One of my favorite things about being a pet photographer is that I get to spend time around animals who don’t have a care in the world – except maybe where their next treat is coming from. Photographing animals is a joy because they aren’t concerned with me capturing their ‘good side’ or if their hair is just right or if they had a goofy smile. They are concerned with what that scent in the breeze is, or if I’ll pet them, or if it’s a good time to chase their tail. They truly live in the moment.
My clients often ask me to take the ‘perfect picture’ of their dog. That might mean a pose the owner likes, or the dog looking directly at the camera, or with the owner’s favorite sad puppy dog eyes looking up at them, sometimes I’m asked to recreate a funny moment with a dog. But, as we know, even the most obedient dog is hard to command sometimes. To me, the ‘perfect picture’ of a dog, is one that captures their true essence.
Photography is art and art is subjective. Posed pictures and candid shots are equally perfect if you ask me. That’s why when I meet your animal, I like to get to know their personality. I want to see what makes your pet happy, what they might not prefer, and see how they are in the moment, and understand their true essence. I am happy to try to get a requested pose, but I’m also really happy if I can get a photo that captures your pup’s true personality.
This is Slade, an absolutely precious Golden Retriever. Slade is not allowed on mom’s leather chair. When I showed up to take Slade’s pictures, he was so proud to show off how he could jump up, and he immediately hopped on the chair and gave me this look. His mom realized he was on the chair and told me he knows he’s not allowed, but I snapped this picture (just look at that adorable guilty face) before he jumped down and after the many pictures I sent to his mom, this turned out to be a favorite of hers! She even ordered multiple copies so each family member could have one. It shows Slade’s personality!
This beautiful Collie was just too easy to photograph. This picture shows her true personality – a sweet girl who loved to stand and pose for me. I didn’t have to do much to get her adorable face and true nature on film. And once I posted this on my Facebook page, it went viral!
Sometimes the picture you really want does happen organically. Look at these amazing pups from Top Dog Resort. After trying for awhile to get them to pose, something clicked and it all came together. All 18 of them sat and looked directly at me while I took this photo with their owners. I didn’t have to touch up this photo at all! It took some time to get this picture, but this captured their sweet personalities. The amount of cuteness in this photo is just too much to take!