Learn how to capture an amazing shot of your pet with these six tips from professional dog-photo photographer Elias Weiss Friedman - the man behind The Dogist.
1. Get down to their level
Take the perfect shot by getting down on all fours with your pet.
“Usually you’re looking down at the dog,” he told marthastewart.com. “But on the ground, you get a perspective that you don't usually get.” Elias commonly wears kneepads when he’s snapping dogs in the city.
2. Be prepared to jump in
Capturing the perfect shot can take some time. Take a few pics to familiarize the process with your pet. If your pet is still skittish on their own, you might need to get in the shot yourself.
“The dog might not sit and look if he's by himself,” Friedman says. “But if he's sitting in the owner's lap, then all of a sudden he feels 10 feet tall.”
3. It's all about the light
Don't underestimate the importance of good lighting. “If you're indoors, you look for where the light’s coming from. So, if your light is coming from the ceiling, maybe you look [down from above your pet] so the light is facing up. Little things like that will make your pictures better.”
If it’s dark inside, move towards a natural light source like a window, skylight or open door. Once your pet is comfortable, you can use a flash to supplement the light.
4. Shutter speed
Get a great action shot by setting your camera on a fast shutter speed or use the ‘burst’ function on your camera phone.
“Plan your shot,” Friedman told marthastewart.com.au. “You say, ‘I want to get them running towards the camera. Or across the camera. Or catching a Frisbee.’ Then set your camera, wherever it is, to be focused on that and have a fast shutter speed. Then, kind of a ‘spray and pray’ is what I say - point it and get a bunch of shots.”
5. Show restraint
If you love to accessorise your pet, take a leaf out of Coco Chanel’s page and remove one item before taking a photo. Less is more.
“What I like is originality and simplicity,” said Friedman. “Like making a dalmatian a cow. Or a golden retriever a lion. The simple things are the best ones.”
At other times, it could take just one accessory to bring out your pet’s personality, like a pair of cool sunglasses.
“You can take a dog that might not otherwise stand out, like your little white fluffy dog, and put a bow tie on them, then all of a sudden you have a show stopper.”
6. Be generous with rewards
Get your pet to co-operate with you by giving them lots of treats.
“I always say reward them. Don't not give them a treat or cookie. Give them what you were teasing them with,” said Friedman.