they can settle down.

Normally any dogs are pretty frantic for the first 15 minutes of the session. This is totally standard. It’s exciting, they’ve just arrived, and something new and different is happening. You’ll want to give them the best chance to have a hassle-free time on a dog photoshoot. I suggest to all my clients that they try to take their pets to the location that we’re using for the photoshoot at least once before we go. At least this way it won’t be entirely new to him when he gets there. All of my favourite places to take you also happen to be fabulous for walks, so a perfect excuse to get out with your pup. Here’s an example of a great one. If they know the area, they’ll also take a little less time to chill out leaving more time having fun for the camera.

Either way, I always ensure that we take our time, no matter what shoot you’ve booked with me. I don’t even wear a watch. It’s far more important that we have a great time, and that everyone is relaxed enough to get those awesome photos you’re looking for.

AND FINALLY, I COULDN’T LEAVE THIS OUT… “MY DOG IS AN ASSHOLE”

I love this one! Makes me laugh every time.

OK, we all worry that our dog is going to misbehave when we take them to be photographed. I like to think of this a little bit like having a kid in a grocery store when you just “know” they’re going to start pulling products from the shelves or throwing things out of the basket. Nine times out of ten, they don’t. And when they do, nobody cares. Like literally, nobody. Everyone has seen it before.

You might think they are too much, but they’re not. I’ve been doing pet photography since 2004 (2006 full-time) and I have photographed literally thousands of pets. And they are very rarely assholes. Well, not usually. There are of course exceptions to the rule, and I’ll share one with you in a moment. I can only think of one notable example of an asshole dog for this blog post. And even then, I think I made a dumb move.

Of those thousands of animals, just ONE. That ought to tell you something. More of that in a bit.

If your dog tends to be a bit excitable, just trust the process, trust that you’ve employed a
professional pet photographer who has probably seen this c**p a thousand times before and knows exactly what to do. Relax. Enjoy the ride. That asshole dog? It was a chihuahua. I started photographing in 2004 and went professional in 2006. I was working at an animal shelter at the time. Since then, I have photographed literally thousands of dogs of all sizes, all ages, all breeds AND all temperaments.

This little guy decided to have a good old bite on my hand. It hurt – a lot – and I ended up having to go to the emergency room. I learned my lesson though. If you were the size of a chihuahua and a giant hand came down towards you without warning, you’d probably be a bit alarmed too

In Summary …

I really hope you’ve found this post useful, there really is nothing that your dog can throw at a professional pet photographer on your dog photoshoot that they’ve not already seen! And finally, most of all – please remember, this is supposed to be fun, it’s so important that you try to think of it this way. You’re making precious memories and those memories are always going to be best if you are both enjoying the experience.

I encourage all my clients not to think of it so much as a dog photoshoot but as a fun experience that we’re all going to have together. I’ve recently even renamed all my pet photoshoots “Pet Photography Experiences”. It’s a fun day out, an experience not to be missed, and that you will never have again.

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