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Day 2 - Expressions

Dog Photography - Day 2

Welcome to day 2!

How did yesterday go?  Were you able to figure out your camera settings? How did your dog behave?

Hopefully you already got some nice images to share on your favorite social media platform. Today we’re gonna put our focus on facial expressions.

As the saying goes: A picture says more than a thousand words. It’s absolutely true.

A single picture can tell an entire story, and it’s up to you to capture it. The story behind your picture is mainly influenced by the facial expressions of your dog. We’re gonna teach you how to get those.

Hopefully your camera is fully charged, because you’re gonna need it today!

1. The eyes

If the picture’s focus needs to be somewhere, it’s on the eyes! After that, your camera should focus on the facial expressions. Eyes speak and show emotions, and they are often the focal point of any image.

If you fail to focus on that, your picture may fail too. The facial expression tells what the story is about, and shows if the dog is happy, sad or excited. Have a closer look at the pictures below and see for yourself.

The trick is to be at the right angle, at the right time. The eyes change a lot based on what’s happening around the dog, so play around with the environment, the dog’s mood, lighting and angles.

2. The smiling dog

Sometimes it looks like dogs are smiling. They may show their teeth or their lips are gently lifted up. This situation can create images of true happiness!

But, how to you capture these kind of images? “Say Cheeeese” doesn’t do the trick, unfortunately.

However, engaging you dog in light physical activity before you take the shot, does help. You can throw a tennis ball into the field and let him chase it. You have to know when to stop though. If the physical activity is too intense, the dog will start panting intensely, and you want to avoid that.

Find the sweet spot. This simply depends on how well you know your dog. Don’t make him too tired! He still needs to smile for the camera!

3. The interested one

This one can be a bit more tricky, and it fully depends on your dog’s personality. Dogs are curious animals and they like discovering new things. For some, the simple act of taking a picture can do the trick.

They often get interested in the sound of the shutter, so instead of taking 1 picture, take a few shots in a row. If you want to take a lot of picture where your dog shows interest, you can reward him every time he does it.

Some dogs need some more stimulation. Try making strange noises with your lips or tongue. A whistle or the sound of a squeaky toy helps a lot as well.

4. Action shots

Some dogs are very energetic. Sometimes it seems like they fly from one place to another! Many dogs start moving around nervously when they get excited about something. (Compare it with a kid in the candy store)

It can be quite a challenge to capture dogs on the move, but there a trick to it.

First of all, make sure that your shutter time is short. In order to get a sharp image, it should be as high as possible with a minimum of 1/120. However, don’t go over 1/800 because it will “freeze” the image and fails to capture the action. Most cameras have a “sport” mode where these settings will be applied automatically.

Keep in mind that you should take at least 10 to 15 pictures in a row.

Action shots are tricky and you need a lot of tries to get a good result!

Don’t give up if it seems to fail at first, soon you’ll get the hang of it.

5. The curious one

Discover new places with your best friend and introduce him to new experiences. It makes great images!

Dogs like to explore new places and they are more than happy to face an adventure.

Try to capture the image of your dog discovering a new smell or see how he reacts to different situations.

Additionally, you can introduce him to foreign objects, other people or things he hasn’t seen before.

6. Nose shots

My personal favorite. Zoom in on the nose and make the background blurry (See yesterday’s lesson). It doesn’t need further explanation. (Again, a picture says more than a thousand words).

Play around with the setting of the camera to get see the different results and effects.

© 2020 Advanced Canine Education