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Dog Photography Tips?

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Lucian
Lucian  4529 forum posts
5 Jun 2010 - 7:35 PM

I would like to start dog photography as it is something i have always wanted to do and am inspired by some dog photos i have seen.
I thought i would ask for some advice on what equipment i will need to produce both outdoor and studio dog portraits.
I have a lastolite background but think it would get damaged by dogs and am thinking that because all dogs are different colours then i may need different coloured backgrounds. What colours of background should i consider getting.
I have a full frame camera with lenses covering from 24mm to 200 mm.
Is there anyone out there with any experience that could advise me on this. thanks

Lucian

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devlin
devlin  4651 forum posts India39 Constructive Critique Points
5 Jun 2010 - 7:44 PM

Not conversant with this subject myself but there's a good writeup on this in the Techniques section

Cheers and hope this helps Smile

KathyW
KathyW  101793 forum posts Norfolk Island12 Constructive Critique Points
5 Jun 2010 - 8:27 PM

I'd start with 25 kg of gravy bones and a couple of squeaky toys (and that's just to keep the owners quiet) Wink

Fishnet
Fishnet  104976 forum posts United Kingdom5 Constructive Critique Points
5 Jun 2010 - 9:33 PM

Fergus goes dead still when he sees his toy/stone so I hold it next to the lens and it looks like he's looking right at the camera.

Sus
Sus  93183 forum posts England9 Constructive Critique Points
6 Jun 2010 - 12:21 PM

I think high key with a a clean white background looks good and gives you most scope.

Also a black background.

Mind you, there is a dog photographer who uses rich jewel colours and patterns in his backgrounds, can't remember the name offhand.

Brown (sacking etc) will not show the dirt!

I asked the chap in the pet store doing pet portraits what he used and he said white tarpaulin from B&Q but unfortunately I've never found it there!

Tony_W
Tony_W  7128 forum posts5 Constructive Critique Points
6 Jun 2010 - 2:33 PM

If you take a photo of a dog with a short coat in the sitting position, make sure you hide various 'bits' behind a front leg Grin. Can really spoil a good shot and you tend not to notice when concentrating on the dogs face.

Try and capture the personality as well to make it more personal to the owner.

Last Modified By Tony_W at 6 Jun 2010 - 2:35 PM
Coleslaw
Coleslaw e2 Member 813402 forum postsColeslaw vcard Wales28 Constructive Critique Points
6 Jun 2010 - 8:41 PM

It bugs me whenever people say they want to be a dog photographer or wedding photographer, and what equipments they would need. As if what they only need is the equipments.
Why not ask yourself: I have this this this, how do I use them to do that that that?
Equipments do not make you a dog photographer or wedding photographer, but you do!

lawbert
lawbert  71684 forum posts England15 Constructive Critique Points
6 Jun 2010 - 8:56 PM


Quote: It bugs me whenever people say they want to be a dog photographer or wedding photographer, and what equipments they would need. As if what they only need is the equipments.
Why not ask yourself: I have this this this, how do I use them to do that that that?
Equipments do not make you a dog photographer or wedding photographer, but you do!

Theres no arguing this very valid pointWink

User_Removed
6 Jun 2010 - 9:00 PM

Very true.

Also, don't forget outdoor shots - especially when photographing working breeds.

My labrador Rusky:

may05.jpg

Sus
Sus  93183 forum posts England9 Constructive Critique Points
6 Jun 2010 - 9:21 PM

Chill Cole, it is relevant!

For example, to set up a pet portrait studio, you would need to consider the fact that your clients have muddly scratchy claws, you can't ask them to take of their stilettos!

I'm still struggling with best choice for pet portrait background.

Lighting too, you may need different light modifiers, to bring out hair texture, rather than focus on skin smoothing as for people.

The range of tones is a BIG problem, black and white dogs are a nightmare, I'm choosing nice yellow/brown ones next time!

Sus
Sus  93183 forum posts England9 Constructive Critique Points
6 Jun 2010 - 9:23 PM

For outdoor shots of working breeds, I'd suggest symbols of their work in the background.

I must therefore assume Rusky's main job is inspecting the compost heap in the background, of anything nice and edible which may have escaped notice and put in there Wink

User_Removed
6 Jun 2010 - 11:22 PM


Quote: For outdoor shots of working breeds, I'd suggest symbols of their work in the background.

I must therefore assume Rusky's main job is inspecting the compost heap in the background, of anything nice and edible which may have escaped notice and put in there Wink

I don't disagree with that Sus.


may052.jpg

Or my other lab, Flight. Although I hasten to add that photo was taken for a book illustration and not as an example of good photography!!

flightgoose.jpg

Last Modified By User_Removed at 6 Jun 2010 - 11:30 PM
PatEisen
PatEisen  3
5 Feb 2011 - 11:26 PM

Has anyone tried a paper background for dogs? When I tried it with mine, their front paws slipped when they tried to sit. Other than that, it seemed to work well, and I could tear it off when it got too dirty from paws and hair.

Perry_95
Perry_95  359 forum posts Wales1 Constructive Critique Points
6 Feb 2011 - 10:55 AM

you'll need a hoover Smile my dogs hairs are all over my house, i dread to think how much mess lots of different dogs will do Wink

Sooty_1
Sooty_1 Critique Team 41173 forum posts United Kingdom196 Constructive Critique Points
6 Feb 2011 - 2:28 PM

I second the paper roll. I used a white coloroll one for years. Just pull it off the roll and tape the front edge down, and when it gets dirty, just tear it off and pull some more down. Sometimes I used to use a large stool with a cover on it and sit the animal on there. Also works for kids and saves grovelling on the floor when you have a small animal!

If you have a solid floor, you can use big plastic or lino as it is easily washable, but if you have a soft/carpeted floor, the claws will make dents in it.

You need lots of treats too, as most animals work for food.

Nick

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