The Challenges of Pet Photography

When I found out a friend of mine had bought holiday outfits for her 2 little dogs, who were like children to her, I offered to photograph them.

Since I’ve photographed dogs before, I thought this would be fun… and easy.  Boy was I wrong!

The Challenges Let’s just say…. I needed an Animal Whisperer or some mild tranquilizers!  Ok, I’m kidding about the drugs.  I wouldn’t do that!

Maybe it was the type of breed or the unusual photoshoot situation, but these super cute dogs gave me a run for my money yesterday.

Prince and Belle got nervous from the camera, strangers and sudden movements.  When they were nervous, they would bark for 5-10 minutes nonstop.  They would also jump, run and spin in circles!  And since they had never met me before, I had a camera and had to move a little,  both Prince and Belle would begin their hyperactivity and bark again.  This repeated throughout most of the shoot.  This was my biggest challenge!

It was also dark that day due to the rain storm and we were doing the casual photoshoot in my home, so there were only 2 places to shoot:  right next to the 2 largest windows.  Limited lighting and areas to shoot was challenge #2.

And if that wasn’t enough, here was challenge #3:  I didn’t have much time.  Baby Ava was crying because she was tired, and I chose to shoot the dogs before her nap because the dogs were so loud.  Thus, I couldn’t take my time to let the dogs get acquainted and possibly settle down. I had the kids play upstairs and I could hear my little angel crying.

It was the first time I wasn’t sure that I got ANY usable images at all!  It was also one of the few times I wish I had a studio.

After much sweat and craziness, here are a few images to share…

Santa and Mrs Claus

To get Prince and Belle together, I put them in a box (it was a Legos container)!  This also helped keep Belle from spinning in circles.

They still barked a lot and kept jumping, so this shot took about 20 minutes.  And this is in addition to bribing them with treats and having their mommy/owner right there to help.



Prince looks like a cute stuffed animal.  By the way, he is as soft as he looks!



Belle looks like a toy here!  My kids went ga-ga over her.


Taco Belle



If you are a Pet Photographer (photographing your own pets don’t count – sorry), please share some of your tips and tricks!  I’d LOVE to hear them!!!

#dogphotography #EastBaynaturallightphotography #indoorlifestylephotography #petphotography

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