Hello hello, and welcome to Teacher’s Pet, a column on all things training! Brussels.Sprout will share his how-tos for learning new tricks, updates on his own adventures in dog agility competition, and his favorite tips for helping you and your pup bond over training.
Making Your Photo Shoot a Success, Part 3: Safety First!
We’re halfway through our Teacher’s Pet series sharing tips and tricks for making sure photo shoots are rewarding for both you and your pup. Now that you’ve learned how to set the stage and train the shot, we’re going to have some real talk on a very important subject… safety!
It should go without saying that there is absolutely no picture worth jeopardizing your dog’s well-being or trust in you. Period. Here are our top tips for making sure you live that truth, particularly when you’re shoot out in the elements. So buckle up and here we go!
Never put your dog somewhere he can’t safely jump down or out of on his own. When we did this Elf on the Shelf picture, Sprout was actually on a very low shelf, less than two feet half from the ground, and I just laid on the floor angling the camera up so he only looked higher. And I made sure the books were secured with bookends and gave him enough room to maneuver.
Pay extra attention to safety if you’re shooting outside. The best thing you can do is bring a friend along so they can hold the leash and keep an eye on things like approaching dogs, or people not paying attention, while you’re focused on the camera.
Keep the leash on when shooting on the streets. Even if you trust your dog off leash (I sure do with Sproutie), there are so many elements and unknown factors out of your control that it’s just not worth the risk. Invest in a good-looking leash that you don’t mind having in your photos.
Dirty Little Secret
If you really don’t like how a leash looks in your shot don’t take it off… edit it out!
Gasp! Yes, I edit and recommend you learn to do the same. Look, no dog or human needs a thigh gap, but a little Photoshop magic comes in handy for things like adjusting lighting (with a dark faced dog it’s practically a must), removing a phone number from a dog tag or otherwise cleaning up your photo. I like the Photoshop Fix app for removing leashes and other objects – it’s super easy to learn to use, and I can do it right on my phone.
If you think you may want to edit out a leash, it’ll be easiest to do so if you affix the leash to the back of your dog’s harness or collar, and then run it down his back so it just pops out from one point on the body, and runs on the ground in a neat line… take a look at what I mean below. You can also use this trick for editing out a hand or arm, if you’re ever in a situation where you need to give your dog a little extra support.
Stay tuned for next time when we share our final and most important tip on keep photoshoots fun… xoxo Sproutie!