Updated: Jan 2, 2019
You have the whole family sitting nicely in front of the Christmas tree, and just as you're about to snap the picture, Chloe dashes across the living room, she scares the cat, who scales the tree, which topples over onto Uncle Mike's head. Pine needles, cat claws and ornaments are airborne. Talk about a memorable family photo.
wear them out
The number one concern people have before booking a session with me is that their dog is too hyper, doesn't listen to commands and will never stay for a photo. Guess what, they are 100% right, their dog is usually bananas! So, how do I get photos of all these wild, free-spirited dogs? Well, they aren't so wild when they get to me!
Before every photo session I have the dog's pawrent take their high energy pup for a nice long adventure. That could be a long walk, morning dog park play date, a jog around the neighborhood, or just hours of fetch in the backyard. Then, by the time they arrive at the session, they are worn out a bit, more responsive, more focused and far less distracted. They have also usually built up an appetite, which doesn't hurt when trying to get them to look at you! I always say, a tired dog is a good dog and it is totally true! You might be surprised how easily you get Chloe to sit for a picture after a long day in the park!
Attach them to something or someone
Some pups just have endless energy and even with a ton of exercise they can't sit still for a photo. This is when I use one of my favorite tricks. Just wrap the leash around something sturdy like a tree or a fence! Obviously, make sure it is a very safe situation away from streets and other dangerous locations. Then, you can take a few steps back to snap the picture! If you have someone with you to hold the leash, this also can serve as a way to keep them from running out of frame.
Elevate off the ground
A low tree stump, a rock or a park bench like the photograph above are great examples of how "elevating" your pup can be used to get them to stay. Putting your dog on something slightly off the ground usually causes a small pause in their stride and they will often linger there long enough for you to snap a picture.
The truth is, dogs will be dogs! That's why we love them. So, we can use all these tricks to get them to stay, or we can embrace their playful, curious nature! I shoot my sessions at a shutter speed of 1/1000th of a second! That means, your dog can run, jump and play and I'll capture it all! *Remember to always put safety first when photographing your pets. I never use these techniques if there is even a slight risk for the dog.