This week's theme is Doodles.
You know those cuddly, fuzzy, curly pups that have some of the greatest expressions caught on camera? That's the ones I'm talking about.
I have photographed a number of doodles, and developed a few tips that might help you if you are a doodle owner, whether you are taking your dog for professional photos, or just doing your own thing at home. I'm going to share them with you.
In the meantime, if you want to follow a really great doodle on Instagram, one of my favorite accounts is reagandoodle. Reagandoodle also works toward a very good cause: foster care.
Three Key Tips for Great Doodle Photos
Doodles have great eyes and use them well in their expressions. The only problem is, sometimes their eyes are covered by the other hair and fur around their face. Since their eyes are somewhat recessed, they can be dark. You want to make sure you can see the full/real color of the eyes.
Eyes are SO INTEGRAL to the overall expression, that it's very important to be sure your doodle gal or guy have a bit of a trim before getting a professional photo done. Even with your own photos, you are going to want to make sure you can SEE THE EYES!
The adorable hair under the nose and mouth of a doodle is a very individual thing. Each doodle wears that beard differently.
The common denominator, though, is that beards can stain, collect drool, or get pretty messy in your photos. That's why, again, it's important to have their beards groomed regularly. You can also use an anti-stain product to combat the build up of bacteria, saliva and mucus that invades a doodle beard (some owners use the same products that mitigate tear staining on doggy beards).
Many dogs other than doodles have beards, like our wire-haired terrier Billie, so you can bet I am sure to clean her up regularly in case I need to pop her in the studio for a photograph or two.
The three easiest ways to manage a doodle beard are:
- keep the beard trimmed properly
- use dog grooming wipes or a damp washcloth to wipe the area daily after meals are done
- shampoo just the beard once a week
Whether you are outside in natural light, or having a portrait done in a studio, doodles need to be lit adequately.
Make sure there is ENOUGH LIGHT ON THE FACE to see the eyes and eye-rim hair. These areas tend to go dark if they are not lit well. If the sun is behind a doodle, you'd better have something to light the front of the dog, or you will get a muted and dark photograph every time.
If you are a doodle mom or dad, you may want to invest in a Lume Cube. The one referenced here is portable, runs on Bluetooth technology, is waterproof, and costs around $90.00. You can use it inside and outdoors and it will broadcast enough light for you to be able to light the facial areas of your pup.
I sometimes use a Lume Cube when pets who come to the studio are afraid of my strobes or off camera flash lighting.
I don't think it needs to be said that if there were a fourth tip in this blog, it would be to have fun taking your photos. I think it's one of the reasons I love Reagandoodle so much, because it looks like every single day is full of fun!
If you have a doodle, and need a doodlicious photo session, give me a call!
I am part of a weekly blogging group of professional pet photographers located all over the planet. To see what others have blogged about in this week's topic (doodles), start here with Dog Photographer Kim Hollis of BARKography, as she talks about finding the best dog models for her commercial pet photography work.
Then find the link at the end of each blog to click on to the next photographer, until you find yourself back here.
Have a great weekend! Enjoy!