Just kick'n it
Good Saturday morning, yes my guys are gone out for their canyon run and will return happy with their tongues hanging out the side of their mouth. I just gave Tilley another summer haircut so she will be much happier and feel much cooler on her run. My two poodles are the picture of happiness when they return. Speaking of pictures, being a professional photographer enables me to capture all sorts of great images. I do shoot posed shots when I need a particular image but mostly I try to shoot a dog being a dog.
A dogs face says everything and if they are not happy the picture is not going to turn out. Being a dog trainer gives me that extra advantage in understanding dog behavior so I can react to a situation or capture a special moment that may last a split second. Often I have told a guardian that their dog is getting stressed, not hugely stressed but I can see the first signs. They tend to not agree, afterall they want the shots. But I always take five, put my camera on a table and sit on the ground so that their pooch can just chill.
Even if I have taken the time to get to know the dog, stress can happen during a shoot. It is one thing to be just kick'n it with this dog but once you are completely focused (literally) on the dog it can make a dog uncomfortable. I now use my long lense so that I can sit a comfortable distance away and still get great shots. This makes the shoot much less intrusive for the dog and they relax much more readily.
Getting great dog shots takes patience and alot of it. Guardians tend to get flustered when their dog is acting up for a shoot, so I immediately tell them to relax and that I have patience beyond patience. You must have patience to be a good dog trainer and that flows over to my photography. You cannot be in a hurry to get a shot, you have to let a great shot happen naturally. You can always help it along but helping it can also backfire.
I love spending time with dogs so waiting is never an issue. I could just sit on the floor or ground and wait for them to relax for a very longtime. Watching dogs is what I love to do.