If you own a black dog, you undoubtedly have some of those photos. The ones that look like a big black blob on the couch with a tiny pink tongue sticking out or the bearskin rug on the floor. Photographing a large dark colored dog is difficult . If your dog has thick hair to the face area, i.e. Newfoundlands it seems to be nearly impossible to capture a good image.
Fear not. Mindy Dutka, a professional pet photographer and owner of Dogs I Meet , offers some tips on taking photos to capture the true beauty of black dogs.
To start, set the tone. Mindy suggests spending some time with your dog, conditioning him or her to the camera or iphone. You want picture taking time to signal fun and treats for your dog. You can play a game sitting next to your dog, snap a picture then give your dog praise and a treat. After a few times of sitting with your dog, ask him/her to stay and you move back and take a photo. Let your dog hold the stay and you move to where your dog is and give him/her a treat ( you do not want your dog to come to you for the treat that will condition the dog to always walk up to you when they see you trying to take a photo.)
Next, lighting is everything. But the type and intensity are important. “Dark fur absorbs all the light. Outside lighting is better,” Mindy said. “Early in the morning or an hour before sunset are the optimal times. Try to avoid photographing midday when the sun is its brightest and harshest. You want “open shade,” not bright, harsh light. It’s also better not to use a flash, as that can reflect off the fur. ”
Now that you have good lighting, The most important tip is having your dog’s eyes facing a light source to catch the light in their eyes. Focusing on the eyes captures the spirit and essence of the dog.
It’s also important to keep your dog stationary, while you move your position to the best spot. You may have to move a few times to catch the right angle to capture the light in your dog’s eyes.
Get down on the dog’s level. If your dog is laying down, get close to the ground for the photo. Ideally, you want the camera to be at the same level as the dog. Another good angle is to have the dog look up at you, again focusing on the eyes.