While portraits of dogs can be extremely adorable, clicking pictures of these furry creatures is not easy at all. Unlike humans, pets do not understand what a photographer is trying to do, and hence won’t simply pose for the camera. One needs to be systematic in their approach to take impactful images of their pets. A lot of popular industry professionals, such as Bruce Weber Photographer, engage in pet photography. Going through their works would help in gaining inspiration for perfectly capturing dog portraits.
Bruce Weber Photographer offers a few insights that can be helpful in shooting outdoor portraits of dogs
To take incredible dog portraits in natural light, the photographer would have to set their aperture as wide as possible. They should also try to achieve a small depth of field. The closer the dog is to the camera and the further they are from the background; the smaller would be the depth of field. The ideal option would be to use a lens over 100mm, at have it at the lowest possible f-number, with the dog closer to the lens than it is to the background, in a ratio roughly of 75:25. Here 75% of the distance would be behind the dog, and 25% in front between it and the lens of the camera. The shutter speed should be a minimum of 2x the focal length of the lens to remove hand-held camera shake. However, as dogs are unpredictable subjects, a bit of cushion room would be needed for any movements they may make. The photographers should also try to get their ISO as low as they can without compromising the other settings
The light has to be soft, dreamy, and warm while clicking the dog portrait. The best bet for achieving such a shot would be shooting late in the day, in or at least near to the golden hour. Choosing to shoot early in the morning, just after sunrise, can also be a smart choice. Any other time of the day could be a hit and miss. If a photographer is shooting in RAW, which they ideally should, focusing on white balance would not be too important, but it is always a better idea to keep the aspect in mind. If there are shades of blue and warm light in the same photo, it should be balanced more to the blue than to the warmth.
The eyes of the subject are always important in portrait photography, and the situation is no different when shooting with a dog. In fact, many dogs tend to have immensely expressive eyes that must be showcased in the images. Hence, photographers must focus on the eyes of their pets and keep them sharp. If they are working with a shallow depth of field and can only get one eye in focus, then that eye must be closer to the camera.
Bruce Weber Photographer has clicked a number of photos of his beloved golden retrievers throughout his career. These images can offer amateur photographers a basic understanding of clicking amazing photos of dogs.