posing ideas for a family and pet?

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by nadopix, Nov 18, 2008.

  1. Do you have any examples of portraits with people and their dog? I'm shooting a family (Mom, dad, 7-year old
    daughter) with their bassett hound soon, and would like some brainstorming on posing ideas. We'll be outside,
    shooting casual portraits
  2. These were inside...but the theory applies indoors and out (IMO)...keep 'em close
  3. Try getting down on the dogs level! IE, lay on the ground and shoot up. Plenty of interesting ideas and angles. Try Barnes and
    Noble as well...
  4. Get the dog's owner to pack some treats. Maybe a favorite toy. Depending on the dog's disposition, they could be
    nappers or an acrobatic ball of fur. I tried to photograph my sister's Retriever once. He either pushed the action shot
    shooting with his powerhouse playfulness or tried to lick the lens. Considering that Labs will eat anything, I guess I'm
    surprised he didn't start chewing on the camera. The fun dogs could be a handful.

    Dogs are like little kids. They might be full-blown play or crying-afraid of the camera. I'd be ready for contingencies.
    The Basset Hound may sound like a tame, sleepy breed of dog; but, a dog's a dog. This one's a hound. "Booooww-wu-wu-wu!"

    I'd have a camera with a wide angle lens on hand, outfitted exclusively to get the overall shot of the family circus
    chasing the dog around in a large circle while the people are trying to wear their Sunday Best for the infamous Family
    Portrait. Be prepared for comedy.

    This could be your chance to intercept unbelievable hilarity.

    Something about the potential for a haywire dog and a family portrait leads me to think I should be coming up with some
    kind of wise and intelligent warning about the safety of studio lighting; but, I can't think of what to recommend. Dog
    treats and a water bowl on hand might be a good idea. I guess you'll see when you meet the dog on the Big Day. Good luck on this one.
  5. Thanks, those are really helpful suggestions.
  6. What Patrick said about getting down on the dog's level makes sense to me too - also, with a short DOF you can end up with some really neat shots. I'm no expert but our new kitten makes for a nice photo:<br><br><img src="http://www.oktapod.com/uploads/Daisy_70-210.jpg"><br>
  7. I am not so sure that you need to get down to eye level with the dog. That is just one option. I personally would build this family photo outdoors in a place and time without a lot of other folks around. Start with the dog's main handler in the center like this snapshot. Then place the other three in the setting- after the dog is comfortable and in a sit stay or as close as possible-let them slide in to the frame after you have taken a few shots with fill flash and the dog gets used to the idea (have peanut butter chunk in principal handlers hand etc. works wonders for a treat or alertness tool). The temperament of dogs is very different. Most do better after they have had a good long walk tell the client. I like outdoors a lot, and even with a not perfect background it seems to be satisfying. If you seek the dog' s attention, a toy or hand puppet works almost as well with dogs as little kids. Prepare with a tripod so you can have subjects walk in to a "marked" spot on the grass. Good luck. Easier to get an older dog to pose than some folks not to blink or grin broadly...
  8. A backyard with a tree provides some less distracting for the animal. Nothing says you can't use a half hidden stool for the senior adult and the dog. And place the others on the grass in a more relaxed pose. A reflector and a helper is very useful with a group to attract subjects while you look through the finder. Tripod, you bet. I enjoy pet family groups. Here is Kathy and her two well behaved Shepherds I did once, not a prize winner but the light in the early morning was good and one reflector on a stand helps. Biggest advantage was that the lady had a sense of 'posing' for a camera-big help. Good luck.
  9. The shoot went pretty well! I posted some shots at www.nadopix.com (click on "portraits")

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