Dog pic tips

Shooting into the sun, this was just days after arriving back in California; a poignant moment for us. 

This is a different blog today.  I was stopped again the other day as I got out to do some shopping; the guy asked me what I do.  The back of my Xterra says So people see that and wonder.  It is hard to sum up what I do in a nutshell but I do my best.  I guess the name Just Dogs is very suitable at this point; explaining sort of vaguely about the entirety.  It's dogs.

I am also asked if I live with a camera around my neck.  Not really but close.  I have one amazing camera, a great one, an ipad and a old dud camera always in the ready.  I have been shooting dogs for a long time and I will always shoot dogs; I love it.  So this morning I thought that I'd share some secrets to getting great shots of your dog.

Sometimes shoot into the moon.

-  Know your camera.  Most cameras these days have lots of settings, learn about them.  Even just a few tweaks to a setting can change a photo.

-  Be ready, know where your camera is.  Some of the cutest shots are of dogs sleeping or resting so always have your camera ready and shoot.  I learned long ago to grab the shot now because it might leave.  It might not work out but it's best to try as dogs tend to leave the scene often.

-  Watch your background; this can take a long time to get the hang of.  Many fabulous shots of dogs are completely ruined with a cluttered background.  Less is more as far as background goes.

-  Lighting is tricky and can take years to master.  Don't always use a flash in low light and use a flash in full sun sometimes.  These go against what we traditionally learn but play with light and learn to see it.

-  Forget the "never shoot into the sun" rule.  I shoot into the sun all the time and get some amazing results.  Although you need to know what you are doing and what you are going for as far as direct in sun shooting.  If you don't want a silhouette when shooting into the sun, use a flash.

-  Get close and back up.  This is probably one of the biggest things you learn after shooting for years.  Many of my favorite canine shots are just an eye or paw that fills a frame.  Then there are others where a dog is simple a speck but a very representative speck in the distance.

I was ready for this one.  I was at a huge rescue event taking photos for the group that was holding it.  My camera was ready as these little girls approached the cage of these tiny puppies.  I thought that there may be great interactions and there was.  This is a favorite of mine. 

-  Emotion, it's all about stirring an emotion. Many crystal clear shots offer no emotion at all but one that was an oops grab that is blurry may hold a great deal.  Work on capturing a moment.  Shoot what you like, not what people tell you to shoot.  Break rules, heck I break them all the time. Some of the best shots go against every photography rule there is.

Now grab your camera and go shoot your dog.