Like trying not to accidentally elbow people in the face while dancing salsa, taking photographs of dogs can be difficult and confusing for dogs and humans. For example, check out our first attempt of a photoshoot with Max.
The beginning of the photoshoot
The end of the photoshoot
As you can see Max seems to be getting sucked into a vortex of disappointment, tiredness and wanting to poop.
We needed help. And we needed help bad.
Allyfotografy To The Rescue
We chatted with Allyson Matos, a super nice photographer who takes photos of humans, animals, and this thing we call life.
We asked her for tips on how we can suck less when we take photos, and we also wanted to find out a bit more about her, because she seems really cool.
Check out what she has to say about photography and doggies…
1) Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into photography and dog photography
I am 27 years old, married and have a fluff ball fur baby named Bear (Maltese/Yorkie).
I got into photography as a hobby. I had just finished University with a Criminology Degree and was not happy in the field I chose. I finally was honest with myself and took a risk and turned my hobby into a business. I am a huge supporter of chasing ones dreams, and I am so glad I took that leap of faith.
I do all sorts of photography and so happen to take photos of pets. I don’t do it as often as my other shoots, but I find more families have been requesting shots of their pets as they are members of the family too!
2) Do you have any tips on how to take the perfect photo of a dog?
Yes! Here are a five…
- It is important to go to dogs’ houses so they feel comfortable with me or we go outside as they love open spaces.
- Playing with the dogs in the beginning allows them to get to know me. We play for a bit and that also tuckers them out. Once they trust me and I know their personality, I am able to calm them down.
- My favourite treat to give the dogs is Dingo Aussie Wraps! The dogs go nuts for them! The owners also bring treats, and usually the dogs will sit and lay for me.
- I usually call the dogs’ names really loudly so they turn and look at the camera, and thats when I take my shot.
- I also use a mobile backdrop. A backdrop is a little background the dogs can sit in front of. It has 2 tripod poles and a bar across it that allows you to hang paper or fabric. I have both white and grey backdrops. The price for them is really reasonable. I paid $170 for mine including the paper! The company is called savage, and you can find the items at your local London Drugs!
3) Do you have any funny stories about something that’s happened when you’ve tried to take a photo of a dog?
I was trying to take photos of a dog named cuddles. The family asked for a newborn shoot but requested some shots of the dog by himself. We tried everything to make him stay and sit, but he wouldn’t budge. Finally we gave up and decided to start the newborn shoot. Well, Cuddles didn’t like that the attention was on his new baby sister, and he grabbed one of his bones and propped up in front of the back drop and ate his bone. He then stood up and “posed” for the camera for so long. It was so funny!
4) How do you keep a dog looking at the camera?
Really its about time. The attention span of dogs is very short, so I only have a small window to get the best shot. I find that sitting them in front of the backdrop and having the owner behind me holding a treat and telling them to sit and stay works. I get my shot, they get their treat and we start again. It’s a long process but totally worth it!
5) Is there anything a dog can do to prepare for a photoshoot?
Best thing to do is to take the dog for grooming a week before. This allows them to get used to their new do and also for the hair to settle so it does not look so spiked up in the shoot. Take your dog for a long walk, that gets them all tuckered out, so they are not hyper during the shoot. Bring lots of treats and maybe some of their toys as a way to distract them and to help them to pose.
And that’s the way the dog cookie crumbles…
If you wanna get a hold of Allyson for a photoshoot check out her website or say hi to her on Facebook or Instagram. You can also say hi to her in real life if you see her on the street. We will leave the decision up to you.