Tip of the Day – Attentive walking
Image 3 of 5 of Ella’s Session in the series Creating Variety in Your Dog Photography Sessions
I love a “doggy walking with owner” shot, but only if the dog isn’t pulling out in front. Some dogs just naturally walk nicely on a loose lead, but with those that don’t, why not do a little training to create a shot with lots of connection, like this one?
Have the owner walk the dog up and down the same path a few times, letting them check out any interesting smells. After the first few times they should have the distracting scents out of their system. Going up and back also makes the dog realise they aren’t actually going anywhere so they don’t need to pull ahead, because they’ll just be turning around anyway.
When they’ve stopped pulling so much, have the owner carry treats in their hand (discretely) and whenever the dog looks at them, they get a treat. Most dogs soon realise that all they have to do is keep looking up at their owner and they are rewarded, bingo!
Now you can start shooting! Set yourself up with the sun behind you (for full sun – make sure you’re low to reduce your shadow) or in front of you (for backlit – make sure that sunshine is filtered) and use a long lens to zoom in and track their walk, making sure you have the focus point on the dog’s head and use continuous auto focus.
Shoot whenever the dog looks up at their owner and grab some images with lots of connection and expression.
You can frame this with the owner in full view, or cropped at the waist or chest, or mix it up and shoot a few different options for the owner to choose from. These types of shots are especially good as album fillers.
Canon EOS 1D X, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II @ 142mm, ISO 100, 1/1250 sec, f/2.8
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