One of our fave pet photogs, Grace Chon at ShinePetPhotos, was featured in a New York Times article on The 8 Secrets to Perfect Pet Photos. (Congratulations Grace!) Two of her tips really stood out for me. The first was “Pay your models”. While I was shooting some photos of Toki over the weekend, I was actually wondering what professional photographers used to capture the attention of their doggie subjects. By saying “watch me,” I could get Toki to glance up at the camera, but I just wasn’t getting that intense gaze that I was looking for. Now I know I need to up the ante with some high value treats (steak and duck, anyone?).
A second tip that I found interesting was shooting in full shade or diffuse light to retain the details of your subject’s fur. I’ve noticed that this can be especially important if your dog has darker fur. This technique worked really well during my mini-shoot with Toki’s friend Dobby (photos here and here).
You can read the whole NYTimes article for the complete list of tips, including Grace’s preferred lens and tips on post processing. You can also check out a previous post on The Daily Toki with more suggestions for taking pet portraits. And if you’re wondering about the picture above, that’s me attempting to capture Toki’s interaction with a stinkbug that we met while on a climbing trip over the weekend. (Thanks for the photo Raymond!)