For the most stunning images a really clean, well groomed dog is vital. It also helps if you can have someone with you on the day to assist you to get your dog looking its best. One of you can hold the lead and handle the dog while the other gets the animal's attention and those all important pricked ears! I can help you to apply finishing touches at the start of the session, however I may try to keep a little distance once I have my camera in hand so it doesn't get damaged with for example a dog jumping up on me and landing on the camera!
- For dogs in particular a full wash and groom in advance of the photo session is recommended. If the coat needs to be trimmed / clipped, it is best to do this about a 3 - 4 weeks prior to the session. Many dogs do not look their best with a fresh haircut - it often looks better once it has settled and grown back just a little.
- Allow sufficient time for the coat to dry completely ahead of their session. If the coat is even a little damp it will show in the pictures so it is very important that the animal is clean and dry.
- Any white markings should be very clean. A little talc/baby powder/chalk can help to whiten the markings if necessary, however please keep it minimal or it will look obvious and odd in the images.
- Ensure any collar you plan to use is very clean. Any dirt, scratches, cracks or marks will be more obvious in a photo.
- Ensure you arrive in time to allow your dog to have a walk around to settle down so you are ready to go ahead of your arranged session start time. It is important that the dog is calm and relaxed. Try to ensure it has had an opportunity to relieve himself before the session so it is happy to stand and sit quietly on command - if trained to do so!
- For portrait sessions some dogs may benefit from some exercise before you travel so not too lively on arrival. Try to not overdo it to the point where they are panting constantly and too tired to stand up. Avoid getting the coat wet while exercising before the session.
What should I wear if I want to be in the photos with my dog
I recommend you bring a few outfit options with you. It will depend on your chosen package how much time is available to change clothing. We can categorise your outfits into three main 'look's:
- Casual look - for example, jeans with a belt and a nice top
- Formal look - a flattering dress / black tie dress
- Themed look - for example you can dress up in vintage clothing, in seasonal dress or a character from your favourite movie or TV show etc.
- Busy prints and patterns generally do not photograph well - it is usually best to stick with plain solid colours.
- Neutral colours go with all equine coat colours. I suggest you wear a light top if you have a dark coloured pet and wear a dark colour if you have a pet with a white coat. Soft pastel colours can also work well for a pretty look.
- Use layers - a well cut jacket can be worn and then simply removed for a completely new look.
- Think about your accessories - perhaps a nice necklace or bracelet.
- Consider your footwear. Try to chose footwear you can move about. For ease of movement I suggest you avoid high heels. If planning a farm walk please note it can often be wet and mucky in places so I suggest boots you can clean easily afterwards - wellies or hiking boots are most appropriate
- For safety reasons open toed sandals or bare feet should not be near horses. There are plenty of nice boots (long or short) and shoes with closed toes available. Please remember to clean your boots in advance!
Can you fix that in Photoshop?
I am pretty experienced editing in Adobe Photoshop so there are often things I can add in or take out when editing after the session. I can try to remove any little scratches, scars or blemishes on the dog to try to present the animal at its best.
However, if the animal or collar is dirty, untidy or poorly presented I will not perform extensive editing without an additional editing fee. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to make a dirty dog or collar look clean. For best results please follow the preparation guide and present your dog clean, well groomed and tidy.
If you have any special requirements regarding the editing please discuss it with me during the session.