We all know that black dogs are hard to find homes for — mostly because it’s hard to get good photographs. We want to show their happy, playful sides but many times all we get are the dark blurry blobs with glowing red or green eyes. No wonder we can’t find them homes!
Here’s an example of a black lab mix that we photographed a couple of years ago. We know that black dogs need more light. If you’re using a reflector (and I strongly suggest that you do!) be sure you are using the SILVER side, not the white side. And try putting the reflector directly between you and the dog. So you’re bouncing light right in to the dogs face. Don’t blind them with reflected sun, do this in the shade on a bright day. Another trick is to put them on a reflective surface like a light gray concrete sidewalk, like Annie is on. Or if you’re indoors, a light colored floor.
Now TURN OFF the flash. If you’re using your manual settings (and you should!) raise the ISO until you can use a fast shutter speed. I often sit on the ground and sit behind the reflector. I use a flexible round silver reflector about 40″ wide, like this one. And I rest my hands with the camera on the top, (obviously) pointed at the dog.
If the dog is nervous because of the big silver disc in front of him, give him lots of treats and try not to move it around too much. I’ve even laid it on the ground and let them eat treats right off the reflector, so they know not to be afraid of it. Wait until your dog is in position, take a test shot so you know the light is just right, then make a crazy noise to get his attention and SNAP! you’ve got a winner. Remember, FRIENDLY is the key word. Incorporate a toy, a bright colored bandana, or pretty collar to make her look like a member of the family.
Need more help with your photography? We’ve got classes coming up! Saturday, March 12 at our studio in Dallas we have our DOG SHOTS class. One day only with live models and lots of hands on shooting. We’ll walk you through how and why to use the manual settings on your DSLR and even help you with dog body language and composition. We’ll be shooting outdoors and indoors using natural light. The class is $395 and includes your lunch. Call the studio if you’d like to sign up – 972-250-2415.