This week's theme is 'snack time' which can be rather fun at my household of four dogs. I've taught them all they must sit - but they all know the door those snacks are hiding behind. Sometimes Jimbo will go to the cabinet door and look at you, other times you sit in the chair closest to the snack cabinet and he tries to get you to give him a snack - and heaven forbid you use the words "Do you want a snack?" and they all four come running! Abby is the best, sits right away, the girls will sit as long as it takes to get a snack and they are off running with their stack - Jimbo waits for his, gently takes it and goes to his spot - Abby has inhaled hers and is trying to see if she can get seconds! Without photos, that's what the snack time routine is at our house - but what about a dog photo session?
I almost always carry some snacks (dog snacks) with me when photographing dogs. One time I actually forgot them and stopped on the way to the shoot to buy some. I used to keep them in my camera backpack all the time, that way either my dog (Jimbo) or the dog being photographed would have snacks when out shooting. Then along came Abby with her hound nose and that habit had to stop for fear of having my camera backpack chewed up while she happily got the dog snacks.
While some dogs are not food motivated, I have found that they like rewards for their part of the hard work. My little Ollie started modeling at the age of about 10 weeks and now she is so good at it that when I set up the studio, she is waiting to jump in and be the perfect model (Abby is willing, but you gotta ask - with snacks of course!).
I met Landon this past week - he is a beautiful dog, but has a lot of energy, loves to jump 4' fences and in general is a great dog but he keeps trying to get a senior dog involved in activities, and well - it's not going that good, so he is looking for a new home. Landon was very happy to be at a new park with lots of smells - at first, he was all ready to walk that trail, check out the park, but not much interest in having photos taken. One glance at the camera and Landon backed away - not sure what to think of this whole thing. Out come the snacks. Landon was won over by putting a snack on the lens hood of my camera. He at least thought that the camera was ok, while still leary, after getting a couple of snacks off it.
Now for a head tilt, it required a noise, snacks didn't work - yep, those really goofy noises we learn to make to attract dogs.
Now, after I get the head tilt photo, I give the snack. And the next photo he almost looks like he is about to say something and got stopped? Or maybe he just didn't expect what was happening and it caught him off guard.
It didn't take long before Landon's desire to check out his surroundings over powered any snacks or noises I could make and we called it a wrap on this photo shoot - but he was a great boy and loved the little jerky snacks while posing.
For more pet photographers sharing their take on this theme, head over to visit Tracy Allard of Penny Whistle Photography fetching portraits in Coppell and surrounding communities in the Dallas - Fort Worth metroplex and then head around the rest of the blog circle.
If you would like to book a custom pet portrait session, send an email to [email protected] or give us a call/text at 813-610-2671 in the Tampa Bay area (Florida).