Keep Your Canine Subject at Ease while Photographing
When you’re taking photos of dogs, remember that dogs are energy experts. They can read it, they can give it off, and they can detect the most subtle changes in it. Energy is one of their main languages, which means that if you’re stressed, dogs sense it. If you’re calm, they know it. More than that, they mirror your energy.
When you’re photographing dogs, get yourself into a peaceful state of mind and stay there until you’re done. If you get all crazy and hyper (or even demanding and angry), you can expect the dog to do the same.
Ever notice how those TV shows about improving pet behavior start with a clip of humans demonstrating a dog’s horrible behavior as they yell at the dog in vain, but then the expert steps in, and suddenly, the dog is heeling, sitting, and ignoring the cat? It’s not magic; it’s energy. And to be successful with your dog photography, yours has to be good.
Different dogs respond differently, of course, so it’s up to you to meet the dog where the dog is. In other words, a big Lab mix may not mind you bending down to give him a big greeting and a solid pat on the back, whereas a small Chihuahua probably doesn’t feel comfortable with someone hovering over her.
Your canine subjects need a lot of space, especially at the beginning. Remember that being the star of a photo shoot is probably a brand-new experience for them, so to keep them comfortable and calm while photographing, give them plenty of mental and physical space.
More important, keep the process fun! The more you can turn it into a game, the better your results will be.