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After Halloween comes Thanksgiving, and with all the excitement in the air, it's a great time to capture the happy moments! The Jope team loves the fall colors and dramatic skies because they are perfect for taking pictures of our pups! So it's a great time to snap out that fancy phone or camera and capture unforgettable happy family moments with our fur babies!
Dr. Christine, our co-founder, shares five tips to immortalize the cuteness of your pup this Holliday season! Also, while carefully studying your dog to take pictures, she finds it an excellent opportunity to do a quick health check of your pup!
So let's combine fun with health tips and get amazing shots of your pup to share on social media!
1 - Setting the stage up for the perfect doggo-shoot
The key to a successful photoshoot with your dog is to be in a safe environment and have fun. Of course, we love parks for the open air, fall colors, and beautiful skies, but a lovely bright, cozy room with natural lights can work wonders too! But avoid crowded and loud places.
We also bring treats and toys as they are an excellent way to keep the shoot fun and interactive. They will also allow you to capture incredible facial expressions!
Ideally, have someone with you who knows your pup to help with action shots. They will also help direct your puppy during the photoshoot. And let's face it - the more, the merrier!
Make sure you have a high-resolution camera- phones can work wonders! Portrait modes are great to use for close-ups of your pup.
It's the perfect time to scan your dog:
- Is the fur shiny and thick?
- Is your dog's nose dark and wet?
- Does your dog look bright and alert?
If you notice anything abnormal, take note and book a visit to your vet to get it checked!
Dr. Christine loves to take a moment to pet her dog all over before taking pictures. This intimate moment allows her to check for bumps and lumps while showing her pup ( Rio) how much she loves him!
2- Get at your dog's level and keep it fun!
First, get on their level to get the best shots of your pup. So if you choose an outdoor space, get ready to get down and dirty! Most of the time, you don't want to stay standing, or you won't capture the beauty and glory of your dog's silhouette. However, taking a straight-down shot of your pup in certain poses yield an incredible shot. For example, if they are sitting and gazing right into your camera.
Second, use toys and treats to guide their gaze and attention. Have them look straight into the camera to capture the essence of your pup's soul. Make sure you speak to them and reassure them! If you have someone with you, have them interact playfully with your dog for the pictures or in-between shots.
We prefer to start with candid poses before going for the action shots.
When you start with the action shots, take breaks, so your pup doesn't get exhausted. It's good to have water for them, especially on hot days.
3- Focus on light and facial expressions for candid shots of your dog
When taking candid shots, we find that lighting and your pup gaze are the essential components of a beautiful picture. The golden hour is a perfect time a day to do a photoshoot. Indirect light in a house can also be gorgeous. Dr. Christine loves morning lights and uses cloudy skies and fall colors to create dramatic backgrounds.
Use their favorite treats to capture excitement and love on your dog's face! Have your assistant help you. It can also be fun to accessories them with hats, glasses, bow ties, and flowers. But ensure any props you use are safe for your pup.
Dr. Christine finds that the candid shots are best taken 1 or 2 feet apart. Also, it's a great time to use your portrait mode. Portrait mode will give you a blurd background and focus on the features of your dog. Remember to stay at their level.
Great time for a close-up health check:
- These close-up shots will allow you to scan your dog's body thoroughly.
- Observe carefully how they move around the room.
- Are they having trouble getting up or sitting down?
- Do they always sit down on one side?
If you notice that your dog favors one side, it could be a sign of joint pain and discomfort. In senior dogs, the most common cause of joint discomfort is osteoarthritis. You should consult your veterinarian for a treatment plan to address your dog's pain. Also, consider adding veterinary-grade joint supplements to your dog's diet to help their joints stay healthy.
4- Keep the action shots fun and short
You can use your voice, commands, toys, and treats to guide your pup's movements for the action shots. Don't hesitate to get creative, as you know your dog better than anyone.
Please ensure you are mindful of your dog's age for this part of the photoshoot. If your dog is older, we recommend avoiding jumping as it could put a lot of pressure on your dog's joints.
Also, breeds pre-disposed to back issues ( boxers, french bulldogs, beagles, dachshunds, Pekingese, Shih Tzus, basset hounds, American cocker spaniel, etc.) should not jump.
Dr. Christine loves capturing dogs running full speed toward her. To do so, she has her pup sit while she positions herself a few feet away. Then she calls them and takes raffle pictures as they run towards us.
When taking action shots, the most important is to take as many pictures as possible! And while you might have many bad ones, a few will be eye-catching! If your camera allows, use the live feature for more views.
Another of our favorites is capturing the moment our dog eats the treats. It's a hard shot, but when you catch your dog with their mouth wide open and a look of pure focus and joy on their faces, you'll see it's worth the trouble!
Motion health check: take a minute to watch how your dog moves while taking the picture.
- Are they limping?
- Are they having trouble turning promptly?
- Are their energy levels high or low?
- Are they tired and unwilling to participate in the playful activities?
If so, this could mean your dog has joint issues and is painful. If your dog is limping, check to see if your dog has something stuck in a paw that could hurt them. If you can't see anything explaining an abnormal gait, book a visit with your vet.
5- Perfection is in the details
Finally, another Jope favorite to capture the essence of our pup is focusing on a specific part of their body. We love the eyes, paws, and tongue. Dr. Christine founds they make for original and creative shots.
Detailed health check: these close-ups are another perfect opportunity to look at the color of their tongue and paw pads.
- Is the tongue light pink (healthy) or dark red (which can be a sign of congestion)?
- Are the paw pads cracked?
- Look at their eyes. Are they shiny and bright?
- Do you see anything on their eyelids? Is there any crust on the side of the eyes?
We recommend visiting your veterinarian for an eye checkup if you notice anything abnormal. Also, look at their ears and their mouth.
Overall the main takeaway is to have fun with your pup and use this opportunity to capture the charm and uniqueness of your dog. Whether you keep these pictures dearly or share them on social media for the world to see is totally up to you! We love to do a little of both.
Finally, one last piece of advice: keep your camera handy when in the company of your pup! They often tend to do the funniest things when we least expect it! And although we are fans of living in the moment, it can be great to have a picture to remember it by! It's all about the memories and the love you and your pup share!
Don't forget to thank your helper!
If you take a picture of your pup, we'd love to see it! You can email it to email@example.com or tag us on social media at @petjope.com.