Capturing your dog's true personality in stunning & emotive natural light dog photography

We believe that every dog lover deserves incredible memories of their dog being themselves

rhodesian ridgeback puppy close up running towards the camera

I Didn't Realise that Dog Photography Really Is A Thing


This is a comment that I and many of my fellow photographers often hear. So many people love animals and all kinds of pets, and most enjoy taking photos with our mobiles of our pets too.

Whilst many portrait photographers are happy to incorporate pets into their family portrait shoots, there are Pet Photographers who specialise in Pet Portraits. Within this speciality, there are even photographers like us who exclusively photograph only dogs, and in our case, only dogs on location. If Pet Photography is a niche, then specialist Dog Photography is a niche within a niche!

Dog Photography – A niche within a niche

Taking pictures of travel locations is often inspiring to others. Family photos always bring back memories of the special occasion. Studio family portrait sessions taken by a professional also create a moment in time for amazing photos and art to go on the walls. Most of us also have fun memories of family members just being themselves, and that may include them doing their favourite thing (such as sport, dance, or a birthday party). It’s through images like these that the true personality of family members shines through.

For many people, our dog is not just an animal, or just a pet – our dog is a member of our family and household like everyone else. Our dog means the world to us. That’s why we deserve to have permanent memories of our dog’s true personality – simply being themselves. The time we have with our dogs can sometimes be the most precious moments we experience, leaving an unforgettable impression, several photographers have developed into specialist dog photographers. It is certainly a niche, and it now means that you can select a professional photographer to capture your loyal furry companion on our hearts.

Over the years, several photographers have developed into specialist dog photographers.  It is certainly a niche, and it now means that you can select a professional photographer to capture your loyal furry companion’s true character who specialises in Dog Photography. Together, we are creating timeless memories to be treasured forever.

With so many different types of dogs, this niche still has a huge variety of beautiful animals with differing personalities to capture in emotive photography so that it never becomes boring for the dog photographer. There are many dog breeds which can be generally considered to be in one of eight major groups: Working Dogs, Sight Hounds, Scent Hounds, Gundogs, Terriers, Companion Dogs, Spitz-type dogs, Primitive dogs, and Crossbreeds. Every dog lover deserves incredible memories of their dog being themselves, a huge goal that we will do our best to deliver on with so many dog lovers and so many dogs!

rhodesian ridgeback puppy close up with puppy eyes

Passion

To specialise in Dog Photography, you need to truly love dogs. You need to be able to see the world through the eyes of our furry friends, and to see every pet dog for what it is. It may be the gentle nudge or a lick of the hand that cheers us up, or that moment when we return home and see just how excited they are to welcome us back. A dog is not just an animal, but a loving member of the family with unconditional love for their owner. Dogs are an integral part of our family, and that special emotional connection is what every professional dog photographer delivers for their clients through beautiful Pet Photography.

There’s nothing like that moment when a client first sees their fine art edited images of their loyal companion, and the emotional reaction that occurs. Every client is surprised at just how beautiful their gallery of images of their dog is and are amazed at how much of their dog’s unique personality comes through in each photograph. It’s that moment that fuels and refuels the passion of every professional dog photographer.

Whilst such passion is critical for success and is essential in capturing natural images of each dog, a true professional takes their responsibility seriously as well. The better the photographer understands you and your relationship with your dog, the more personality can be captured in the photography itself. This is one of the reasons we invest so much time getting to know you and your pet ahead of the session itself. For most clients, and certainly for their dogs, this is the first professional Dog Photography shoot they have experienced. Therefore, in addition to a questionnaire, weeks before the session, we provide examples of past experiences to help better understand what is possible and to determine client preferences. All our clients say they love this build up to the day, as not only does it create some excitement for the day itself, but it also helps them realise the art of the possible. “A magical and unforgettable experience for us and our dog” is the regular feedback we receive and simply love hearing!

Behaviour

In most genres of photography, the more the photographer knows about their subject matter, the better the final images tend to be. In Dog Photography, the more aligned and in tune the photographer is with the dogs they will take photos of, the more accurately they will capture the dog’s individuality and personality, and the very essence of who they are.

As a dedicated pet dog photographer, this is why we study canine behaviour. In 2021, Chris completed the 150 CPD hours/points of necessary training and assessment to demonstrate his competence and understanding in the field of Canine Behaviour Training, achieving his Diploma with a Distinction. This specific training covered topics including canine senses, breed differences, essential social learning, canine communication, canine stress, how dogs learn, aversion training, aggression, dog training and changing dog behaviour.

As part of continuous improvement, we keep ourselves updated and aware of dog behaviour as it helps ensure that best experience for all. The safety and well-being of every dog we meet is at the centre of each of our experiences, and we will ensure that a dog is never stressed, and we work hard to ensure that our whole time together is fun and enjoyable for all. Your dog is never expected to perform for us at any time, we simply capture their true personality, and our intent is for our clients to see that in every image and in the eyes of their dogs.

rhodesian ridgeback puppy close up with puppy eyes and ears

Skill

The skill of a professional photographer requires a combination of knowledge, talent, and experience. For all genres of photography, there are key subjects that need to be understood such as compositional techniques and mastering camera settings. There are also those topics associated with capturing the image itself including ISO, exposure, metering, and the different types of light and elements – these all come into play and can be leveraged to help create exceptional images. Once the image is captured, the knowledge and experience of digital post processing solutions can then turn that image into an exceptional piece of art.

All of the core understanding of photography and post processing is needed in Dog Photography too. In addition, there are some additional specifics that are critical for a dog photographer. In the original capture of the image, the dog photographer needs to balance a number of items including ISO, shutter speed and aperture whilst also using some techniques to obtain those head tilts and keeping a dog in a specific place. In post-production, the magic occurs to remove the lead and other distractions, and for those providing Master editing, the separation of layers and addition of backlight to create a final fine art finish.

Quality Craftsman

Capturing incredible memories deserves the highest quality products created by some of the world’s finest craftsmen. Whether it is Italian elegance, or a more modern British contemporary design, unique artwork is then certified for 100+ years. Utilising innovative techniques, it is also possible to visualise the final images on your own walls – all using a free wall art design service that most professional dog photographers offer. Here’s a quote from one of our recent clients as an example:

"Chris & Sue were able to show us exactly what our favourite portraits would look like on our walls, and in a variety of sizes and options before we finalised our order. It was so useful to compare the impact of different frame sizes, and how a cluster of frames could appear. The final Wall Art we now have looks exactly as it did in their free visualisation. Incredible service!"

As professional dog photographers, we all want to be masters of our craft. This is the reason we looked for outstanding craftsmanship as we decided who our specific product suppliers would be. Each of our quality suppliers truly complement our dedication to perfection and work collaboratively with us as true partners, to the extremely high standards we jointly set ourselves! By building and maintaining personal relationships with each of them, we ensure that together we deliver exceptional results for our clients every time.

rhodesian ridgeback puppy close up with head tilt

Summary

Whilst we still occasionally hear that comment “I didn’t realise that Dog Photography really is a thing”, I hope that this has helped better in the understanding of the niche of pet Dog Photography.

This article was never intended to cover everything there is to know about Dog Photography but simply to help others realise this genre of photography exists, and that there are many professional dog photographers across the world all striving to produce beautiful Pet Photography to be treasured forever. I do hope that this has provided some useful insights.

You are welcome to comment or feedback as appropriate - Feel free to message me privately if I can be of any specific assistance or potentially put you in touch with a more local dog photographer if I am able to. I am always happy to help.

Chris Miller

MIL Pet Photography

www.millersimage.com

Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In