Dogs have feelings too. Just like us, they don’t want ugly photos of them on Facebook and Instragram for their friends to tag them in. Our tips are going make sure that your best mate is going to go from #uglyselfie to Kardashian in just five easy photography steps (without the need for a Kardashian budget).
TIP 1: Invest in a photography lighting kit
Scroll back through the Doxies Down Under Instagram page and you’ll see some pretty but amateurish photos. Our break through product in making our photography game strong(er) was investing in a basic photographic kit. Once upon a time, studio-quality photography kits were priced out of the market for amateurs. But now, with the mere sacrifice of a trip to the movies (entry level) or a night out on the town (more sophisticated set-up), you’ll be the proud owner of your own photography lighting kit.
There are a number of different price points and kits available. eBay’s “A Beginners Guide to Buying a Photography Lighting Kit” is really useful in helping work out what you will need. Once you know what you want, start shopping on eBay for your own kit. Simply search the term ‘photography lighting kit’ to find a kit that suits your budget.
Doxies Down Under Tip: plan ahead as many of these items are dropped shipped from China and delivery may take four to six weeks. Keep a note of the dimensions as you’ll need these for Tip 2.
TIP 2: Clear a photography space
Once your kit arrives, you’ll be excited to use it. One thing you may not be prepared for is the size of the stand for your backdrops. Whilst many of the kits are portable and come with their own carry case, it’s likely you’ll want to take photos of your prized pooch several times a day week, so the easiest option is to have a small space cleared that you can leave your stand assembled.
Using the dimensions of your stand, clear a space in a bedroom, laundry, or corner of your home where you can set-up your photography lighting kit. Remember you will need to make sure you have enough space for the length of the stand (the heights are usually adjustable) and to unfold your backdrops.
Your selected space should be free from drafts and, where possible, have access to natural lighting.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a permanent space cleared for your kit, we used ours in the entry of our home for quite a while until we reclaimed the guest room. Where there is a will there is a way!
Doxies Down Under tip: if possible, choose a space with a hard floor like tiles as your dog may ‘sink’ a little on carpet. Carpet the only option? No problems, we have an editing tip for that in next week’s blog.
TIP 3: Be prepared
Have your space ready to go before your bring your beloved pooch in for their puparazzi session.
- Adjust the height of your stand to suit
- Attach your chosen backdrop to your stand and make sure it is free of debris (like dog hair) and marks
- Plug in your photography lights and make sure the cables aren’t going to cause a trip hazard or get in the way of the framing of your photo
- Select any props you are using for your photo and set them up on the backdrop or have them close by so they can easily be placed in position around (or on!) your dog
- Have your dog’s favourite treats handy to use as a reward both during and after the session
Doxies Down Under tip: buy some skirt/ trouser hangers from the discount store and use these to store your backdrops. Hanging the backdrops will assist in keeping them wrinkle-free, take less storage space and make them easily accessible.
TIP 4: Make time
There’s an old show business saying “never work with animals or children” because their behaviour is often unpredictable.
You may get the perfect shot straight away but you also need to be prepared to be patient and work with the mood of your dog. Ensure you have allowed sufficient time to have styled your backdrop, several minutes to work with your dog and have plenty of play and reward time afterwards (our next tip).
Doxies Down Under tip: sometimes the outtakes make the best photos!
TIP 5: Make it fun
Some dogs just don’t like having their photos taken, to be dressed up or to sit still. Don’t ever put your dog in a situation that makes them unhappy – no photo is worth this.
If your dog is the master of the duck-face or fish gape and works with you to achieve a great shoot, you need to make it a fun experience. The Doxies Down Under LOVE their photo time. If they haven’t had their photo taken that day, they will hang out near the photo space and make it known it’s their time to shine. Why? Photo time means lots of play time, treats, games and fun. It is never forced and if either of us aren’t feeling the vibe it simply turns into a play session only. After all, we all have hundreds, maybe thousands of photos in our camera roll to keep in reserve.
Doxies Down Under tip: keep a high quality treat or favourite toy for photo time as a reward. Your little super star will associate their photo time with this quality reward.
Do you have any other tips you can add to this list? We’d love for you to add your own tips in the comments below.
We hear you asking “but how do I edit my photos when I have zero editing skills?” Make sure you have subscribed to our newsletter so you don’t miss next week’s post on how we levelled up on photo editing with just a few easy steps and not much skill.