Where there's a will, there's usually a way....
"I'd really love to get a professional studio shot, but I just don't think he'll sit still"
"She'll sit, but she definitely won't stay!"
"She's really shy, so I don't think you'll be able to get a shot of her without me in it (and I really don't want to be in it!)
It goes without saying that one size doesn't fit all when if comes to photographing dogs in a studio setting. While some dogs have the perfect sit & stay and will happily stare straight at the camera, take direction and act like the professional supermodel (my dogs certainly don't do this!), many will only sit still for a split second, if at all, before scampering off in search of that treat that went under the chair.
Finding ways to work with your dog is part of the process, and more often than not, we will find a comfortable solution that works for you and your dog.
I usually start by raising the dog off the ground on a stool or platform, as this tends to keep them a little more focussed and they are less likely to move around as much. If they are not comfortable like this, no problem, let's see how they do on the floor. Sometimes I'll put a rug or blanket down, which they use as a 'spot', and sometimes, they'll be happy to sit or stand as they are.
Treats, toys, bells, whistles, clickers, you name it, I have it. Most dogs love the idea of command and reward, and the time can be treated like a fun training session or game. Frequently you'll hear me making noises that make me sound (and look) quite ridiculous, and sometimes, silence is golden.
We never rush it.
While some dogs take to a photoshoot like a spaniel takes to water (again! again!), most dogs need time to take in the new environment and settle into the shoot. Making them feel safe and at ease is key. I'll never force the session and if they show any signs of stress then we stop.
If they feel safer, more comfortable with you close by, that's fine. We can have you sit next to them, lie on the floor, place a reassuring steadying hand on them, keep them on the lead....there are multiple options for getting the shots that I can follow up with editing and cropping to make the magic happen.
It usually takes patience, treats, a good sense of humour, more patience and more treats to get it right, but the results are always worth it!
Drop me a line to chat more, if you think you might have a nervous Nelly, or a boisterous Bob