Shooting dogs! (not literally)

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by rmh159, Jul 18, 2006.

  1. rmh159

    rmh159 TPF Noob!

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    My wife and I are interested in rescuing a yorkie so last nite we met with the founders of the local organization and they mentioned how the pic of the dog on their website can mean the difference between the dog getting adopted or not (bad pic = forgotten pooch). They casually mentioned that they wish they had a good photographer to get quality pics of the dogs as they believe this would help them find homes.

    So my question is (before I volunteer my "services") would you take an animal photo using the same practices as taking a person's portrait? Does anyone have any other advice for animals? I'm not sure I'll go through with it but I figured it was a good cause and good practice so it's worth putting some thought into.
     
  2. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    A lot will depend on how cooperative the dog is. I haven't done many animals, but I've approached shooting them the same as I do children. You never know what either is going to do, and they don't take direction well. You just have to watch and wait for the right moment.

    Here are some of mine.
     
  3. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    as I said on on earlier post, I have made many shots of dogs over my career because nobody else in town would touch them. Mark was absolutely right set everything up as you would for a child, then wait for the right moment. Use strobe light because it creates the fastest shutter speed possible in more situations than your camera can.

    If possible get a small stuido space at the rescue. Put the animal on a sturdy surface such as a SOLID table. A shakey base will make the animal very nervous as you can imagine. A nice cover over a table it good. If you have a backdrop that is nice, if not a plain colored wall or fabric will do. A back light is good to have to kill the shadows on the wall.

    I know everyone wants to bounce and match light these days but you have to be careful a sudden move by the animal will equal blur in most cases.

    Light is another issue. If you are shooting digital you can correct a lot with gamma. My rule of thumb for film was always 1 stop over for brown dogs one and a half for black dogs.

    Remember this the rich color of the animal is fine but better to over expose and show a cute face, than to have a beautiful coat and have th dog look sinister because of a dark face.

    Im sure there a lot of trick but the best one I know is to shout dog at him just before you shoot it will almost 100% of the time make him look up at you. It stops working after a few times.

    Oh yeah puppies look cute with props.
     
  4. xfloggingkylex

    xfloggingkylex TPF Noob!

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    my family actually just got a yorkie, and as a puppy he can be hard to photograph. The main thing you need to remember is to be patient. put the lens cap on and let the dog sniff and lick your camera so he/she knows what it is. You also have to play with him/her so they develope a comfort with you, at least enough so you can snag a few shots. Another thing that I have heard is helpful is hipshooting because when the dog sees the camera in front of your face, he doesn't always realize it's you.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. malweth

    malweth TPF Noob!

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    My primary targets will be dogs (especially my own) and kids (again... most often my own). The camera comes Friday...

    Something like this would be a good goal for me, though... helping out at an animal shelter like this would be really fun :)
     
  6. niccig

    niccig TPF Noob!

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    rmh, I think it's great that you're thinking about helping out at the shelter - what a great way to contribute! you too malweth.

    xflog, that is an absolutely ADORABLE baby!
     
  7. xfloggingkylex

    xfloggingkylex TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, he is about 9 weeks old, those pictures were taken last week. this has got me thinkin, maybe I should stop by the local shelter and see if they would like an amateur photographer to help take some pics
     
  8. rmh159

    rmh159 TPF Noob!

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    Haha good to see some interest. I figured it was an awesome opportunity because it's good practice, and not a ton of pressure to produce top quality pics. If anyone goes out and tries this shoot me a Private Message. I'll probably call early next week (should get my D50 tomorrow) to see if the shelter would like me to stop in.
     
  9. EscapeTurn

    EscapeTurn TPF Noob!

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    I volunteer a lot of my time with my local greyhound adoption group. One of the things I do to help is take pictures of the adoptable hounds, and let me tell you, it really does make a huge difference. Here's a link to our pictures...

    http://www.greyhound-data.com/adoption.htm?id=351&filter_sex=&x=

    I took everyone's picture save Yukon and Spud. We've had so many more calls about dogs just from pictures alone now than we've ever had in the past.

    We set up a plain, boring, gray backdrop so the emphasis would be on the dog. Then we covered up a wooden platform in fabric for the dog to stand on, and went from there.

    I'm no professional, but the photos have really helped our adoptions. Hope that helps.
     
  10. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    I took a look at the grayhound site and there is no such thing as a bad dog picture. The better lit the are the friendlier they look. It's a great thing to do.
     

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