If you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat, you saw on our road trip home Sunday we passed through this small town and saw this super cute pink polka dot wall that we had to stop by. I’m such a fan of the colorful walls and would take every photo if I could in front of one. Just my luck, we had the camera with us and even Chloe so it was the perfect opportunity for an impromptu photoshoot. I’m not sure about your puppy but Chloe is a busy body. I honestly feel like she knows what a camera looks like and what it is and purposely looks and poses when she wants and other times tries to lick the lens. When I am able to get her to hold still for a photo, these are a few tips I use and that I’d like to share with you just in case you want to achieve the same.
Tip #1: Safety First – Use care if incorporating props into your shoot since puppies will attempt to eat everything (including your gear). They will also launch themselves off any high surface, so have an assistant if you plan to place a puppy on a table or other structure. Make sure the areas you choose for your shoot are free from potential hazards.
Tip #2: Have Realistic Expectations – Puppies, like young children, are difficult to place into a specific pose. You will frustrate yourself to capture that “perfect” image. Plan to have fun with the shoot and attempt to capture typical puppy behaviors such as playing and sleeping. Spend some time in the beginning interacting with the pup so that he or she gets used to you and your camera.
Tip #3: Tire Them Out – Puppies have incredible energy levels and move very quickly. In order to slow them down a bit for your shoot, spend some time playing beforehand. You are still going to require a fast shutter speed to keep your images in focus, and you may want to try using your camera’s Shutter Speed Priority mode. Remember that the more light you have to work with, the faster your shutter speed can be in order to freeze the action.
Tip #4: Get on Their Level – Plan to get on the ground and shoot from a variety of angles. Be ready to move quickly and change positions often. Because it is so hard to get them to look up at you, being on their level will allow you greater opportunities to capture entire faces and super cute expressions.
Tip #5: Let the Puppy Lead – Once you’ve chosen your safe area for the shoot, let the puppy lead the way. He or she will begin to explore and play. Again, it’s helpful to have some assistants around to help keep the puppy contained in a certain area or to redirect. Photograph them doing what they choose to do, and you will end up with fun and natural images.
Tip #6: Try Again Another Time – Not everyone has this option, but just catching your subject on a different day or time of day can make a world of difference. Puppies grow and change quickly. Be patient, and keep practicing.
Tip #7: Have Fun! If you’re freaking out and scaring your puppy you’ll never get anything accomplished. Have fun and act like the camera isn’t there to get your puppy comfortable and to help capture candid moments.