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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Pets Talk 
Thread started 09 Jun 2016 (Thursday) 16:12
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Advice for shooting a LOT of dogs

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Joined Oct 2009
Location: New Jersey
Jun 09, 2016 16:12 |  #1

Hello folks!

So, last week a home was raided in the town next to mine because the owners were hoarding over 270 dogs. The dogs were rescued and brought to the SPCA. I reached out to volunteer to shoot the dogs to help get them adopted.

The article is here if anyone is interested: …n_worst_hoardin​g_sit.html (external link)

So after speaking with the lady at the agency, she said a lot of the dogs are still somewhat skiddish (understandably).

Any advice to help move things along? I know I won't be able to shoot all 270 dogs, but anything I could do to make the photoshoot easier for them would be great.

I'm bringing a white backdrop to shoot against, along with a flash, triggers, and I'm going to shoot tethered so I can process the photos there and give them a copy before I leave.


3,963 posts
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Joined Mar 2008
Location: Virginia
Jun 09, 2016 21:17 |  #2

dont expect this to go quick, especially when those dogs are not used to human interaction. you are going to need some help, possibly 2 helpers, one of them being a shelter worker preferably. usually the shelter likes to wait at least a week to give themselves time to evaluate the animals for any health issues before they put them up for adoption. and it gives them time to acclimate the animals to people. you can tether, or simply upload the images to dropbox, onedrive etc. Personally, i wouldnt tether, there usually isnt enough room in shelters to safely do it, not with everything else you plan on bringing.

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Senior Member
478 posts
Gallery: 5 photos
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Joined Jun 2007
Location: Far NW Suburbs of Chicago
Jun 10, 2016 13:03 |  #3

I do quite a bit of volunterr photography work for a rescue. 1 or 2 helpers is a big help, esp. if 1 can hold a treat over your head while you shoot. I also shoot in 3 or 4 shot bursts to make sure I get the look I want since the dogs heads are always moving.

Just be patient and be ready for a bunch of kick outs and you'll do fine.

Cream of the Crop
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Joined Nov 2005
Location: San Diego County, California, USA
Post edited over 2 years ago by RPCrowe. (3 edits in all)
Jun 12, 2016 20:30 |  #4

Find a location that has a plain background or rig a background with some fabric or background material.

Use bounced flash if possible with a diffuser reflector.

Shoot from the dog's lever which means either getting your camera down to a small dog's eye level or getting the dog up to your level.

For small dogs, a large piece of fabric covering an office chair with arms makes quite a nice background.

I probably have 15 or twenty pieces of fabric for backgrounds. The background that I choose depends on the dog...

I use a show lead and have a helper to hold the dog. I clone out the lead...

Some dogs are receptive to treats others are interested in squeak toys...

I like to use a longer focal length to capture the image.

Ensure that the eyes are in focus above all else. I usually shoot at about f/4.

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Advice for shooting a LOT of dogs
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