Get Physical in Your Dog Photo Shoots

By Kim Rodgers, Sarah Sypniewski

Your first photo sessions with any dog are guaranteed to go much smoother if you work in a preshoot workout regimen. Whether you’re planning a photo session or not, dogs are at their best when they engage in proper amounts of exercise. Exercise is good for them physically and also provides the mental stimulation they crave.

Besides, most dogs absolutely love a good romp!

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50mm, 1/1000 sec., f/2.2, 200

The preshoot workout is especially important for dogs that have a lot of energy or are easily over-stimulated. A photo session can be an unfamiliar and downright scary experience for some dogs, especially if they’re carrying around a bunch of pent-up energy. So before you even unzip the camera bag, grab a leash, head for the door, and walk off some of that energy!

Although a 30-minute portrait sitting with Atlas may be fun for you, ol’ Atlas will get sick of “staying” real fast. Keep things interesting by making your photo session feel more like a game than detention. Have all types of toys ready to go — plushy squeak toys, tennis balls, rope toys, and so on.

In between frames, take a break to interact with Atlas so he feels like an old pal instead of a “subject.”

The more you connect with a dog — whether your own or someone else’s — the more likely he’ll show you his real personality, so don’t skimp on the fun stuff! If you’re outdoors, have two friends play Atlas-in-the-middle with a Frisbee. With so much going on, Atlas will forget all about modeling!