Our Greyhounds play a big part in our lives so it’s no surprise that we want greyt photographs of them. But we all know how hard it can be to capture the adorableness of our hounds, especially black ones. Pets, unlike humans, do not understand what we are trying to do and won’t just pose for the camera! Flashes look horrible. Natural lighting can be so dark that you can’t tell where your dog ends and the sofa begins. Keeping a few of the following tips in mind will help YOU help your pup to shine, using just your phone’s camera. #GreyhoundsofInstagram, here we come!
- Catch Your Pet’s Character
Ask yourself what is unique about your Greyhound and try to capture that on camera. Try to photograph them in their preferred spots or enjoying a much-loved pastime such snoozing on the sofa or chasing a ball. Treats, toys, and squeakers will get and keep your pup’s attention. Keep it close to the lens and move it around the lens area to keep his eye on you. Get your Greyhound to smile. This should not be a problem, as most Greys love to smile! If, on the other hand, you are going for a statelier look, you may want the ears perked and the mouth closed. Just toss a stick or rolled up paper in the direction you want them to look. Works every time!
- Consider Your Surroundings
Backgrounds should be simple; you will definitely want the attention on your dog. Less distracting backgrounds may include an open patch of green grass for outdoors, and for indoor shots you want a room that is well-lit with light walls along with neutral carpet. If you’d like to change up what the background will look like, you can easily fashion a backdrop out of any type of fabric. A piece of colorful cloth from the local craft store or even a bed sheet will work perfectly.
Photographing your Greyhound at play is a great way to capture some interesting shots with personality. Use the Burst Mode for continuous shooting - hold down the shutter button as long as you’d like to help you catch that perfect moment. Then just delete the blurry ones. For action shots, have your photo shoot before a long walk or play session. If you want a serene portrait, make it after. Maybe even after mealtime or at bedtime. A relaxed dog can make for some dramatic and expressive shots.
Overcast lighting is ideal for photographing your Greyhound outdoors – it is consistent and even, creates perfect soft shadows, and allows dogs with darker coats to look their best. Rather than taking pictures in bright sunlight which creates a harsh shadowy effect, you can also opt for the early morning or late evening hours when the light is softer, or in the shade on a bright day. Steer clear of using a flash, as animals tend to dislike it and also results in that annoying red-eye. Also, a flash is harsh and may make light coats appear flat or washed out. If you do have to use a flash, a piece of wax paper held over the flash may diffuse the harshness. You may have to practice this a few times. You could also try a flexible-neck desk lamp for indoor lighting.
Get on their level. Show us the way they see world! If you stand over your hound and look down, that shot is going to look like everyone else’s. Kneel, crouch, lay on the floor or do whatever you have to do to get eye-to-eye with your dog to capture some dramatic, yet natural, shots. Pictures from different angles make for more interesting shots. Take photos from above, below, in front, behind! Use your creativity for photos that highlight your favorite parts of your dog from all different points of view.
- Avoid Camera Shake
To keep the camera steady you can use something as a support such as a sturdy book. Or rest your elbows on something, whether it’s a table or fence post. You’ll hold the camera or phone more still if you hold your breath while taking the photo.
- Special Tips for Black Dogs
Avoid using a flash - go outside. Without greyt light, you may find indoor shots of your pup turn out like a black blob. Find a source of soft, even light - maybe a shaded area, or cloudy day, making sure your background isn’t too brightly lit. Capture your Greyhound’s beautiful eyes. An easy way to do this is to hold something enticing such as a treat or toy near the lens. Try moving the treat around to reflect the light on your dog’s eyes. Black dogs are perfect for silhouettes! This is easiest to achieve with the sun behind your subject during the golden hour at dawn or dusk. If you have to be indoors, try to find a contrasting backdrop, like a light colored sofa.
- Take Lots of Photos
This is the first rule of photography, no matter what the subject. The more photos you take, the better your chances of getting a few amazing shots of your furbaby. But don’t forget to have fun! This goes for your dog as well – stop if he’s tired or bored. Reward him for a job well done in front of the camera, too! Lots of praise and small treats can really go a long way, and can strengthen the bond between the two of you.
- Edit Before Sharing
Whether on a cell phone or a computer, photo editing applications are helpful. Even a slight adjustment can make your photos look better. Your phone’s camera most likely has built-in editing and fun filters—play around to find the best one. Editing the brightness and contrast can really make highlights and shadows pop. Keep an eye on the color… whites too yellow or too green? To take it a step further, you can find a trial of the newest version of Photoshop from the Adobe website here https://bit.ly/FreeTrialPhotoShop. There’s also a ton of greyt articles, blogs, and sites on the web with detailed Photoshop techniques and tutorials. The more you play around with the program the more you can learn!
- Have Patience
Patience is essential when photographing your Greyhound. There will be times where you just need to wait for him to become settled for still shots or to get more active for action images. Have confidence in yourself and know that allowing your pet to “be himself” during your photoshoot will reveal the most personality. The best thing about taking lots of lovely pictures of your dog is the memories that are made, not only in the actual photographs but in the time you both spend together.
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