What makes a dog cooperate with photographers? Here are 5 doggy skills that will make a photo session run smoothly and without problems.
Not the ability to control impulses in everyday life, but a tool for communicating with your dog readily used in obedience training. Self-control allows you to „freeze” the dog in an adopted position for a longer period which makes it very easy to work on static shots. The photographer does not have to rush during the shoot – he can calmly choose the exposure parameters, adjust the focus or change the lens.
Reacting to a name
The dog’s name or any command, meaning „look at me” is a password that is used to control the dog’s gaze. It is very useful as the dog’s eyes are often the most important part of the photo and the final effect depends on where the dog looks. A dog in deep thought, looking into the distance? No problem, the handler just has to stand in the right place and say the magic command. A dog looking straight into the lens? Just stand right behind the photographer and say the animal’s name.
Working with distractions
A photo session with a dog which instead of cooperating with a photographer and a handler now and then finds some other, more interesting activity is no pleasure, that is why the skill of working with distractions is so important. In front of other dogs. In front of strange people. In the presence of strange objects. Amidst disturbing sounds. Distractions can be a particular problem during photo shoots in the city because that’s the space where most things happen. However, some dogs will lose their heads to forest scents rather than people walking on the pavement. It is important to find out what our model may have a problem with and prepare him properly for work in given conditions.
A camera, even a top-of-the-range one, is an unreliable and imperfect tool. Sometimes a shot needs to be repeated. Sometimes, especially when presenting dynamic tricks, many times. When a dog performs a very dynamic trick it can be difficult to aim and it takes a while to get that one, unique frame. In this situation, a model that does not get bored does not get discouraged and performs each repetition with the same enthusiasm is a real treasure.
Insensitivity to weather conditions
There’s nothing better than portraits outdoors – especially when it’s warm and dry, and spring is kindly granting us all its charms. Then even getting up for sunrise doesn’t hurt as much as you might think. Unfortunately, the weather is not always favourable for photographers and their animal models, plus there are some frames that simply cannot be obtained in these pleasant conditions. A gripping photo of a dog sitting in the rain on an empty street? Sure, except you can’t do that on a sunny summer day. Hence the importance of being able to work in all weather conditions – sunshine, rain or intense wind of course without pushing your dog’s limits.