Archive for April, 2016

Working Dog Photography Hints & Tips

Working Dogs are usually large and require plenty of outdoor exercise which creates an ideal scenario for dog photography. The Working Dog group is made up of a diverse set of highly intelligent breeds which can perform a wide variety of tasks. Working Dogs with a fearless nature coupled with a sturdy and powerful build make good Guard, Search and Rescue, Military, Police, and farm dogs although can be kept in homes if given consistent training, lots of exercise and a structured life.

Agility Dog Photographer

Outdoors is the perfect location for working dog photography. To plan your pet photo shoot in advance –

  • Decide on a picturesque location such as a riverside, beach, woodland or garden where you can take photographs of your dog
  • Check the weather forecast and choose a day when good natural light is forecast which is essential for taking good pet photographs.
  • Consider safety – if your working dog is not used to being around other animals and people keep them on a lead but remember to try and hide it behind them if you don’t want it to show on your dog’s photographs.

Whilst it is good to take photographs of your working dog posing, playing or even working in a scenic location try to take some head shots too:

  • Kneel down and position your camera viewfinder level with your dogs head
  • Zoom in with your lens and fill the frame with your dogs head but be careful not to cut out tips of their ears.
  • Choose a wide aperture such as f 5.6 (or portrait mode on your camera) to create a blurred background
  • Try to make sure your dogs eyes are wide open and in focus
  • If photographing your dog in bright sunlight make sure they are not looking directly into the sun which might make them squint.
  • To create an interesting composition try to place your dog ‘s eyes/nose slightly off centre rather than in the middle of the frame.

Debbie Whitfield Dog Photographer        Boxer Dog Photograph

I hope you enjoy trying out some of these photography ideas with your Working Dogs – this is the 7th in my series of Blogs about photographing all of the Kennel Club dog breed groups. Click Here for Utility Dog Photography Ideas, Click Here to read about How to Photograph Toy Dog Breeds, Click Here to read about How to Photograph Terriers, Click Here for Ideas to Photograph Pastoral Dogs, Click Here for Gundog Photography, Click Here for Hound Dog Photography Hints & Tips

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Click Here to receive a Free Printable PDF Pocket Guide which accompanies this article and includes an Equipment Checklist, a Shot List and a Checklist for preparing yourself and your Working Dogs for a photography shoot.

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Utility Dog Photography Hints & Tips

It is interesting to take photographs of dogs in The Utility Group as it is the most diverse of all the KC Groups. It includes a wide variety of dogs which were originally bred for a specific purpose but are not included in the Kennel Club’s sporting or working categories. The three different sizes of Poodle, both the British and French Bulldogs and the Shih Tzu as well as many other breeds of dog which don’t fit into any of the other KC Categories are assigned to the Utility Group .

French Bulldog

Whilst most dogs in the Utility group were originally bred to perform a specific function they are more commonly kept as domestic pets nowadays, but may still show some of the instinctive traits. To capture your Utility Breeds personality you could try to take photographs of your dog showing these behavioural instincts.

  • The distinctive Dalmatian which featured in “The 101 Dalmatians” novel by Dodie Smith and subsequent animated films was originally bred to accompany horses with carriages on their travels. Even a domestic house Dalmatian will have endless energy so try to photograph them in action.

Debbie Whitfield Pet Photographer

  • The Bulldog which is well known as the National dog of GB was originally bred for now illegal bull bating therefore is physically strong and powerful and sometimes stubborn. The instantly recognisable wrinkled face and flat nose can make Bulldogs appear comical and stern at times making them quite photogenic for pet photography.

Pet Photographer Cumbria

Always make sure your Utility Dogs are well groomed so that they are looking their best before you take their pet photographs. Wide eyes are particularly important when capturing cute pet photos so when taking photographs of your dog remember to:

  • Avoid taking pictures of your dog looking straight into the sun as they may squint
  • Squeak a favourite toy to attract your dog’s attention
  • Kneel or lie down depending on your dogs height to gain direct eye contact
  • Avoid using flash which can cause a strange green glow in dog’s eyes

I hope you enjoy trying out some of these photography ideas with your Utility Dogs – this is the 6th in my series of Blogs about photographing all of the Kennel Club dog breed groups. Click Here to read about How to Photograph Toy Dog Breeds, Click Here to read about How to Photograph Terriers, Click Here for Ideas to Photograph Pastoral Dogs, Click Here for Gundog Photography, Click Here for Hound Dog Photography Hints & Tips and watch this space in the next few weeks for the Working Dog Group!

Please feel free to leave a comment and share this article

Click Here to receive a Free Printable PDF Pocket Guide which accompanies this article and includes an Equipment Checklist, a Shot List and a Checklist for preparing yourself and your Utility Dogs for a photography shoot.

 

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