Four foolproof ways to get your dog to look at the camera and one thing not to do:

One of the questions I get asked a lot is how to get a dog’s attention when you want to take their photo. So, I’ve got a quick post just for you, four foolproof ways to get your dog to look at the camera and one thing not to do.

Use treats. Admit it, every time you pull out a dog treat your furry best friend comes running. That’s why treats are one of the best ways to get a dog to look at the camera. Just take that treat and put it right above the lens, and take the photo. Now you have a great shot of your dog looking right at the camera.

Take out the toys. Is your dog obsessed with the ball or a frisbee? Do they love the sound of a brand new squeaky toy? Grab that toy and bring it right up over your phone to grab their attention. If the toy has a squeaker in it, try to squeak the toy and then take the photo when your dog responds.

Speak in keywords. As dog owners, we know what words our dogs respond to. Usually, it’s some form of, “do you wanna?” Do you want a treat? Do you want to go for a walk? Dogs usually get pretty excited over those familiar phrases. So go ahead, use the keywords that get their attention.

Make odd noises. Odd noises are great to get a dog’s attention. So, click your tongue, make kissy noises, or knock on the table. Your dog will be curious about those new sounds. However, make sure you use the noise technique sparingly. Your dog will quickly get accustomed to you making kissy noises or knocking on the table, and flat out ignore you if you do it too much. So, don’t abuse the technique.

What’s that one thing you shouldn’t do to get your dog to look at the camera? Don’t call their name.

It happens to all of us, your dog is doing something adorable, you grab your phone to take a photo, you call their name to get them to look up suddenly your dog jumps up and comes running to you. So frustrating! But, it makes perfect sense really, you trained your dog to come to you when you call their name, they are just doing what you taught them. So, if you want them to stay where they are when you take their photo, don’t call their name.

Do me a favor, if you try one of these techniques, send me your favorite photo and let me know which technique you used or tag StinkDog Photos when you post your photo to social media.

Happy photo-taking.

Deanna

Bonjour to Barkjour | An Out Of This World Pet Photography Retreat

Hi everyone,

There are a few things that I am always into improving… my photography skills and business knowledge.

Why would an established professional pet photographer want to improve their photography? Because there is always something new to learn. New lighting, new poses, new editing practices, trying different gear and working on your style are the things that make good photographers great photographers. I work incredibly hard because I want to be a great photographer so every chance I get I find a way to improve my skills.

Creating a better client experience is also extremely important so learning new business skills whether it be better client communication or learning about new products. I want to know as much as I can to serve my clients better.

Recently I had an opportunity to go to France for “an out of this world pet photography retreat” called Barkjour. Barkjour is an incredible experience made for improving the photography and business skill sets for pet photographers. Amazing pet photographers from all around the world travel to these retreats not just to learn but to spend time with people that are just like them… crazy dog people that are also in love with photography.

What an experience it was. The location was an amazing chateau in Provence, France that’s almost 900 years old. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to stay in and photograph dogs in such a spectacular location.

The perfect location, a chateau in Provence.
Barkjour was located in the perfect setting a chateau in Provence.

The Chateau courtyard.
The Chateau courtyard at The Chateau Provence.

The food was pretty darn amazing as well. Celebrity chef, Theo Michaels from www.theocooks.com prepared local food for us at Barkjour.

Amazing food by Theo from theocooks.com
Food prepared by Theo from theocooks.com

Yummy local foods from France.
Yummy local food from France is prepared at barkjour.

 

Don’t be fooled by the amazing location and food. We worked all day and night. Here Kaylee Greer and Sam Haddix from Dog Breath Photography are taking sunset photos of Cat from CatsDog Photography and her pup Poppy and helping us improve our sunset portraits so we get the most gorgeous colors and fantastic light in our images.

Working into the night with Kaylee Greer and Sam Haddix.
Working into the night with Kaylee Greer and Sam Haddix from Dog Breath Photography.

When we weren’t in classes we were busy shooting in stunning locations in southern France. Vineyards, small villages, and Pont du Gard included some of the spectacular locations we were able to photograph dogs in.

We all work together to capture each dogs unique personality.
Working together to show off a dogs best side.

Making the perfect pet portrait in Provence France.
Getting the perfect dog portrait in a vineyard in Provence France.

Charlotte Reeves herding puppies so we can get fun photos of puppies running.
Charlotte Reeves herding puppies so we can get fun shots of them running in the village.

Barkjour instructor Nicole Begley cozies up to a puppy with pet photographers Natalie Williams, and Craig Turner-Bullock.
There’s still time for puppy love. Instructor Nicole Begley takes a break from teaching so we can all have a little puppy love.

One of the best and most amazing things about attending a retreat like this is meeting other pet photographers from around the world. We worked hard and worked together to get the most amazing portraits of dogs. We learned from each other and found people we can relate to… The dog crazy, photographers that travel the world, and spend their days finding the best dogs (and sometimes cats or horses), the most amazing light, and perfecting their skills. We do it not just for us but for our clients so they can have photos they love of their furry best friends to cherish forever. It’s quite a tribe of people and I’m thankful to have found them.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my behind the scenes look at Barkjour, an out of the world pet photography retreat. Be sure to follow along on Facebook and Instagram to see additional photos and don’t forget to subscribe to our blog to see the photos from these amazing locations and hear about my adventure photographing dogs in Paris.

XO,

Deanna