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PHOTOGRAPHING YOUR DOG

Several good photographs of your dog are needed to produce your portrait. With planning almost anyone can achieve very positive results. The following are helpful hints that I have found aid in giving the best results. These are not intended as requirements. I will review all submitted photographs. Should in my judgment, I feel additional photos are necessary you will be notified.

LIGHTING, FILM, DIGITAL IMAGES & EQUIPMENT:
  • Photograph your pet outside in natural light.
  • Avoid direct sunlight; try for a bright overcast or hazy day.
  • Use flashes only for whole body shots.
  • If using film, use only a high quality color film with a maximum film speed of "ASA 200", preferably ASA 100 speed film.
  • For film images, use a 35mm camera with at least a 75mm lens (or higher).
  • If using a digital camera, a 4 mega-pixel camera or higher will produce the best results, preferably one with an optical zoom.
POSITIONING:
  • First and most important, get in close to your subject. Preferably, as close as can be gotten and still have the image in focus. Sometimes this is difficult without a variable telephoto or zoom lens. If you have a camera that has this capability, or if a friend has one, try to use it for the photo-shoot.
  • Don't be concerned about background when taking photographs for my portraits.
  • Position your dog so that when you take your photographs the light source will be located behind you.
  • Take the photos from their level – get down on the ground. Do not photograph your pet looking up at you.
  • Take several close-ups photos of your pet’s face from their level. This is best achieved with a zoom lens.
EXPRESSION & PERSONALITY:
  • You best know your pet, and you will know whether or not the photographs you have taken best express its personality. It might take more than one photo-shoot to capture the pet’s expression in a manner you would find pleasing in a portrait. Done get discouraged.
  • You must try to capture your pet’s attention in making photographs for a portrait. If your pet loves to ride in the car - when you are ready to take the picture, try saying something like, "Ya wanna......" but stop short of saying "go for a ride" - usually the pets full focus will be on you and what he hopes you might be getting ready to say. Try to get that quizzical look!!
POSE PREFERENCES:
Once you have several good photographs, choose which ones you feel best represent your dog's personality; which pose you would be most happy with in a painted portrait and categorize them in order of preference. This is important, as you know your dog best. If this decision is left to me, then I might pose your dog or its expressions in a manner you might find foreign or less pleasing.

PHOTOGRAPH SIZE:
If you are forwarding prints, I prefer to work from 4" x 6" color photographs. I have good success with this size image so long as your dog's head is closely centered in the photograph. Also, the image should be a fairly good close-up to show maximum features of its coat, markings & texture. Larger prints can offer some advantage, but the added expense is not necessary. Smaller prints I am afraid necessitate the use of guesswork to fill-in details.

PORTRAIT QUALITY IS DIRECTLY DEPENDENT ON THE QUALITY OF YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS.

Mike Robichaux Telephone: 225-755-4740
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.mikerobichaux.com
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
USA
Copyright © 2004 Mike Robichaux
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