So many times I hear people tell me they’d LOVE to get portraits done of their pet, but the main excuse for not getting them is “my dog will never sit – he/she is too hyper”. But you know what? It’s possible! It’s always possible. They just need time to get used to what’s going on. Of course that sometimes doesn’t work either, but usually, if we give them time to get over the “new person-show-off-dance” they do tend to co-operate a little more. I would never end a session until I’m satisfied with what I’ve got anyway. If I’m happy, you’ll be happy! If it takes an extra 20 minutes, that’s no problem! And you know what? I love a challenge, and I LOVE action shots! (And sometimes photoshop is a really good helper too!) This little pup 'Summer' would not sit still for longer than one second. the whole world was new! No time for pictures lady! (is what I'm positive she was thinking about me) Mom was standing behind her for this photo and got her to sit for just long enough for me to snap the shutter. I took mom out, and got this gorgeous finish as a result.
Here are 4 simple things you can do before hand to get your fur-kid ready for their shoot!
Brush up on Obedience! Not all pets have been to a class, but you can easily work with them at home to get the basics, like sit, stay.. and any other simple direction from you. These little things will go a long way towards getting awesome portraits!
Practice! Any fancy tricks you might want portraits of should be practiced with distractions. As I mentioned before, a new place with new people and new things will be totally distracting to them, and they won’t perform their tricks in new places as well. So practice around other people or in new places.
Grooming! You wouldn’t want to show up for your own portraits with messy hair, or dirty feet! Well I feel that they wouldn’t either! Have their fur trimmed a couple weeks before, so it has time to grow back a little bit before the big day, and if necessary be sure to comb their coat on the day of. (Bring your brush if you want to!) If all they need is a bath, then do that a day or two before as well so they come dry to their session, and so they aren’t too fluffy for pictures either!
Play them out! If you have a high-energy breed like a lab, border collie, or a terrier for example, take them for a nice long walk, or have a good play session. then they won’t be bouncing off trees or people as much when the time comes to meet me! Also, don’t feed them before coming either. If they are a little hungry, they might do anything they can for that treat!!
Too often I hear people say they wish they had gotten nice portraits of their pets, but that it was too late. Don’t let your fear of them not co-operating keep you from doing something to remember them for a lifetime. I’ve had some pretty challenging pets come my way, and the delighted responses from the finished images really proved the decision paid off!