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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Pets Talk 
Thread started 22 Jul 2014 (Tuesday) 19:08
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Dog pound photography

 
Anthrax15
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Jul 22, 2014 19:08 |  #1

I recently stumbled onto an article about a woman who volunteers to photograph dogs facing euthanasia to help get them adopted. She had a fairly large increase in adoption rates after that. Which inspired me to do the same in my area. My gear is listed in my signature. Aside from that, what would also be necessary? I have a Yongnua 500EX, wireless triggers, softboxes, and diffusers. I was thinking I would need toys and possibly outfits for the dogs.

Any other ideas or advice would be awesome!


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Wallace ­ River
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Jul 22, 2014 19:28 |  #2

Treats get their attention.


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sirquack
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Jul 25, 2014 14:25 |  #3

Probably stay away from outfits for the animals. You are hoping to get them adopted and people aren't going to adopt and animal if they thing the outfit might be hiding something in the image.
Before you get too far along, also check with your local animal control organization to see if they would even want your services. I looked into it locally once and they said they weren't interested since they had someone on staff that took shots with his/her IPhone. After looking at their website shots, it is any wonder they adopt out any of the animals with the horrible images that are being produced, but that is still their choice.


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Anthrax15
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Jul 25, 2014 18:05 |  #4

The ad was found on Craigslist and they actually said their iPhone's weren't good enough for what they were looking for. I emailed them and attached a link to my portfolio but they haven't responded back.

Good call on the outfits. Didn't think about that!


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Gaarryy
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Jul 25, 2014 18:31 |  #5

I do this for my local animal shelter twice a month.
I do the photo's outside in their play area as late in the evening as they allow 7pm. One advantage I have is that I'm a dog person and dogs love me. They come right up to me, even the ones that are very shy to others.
I don't always use treats but I'll use a toy or two out of their bin.
The main thing is get down to their level when possible. For the really small dogs I'll have some one put them on a smaller bench, or hold them. While I usually shoot pretty tight possible pay attention to your background. Other than that if you can get the dogs having fun or not looking scared that is really good.
I started doing it, since they were just using a cell phone and I figured anything would be better than that. I'd post a couple from this week but they are over the size limit


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MartyH
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Aug 03, 2014 16:58 |  #6

Hi,

I took up the challenge of working at the local animal rehoming centre where I live, around 2 years ago. Best move ever!

Grab a squeak from an old toy, these work great for grabbing attention.

Agree with Sirquack, stay away from costumes, as they are more degrading or unnatural for a pet.

Hard faced looking dogs, (Staffs in the uk) or bull breads: get them to have a good walk around the facility or play in the gardens. This will make them pant more, which makes them appear to be smiling, plus you can grab some action shots too.

If you have time, spend 5 minutes with the dog, with treats to help it relax a little with you. Obviously speak with the rehoming assistants before hand.

Final one, when a dog is sat or posed, Pant at the dog. Most dogs will cock their head to one side with a quizzical look on its face making a great photo!

Usually use 70-200mm, 24-70 or the trusty 50mm.

We usually produce a 2 min movie for each dog, on walk, at play etc. Great if the pound / rehoming centre has a web page with the facility.

Have fun!




  
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Overread
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Aug 03, 2014 17:07 |  #7

I recall reading an article on this by another pet photographer who said one method they used was homely feeling. You've had several already say that they shoot out-doors in green fields at play; another is to shoot indoors, but use some props. A comfy armchair, colourful carpets etc... The whole idea is to sell the dog by showing the animal happy and contented in as normal a home living environment as you can (be that indoors or outdoors).

The concept is simple - people want to see the dog as it will be in their home; when they see that and they see the happy bright eyed animal they want to have a part of that for themselves; they want to be involved and they want to have that happy dog.

It works far better than the almost prison style shots often used by shelters of animals in their pens with a cheap camera because whilst people go "awww" and pity the animal, at the same time they think "I don't really want that sad, unhappy dog in my home" and they head off to get happy puppies from someone with pictures of them on the armchair snuggled up.

If outdoors doesn't work out and you have to shift indoors see if you can get a room at the shelter to shoot in - you'll need a fair bit of space and if they don't have any spare furniture you might need to make a small investment into things to get it to work. Local market auctions are ideal for this and, so long as you've trailer/van to get things home you can pick up things like chairs for a tiny price. A few other props and you're away.


Keep a mind also open to any special medical requirements that might be present. Whilst you don't have to be neurotic about it you don't want to spread any illness between animals at the shelter so treats and a clicker or other squeaky item that the dog isn't physically interacting with might be superior to a chewtoy unless its one of the dogs own - otherwise you might risk passing things between the animals at the shelter (I'm sure they might have their own policies on this in place).


Tools of the trade: Canon 400D, Canon 7D, Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS L M2, Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 OS, Canon MPE 65mm f2.8 macro, Sigma 150mm f2.8 macro, Tamron 24-70mm f2.4, Sigma 70mm f2.8 macro, Sigma 8-16mm f4.5-5.6, Raynox DCR 250, loads of teleconverters and a flashy thingy too
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Bgill1215
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Aug 06, 2014 23:13 |  #8

I was thinking of doing this for my local shelter. Free of charge of course, plus would give me the experience.




  
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Overread
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Aug 07, 2014 05:22 |  #9

Go for it - unless someone else is doing it most shelters just use a small point and shoot with many only taking a shot through the bars or in the (rather prison like) pens.


Tools of the trade: Canon 400D, Canon 7D, Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS L M2, Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 OS, Canon MPE 65mm f2.8 macro, Sigma 150mm f2.8 macro, Tamron 24-70mm f2.4, Sigma 70mm f2.8 macro, Sigma 8-16mm f4.5-5.6, Raynox DCR 250, loads of teleconverters and a flashy thingy too
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Gaarryy
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Aug 07, 2014 08:34 |  #10

I'd encourage anyone to give it a go. There is another photographer locally that helps and will really go all out, bringing in props & strobes, etc. Her pictures are great since she really takes a lot of extra time. But it doesn't need to be to that much.
Just going showing up, getting the dogs out, and the photo's with just a touch of Lightroom edits are so much better than the cell phone shots.
Great Idea to ^^ that does the little video.


---------------Camera, Lens, Flash stuff.. but still wanting more

  
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keith30d
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Aug 09, 2014 18:26 |  #11

I volunteer at a local cat and dog rescue center and go down every 2 weeks or so. The facilities they have aren't the best because they are completely funded by their own fundraising and charitable donations from the public.

Luckily they have a few spots with grass and some greenery in the background to shoot on, and a field a few hundred yards away to take some of the larger, more active dogs.

Like people have said already, stay away from gimmicky outfits or anything that will detract from the personality of the animal. Be aware that some of them may have tempers, or be wary of people because of mistreatment by previous owners. Some might be old and weary, and at the other end of the spectrum some might be puppies that have bags full of energy. So expect all sorts of behaviour form them and a multitude of personalities in the course of a single days shooting.

A small squeak from inside a cheap toy held in your mouth can work to get the dog looking in the right direction, usually with an inquisitive look on their face which is a bonus. I found holding the squeak in my mouth caused me to gag after a while so I keep it now for rare instances that I can't get the dog's attention any other way.

I shoot outdoor almost exclusively and have my girlfriend hold the dogs on a lead and guide them into a position to get the shot I want, sometimes it can be pretty frustrating because they don't always play ball. Especially if they have only gotten out of the pen for the first time that day, be prepared to take them for a bit of a walk to get the excitement stage out of the way, although this can make for some good pictures with some spark in the eyes. I usually find the best images come from the latter part of each mini shoot once the dog has calmed down and gotten used to me.

Kit wise I mostly use my 5d1 and 100/2.0(probably 80% of the time), sometimes with a 430EXii on camera but mostly it's natural light. Your kit listed is more than enough to make decent pictures, I'd actually love a 70-200 to play with but I shoot below 2.8 a lot and the size/weight saving is important to me.

I edit out the leads in PP afterwards too, so shooting at wide apertures helps with that because of the blurred background. Its a lot easier to get rid of leads and hands if the background isn't busy with details, so pay attention to what is behind the animal and what you will have to deal with at the editing stage if you do want to clean up the image like that. Personally I prefer it and people seem to connect better with the animals if they look more natural.

I ultimately want to do pet portraiture for money along with my other photography work, so I treat each dog as if it's a portrait session rather than just another rescue animal to get through and get out the door again.

Here's the FB page I set up to post some of my pictures on so you can see the style I shoot. I'm not claiming to be anything special, but it'll give you and idea of what you can be doing with the gear you have.

Keith

https://www.facebook.c​om …ography?ref_typ​e=bookmark (external link)


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SwtTea
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Aug 10, 2014 20:19 |  #12

This is such a nice idea. I just sent off an e-mail to my local shelter to see if they'd like something like this. There are photos on the site, but they look to be iphone snaps..so hopefully they'll be interested :) Would be a lovely thing to do on the weekends.

I have a 6D and a choice of 3 lenses - nifty fifty, sigma 50mm 2.8 (not as bright, but seems to focus MUCH better than the nifty), and a canon 100mm f.28 usm. Any suggestions on which one I should start out with?


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Overread
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Aug 11, 2014 02:50 |  #13

SwtTea I'd take the Sigma 50mm f2.8 and the 100mm but I'd expect to be using the 50mm the whole time because of the AF performance and the likely working distances you'll have. If you can get outside with the animals then the 100mm would be worth taking, puts a nice bit of distance between you and the subject. Remember animals have quite long faces in general so a smaller aperture is often ideal for some depth into the shot - if you can get yourself further away and have a nice far off background you can do some good isolation (background blurry) shots.


Tools of the trade: Canon 400D, Canon 7D, Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS L M2, Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 OS, Canon MPE 65mm f2.8 macro, Sigma 150mm f2.8 macro, Tamron 24-70mm f2.4, Sigma 70mm f2.8 macro, Sigma 8-16mm f4.5-5.6, Raynox DCR 250, loads of teleconverters and a flashy thingy too
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keith30d
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Aug 11, 2014 11:38 |  #14

As above, 50/2.8 and your 100mm


2 x 5dc::50d::canon 28/1.8::canon 40/2.8::canon 50/1.4::canon 100/2::sigma 70-200/2.8::2 x canon 430 exii
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farmer1957
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Aug 12, 2014 18:08 |  #15

Anthrax15 wrote in post #17049409 (external link)
I recently stumbled onto an article about a woman who volunteers to photograph dogs facing euthanasia to help get them adopted. She had a fairly large increase in adoption rates after that. Which inspired me to do the same in my area. My gear is listed in my signature. Aside from that, what would also be necessary? I have a Yongnua 500EX, wireless triggers, softboxes, and diffusers. I was thinking I would need toys and possibly outfits for the dogs.

Any other ideas or advice would be awesome!

Dressing up a strange dog........ You first...............

You need treats, it is best if the dog just went for a run or a walk, you need time so the dog can relax around you.
And you need 6 arms to keep up with everything going on.

Someone to help you would be a big plus.
Farmer




  
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Dog pound photography
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