When I have photographed humans, it amazes me you can say sit up straight, tilt your head, give me a smile and we get the shots!!! I am posing them.
Add humans with pets, the human poses but the pets are looking in every direction. (my clients know I say, look at me &smile because I am not looking at you. I am looking at your pet) I do everything I can to get the pet to look at me. Sometimes I have sing, dance and hold a camera still.
Pet photography is a little different from human photography. Sometimes we can say SIT. But most dogs will not SIT STILL without movement for very long. You need to be fast with the camera shutter and anticipate the dogs move.
This is my 7 month old Goldendoodle - Amos. He is NEVER still. His head is always moving. But somewhere in all that moving around... he will look and we get the shot. So, pet photographers snap multiple shots.
Pet Photographers are like Veterinarians. Vets cannot say to a dog, where do you hurt. Well they can but wont get the answer. They have to figure out what is wrong with them. They are touching, pushing, pulling trying to figure out where they hurt or what is wrong. A veterinarian job is much harder than a human doctor. Human doctors can ask what is wrong.
Pet Photographers cannot say, sit & smile to pets. I work with them. I play with them. I watch their body language. I anticipate their move. Most of the animals I photograph, I have not met. So its important to "bond" with them. I always take a few minutes when pets arrive to let them smell around, talk to them, talk to the pet parent.
If you put a dog on a stool for photos and just start snapping. Its not fun for them. Dogs want to have fun and they want humans to have fun.
So pet photographers have to work a little slower, have a ton of patience, and take lots of photos. Somewhere in all of that, we get those memorable images that grace your walls.
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