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What if my dog is Camera Shy?

I previously wrote a post about dogs who won’t sit still and how you can still have a successful pet photography session if you prepare for your session properly. I’m here today to give you some tips if your dog is camera shy or afraid of the camera. You love your dog so much and it can be frustrating not to be able to get a photo of him at his best. Here are some things I highly recommend trying well in advance of your portrait session to make it the best experience it can be.

  1. Have your camera or camera phone out all the time. Take photos of your dog every day, even if you delete most of them. Even though I don’t use flash much for outdoor sessions, I do in the studio, so practice using the camera with the flash on and off. Reward your dog with something small and tasty when he doesn’t react negatively. I recommend those small “training treats.”
  2. Read your phone/camera’s manual and figure out how to turn your camera’s sounds off. Other than the sound of my shutter (which can’t be turned off), my camera makes no beeping or fake sound. Those sounds are a distraction to a dog who is camera shy and eliminating them will make your dog more comfortable.
  3. Get low – don’t stand over your dog. This can be intimidating to him. Sit down on the floor and take your photos from his level so the camera doesn’t seem threatening.

Practicing these three tips at home will hopefully make your session go much more smoothly. If your dog is still camera shy during the session, I will use a long lens to create distance between me and your dog. You will stand close to your dog, but out of the frame and provide reassurance that he is doing well and reward him when he does. This is how we made the session work with Stella, the Australian Shepherd, who was and still is shy in front of my camera. See Stella’s beautiful photos below!

To schedule your pet photography session, complete the form on my Contact page & we will get started!

Dog is camera shy: Stella, the Australian Shepherd in Charlotte, NC. All photos © The Dog Photog 2016. Please do not copy, alter or redistribute without my permission.

Dog is camera shy: Stella, the Australian Shepherd in Charlotte, NC. All photos © The Dog Photog 2016. Please do not copy, alter or redistribute without my permission.

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