Puppy Photography

Our Top 4 Tips for taking pawsome puppy pics!

 Ever wanted to capture your puppy in the pawfect photo but frustrated by the lighting conditions or when your puppy decides it’s suddenly camera shy!? We can relate! Here at Banksia Park Puppies, we take many puppy photos per week for our website and customers, and we usually need to work with whatever Mother Nature decides on any given day and the personality of each puppy. We don’t have any professional gear or fancy setups, usually just a basic DSLR camera, the subject ie. the puppy and location ie. the park. We are sometimes asked by our Banksia Park Community for tips on how to take good photos of dark coloured puppies and puppies in general, so we thought we would help you out! We definitely aren’t professionals but our years of puppy photography experience will certainly get you started – all you need is your puppy/dog, any camera of choice, a location, and our Top 4 Tips!
Lighting
Time of Day
Position
Persuasion
Read on for our 4 Top Tips plus a BPP Top Tip & Insight to help take your puppy photography to the next level:

Tip1

Tip 1. Lighting

This is one of the most important tips for capturing a great snap of your puppy as well as for photography in general! The best lighting conditions are: light shade, overcast and sunny.

Light/open shade:

This means on the edge of a shady area just before the full-sun area. Light shade areas can either be under a tall tree, shade cloth/sail, verandah or near a building. When your puppy moves deeper into the shaded area you can risk losing its features due to low lighting and black puppies can ‘disappear’ in the dark background. Unfortunately, mosquitoes love the shade as well especially on a warm sunny day so be prepared with some insect repellant. Mozzies usually aren’t a problem for puppies with thick coats but keep an eye out for any that try to get into your puppies delicate areas.

Overcast:

Is when the sun is covered by clouds or sometimes smoke/pollution. This is one of the best weather conditions for capturing details in puppies! Overcast conditions produce soft lighting instead of the contrasting strong lighting and dark shadows on a full-sun day! Sometimes overcast days means rain which is not always great for your camera! It is fine for your puppy/dog to experience being rained-on and most of the time they will enjoy it – just be mindful that your puppy is fully dried-off on a cold/rainy day!

Sunny:

A Sunny day always make a photo look warm, bright and cheery! The light is great for not only showing up most puppy features but also capturing the glistening highlights in their fur, eyes, and whiskers! Try to avoid a full-sun aspect especially on hot Summer’s days which can cause your puppy to over-heat and become dehydrated.

These cute Cavoodle siblings have been positioned under a single large tree. As you can see in this photo the puppies are in an open-shaded position just on the edge of where the shade meets the light. This means that it isn’t too shaded/dark but also not too bright/glary from full-sun! This light-shade position means that details are captured in the puppies fur, eyes etc. without harsh dark shadows. This photoshoot was in March (at the start of Autumn) which is still fairly sunny and warm. Because of the warm/sunny weather, it was taken in the evening between 3 and 4pm which means that the sun and light were softer than in the middle of the day and of course cooler in temperature!


Tip2

Tip 2. Time of Day

Sometimes the time of day cannot be controlled especially when your pooch has pulled a super cute pose and you need to capture it asap! Whether you have been selective about the time of day or not we will help you out with the what works best during that time!

Sunrise:

This is a magical time of day when the sun slowly emerges from the horizon and produces a warm and gentle light source! Some mornings may even have the added bonus of mist which can make for an interesting/mysterious photo and your puppy will look magical!

Morning:

Photos in an open area are pawfect for this time of day! The light is still soft during the morning which will capture nice details of your puppy and you won’t need to use a shaded area.

Midday:

The middle of the day is generally too sunny and bright (unless overcast) but is a great time to use light/open shade! If you need to take photos this time of day (especially during hot Summer days) pose your puppy under trees, a verandah or shade sail. It is also a good time of day if you like photography or black and white photography with high contrast ie. strong lights/whites with strong darks/shadows.

Afternoon:

This time of day is overall a good time for puppy photos! During Summer it can sometimes still be quite hot with strong light but is a great time of day to capture the glistening highlights in your puppy’s fur, eyes and whiskers.

Evening/Sunset:

Evenings are another amazing time of day for puppy photography enthusiasts. A sky and horizon filled with warm colours and soft warm light make puppy photos look semi-pro! This is a great time of day to capture the detail of your puppy as well as have a beautiful backdrop!

Night:

Nighttime can, unfortunately, be too dark for puppy photography and result in a blurry dark photo. However this can be avoided by using the flash option on your camera/phone, a slow shutter speed to capture the most amount of light or the best and easiest option is taking your puppy inside and using home lighting as your light source and furnishings as your backdrop!

Seasons:

Puppy photography can be practiced all year round but our personal favorite seasons are Autumn and Spring! The lighting during these times is favorable as it is generally softer than Summer and lighter/brighter than Winter. Autumn has the added bonus of a backdrop of Autumnal colours/leaves and Spring has beautiful flowers and fresh green grass!

This photo of a gorgeous Cavador puppy was taken in the morning between 9-10am, early April. It was a beautiful time of day as the sun was peeping through the trees in the park. In that particular spot, it was still a bit too shady so the puppy was located where soft light was streaming through the trees. The surrounding area was shaded so the puppy became the feature and her light coloured fur and pink harness really stood-out against the darker background.


Tip3

Tip 3. Position

Your puppy’s pose and position can take your photography from paw to pawsome! It’s all very well to pick the best time of day and lighting but then forget to your pose your pooch in a flattering position or realise that your black Cavoodle magically disappeared into a dark coloured background. To avoid fluffy-butt pics or puppy-chameleons here are some tips to help you out!

Puppy Position/Pose:

A good way to position your pooch is to face it towards the light source. This will enable your puppy’s beautiful facial features to be highlighted and visible in the photo. Facing your puppy forward like a portrait is the most well known and flattering position! When you and your puppy get confident you can try different poses such as side pose, action shot, sleeping pose (easy-peasy) etc.

Background/Backdrop:

Backgrounds are often overlooked and understated but can make a big difference to the overall vibe. They can make a puppy either stand out and become the feature subject or recede and blend in with the surroundings. Here at Banksia Park Puppies, we like to use green grass, trees, and our park environment as our background/backdrop and theme. Not only are these a part of our puppies upbringing and our business brand but this backdrop enables all coat colours and puppy breeds to stand out and be the star!

Indoors:

We mainly take puppy photos outside using natural light and the natural environment but there are times and weather conditions where this is undesirable and uncomfortable for our puppies so indoor photography is required! Our indoor set up is basic but gets the job done so we are unable to recommend a professional set up but here are some basic tips for indoor puppy photography…
Try to use as much natural light as possible by posing your puppy near windows or a see-through door. If the area is windowless or if it is nighttime turn on the lights or get creative and use a lamp as the light source and play-around with puppy poses, props and backdrops!

BPP TOP TIP:

Some photographers say don’t work with children or animals for the very reason that they are unpredictable! But don’t worry, you’ll enjoy puppy photography, even more, when you switch your camera setting to ‘Action/Sports’ or adjust your camera’s manual settings to a faster shutter speed! Why’s this? Well, the quicker your camera takes a photo frame the more likely you will be able to capture your puppy playing, running, bounding and just being a puppy! When puppies are awake they are always on the move and using a general camera setting or slower shutter speed will result in missing the pawfect puppy moment and instead the photo will look like a blurry blob against a backdrop! On a camera phone go into the camera’s Settings, then Camera Modes, then Edit Modes and select (or drag and drop) Sports or Action mode (phone settings may differ per device brand and model).

The ‘Sports’ mode with the fast shutter speed helped to capture these cute Cavoodles in action! This photo was taken in the middle of the day and in a full-sun aspect but as it was at the end of Autumn the sun/light wasn’t too strong. The puppies are also facing the light, so no harsh visible shadows across the puppies’ bodies.


Tip4

Tip 4. Persuasion

You maybe be thinking woah hold on a sec – these tips are all very well but how do you encourage your puppy to pose and obey your instructions in the first place!? Don’t be disheartened, here are some handy ideas to help your puppy comply.

Doggy Toys:

Squeaky dog toys are the best tool when enticing or distracting your puppy for a photo. The noise can even cause your puppy to head-tilt or perk its ears which makes for the cutest pic!

Doggy Treats:

Most puppy/dog owners love to spoil their pooch with treats and this is a great way to entice (errr bribe) them to pose for a photo! Some puppies and dogs can even perform cool tricks with the use of treats which makes for a great action shot!

Peanut Butter:

What paw-pal doesn’t love peanut butter!? Best of all it can be smeared onto or under most objects which can not only keep your puppy occupied but entice them to pose in the pawfect position! Just remember to use the low-sugar/salt variety and use only as a treat as overconsumption of this high-fat condiment can lead to weight gain in most dog breeds.

Play-date:

Is your puppy a stage-9 clinger and you don’t fancy taking photos of your feet!? All good, a fun distraction is key and that usually involves a play-mate. If you have a relative or friend with a paw-pal bring them along for a dual photo shoot! Distraction, playtime and lasting memories all in one, minus the feet pics!

Training:

Puppy training is beneficially for your puppy regardless if it’s intended for those pawfect puppy snaps or not! We recommend Ian The Dog Trainer, but there is also puppy training information on the internet and YouTube!

Exercise:

You’re channeling a celebrity puppyrazzi, but you realise that your paw-pal is on red-cordial! This is an ideal time to burn up your puppy’s extra energy and take them for an exercise and play session! Even a walk around the park can calm your puppy enough to sit still and pose!

Assistance:

Finding it challenging juggling a puppy and a camera!? That’s where an assistant can come in handy! It’s best your puppy/dog knows the assistant so they are comfortable when being handled and will listen to their commands. Your assistant can be useful to hold your puppy and then quickly move out of the frame, yet still be close enough to keep your puppy out of potential danger. They can also interact and play with your puppy and be a part of the photoshoot.
BPP INSIGHT:

Here at Banksia Park Puppies our puppies are usually too young for rigid puppy training and to understand what a doggy treat is and we prefer our adult dogs to eat healthy well-balanced meals and not be treat-obsessed so doggy treats are only limited to special occasions and for dental health! So you may be wondering what puppy photography persuasion tricks do we use? We actually use sound! Either whistling, calling out “pup-pup”, “puppy” or dog’s name or using a squeaky dog toy to get their attention. We mainly work solo when taking our puppy photos and rarely have the luxury of an assistant to hold or distract puppies while we take pictures, so using sound is simple and it works! For our photoshoots, we like to capture our puppies acting naturally so we place them down in a section of the park and let them do their thing, which is always entertaining and makes for a spontaneous snap! If we want them to look at the camera we will call out or whistle to get their attention – pretty basic but gets the job done! For our 6 week photos, our puppies are still at that age where they are calm enough to sit still and be puppyrazzied! For the active and older puppies, they are photographed in the Puppy Playground area or in a section of the park where they can run and play but still have their photos taken!

How do you get your puppy or dog to pose and produce pawsome photographs!? Share with us your tips below… 

Separation Anxiety

5 tips for a relaxed and happy dog!

 

Have you ever come home after a work trip or holiday and found your paw-pal stressed and your yard a mess? As much as we love our paw-pals, we just can’t take them everywhere with us. Even though dogs are our special companions they can also be content during time away from us! With set boundaries and consistent reinforcement in the short term, your puppy and dog will develop into a healthy and independent dog in the long term.

 

Separation Anxiety Behaviours:

Excessive barking, howling, urination, whining, pacing, digging, chewing and damaging objects, jumping, excessive clinginess, obsessive/repetitive behaviour, withdrawn and reduced activity and appetite.

 

Situations where Separation Anxiety might develop:

  • A change in a family’s schedule causing an increase in or change to times where your dog/puppy might be left alone.
  • A change in residence and or an unfamiliar environment.
  • Traumatic events such as the sudden death of an owner/family member or separation/divorce of owners.
  • Change of guardian or owner.
  • Puppy/dog is being spoilt with too much of owners’ time and resources.

 

5 sure-fire ways to make your dog happy while you’re away!

For your puppy:

  • Create a safe place for your puppy such as a doggy bed, mat, box, or blanket area. Make the area special by using your puppy’s favourite toy or blanket. If you have a safe and secure outside area you can keep a kennel where you can leave your puppy outside when you are not home from an early age so they learn to be independent.

 

  • Wherever you choose to sleep your puppy, do you your best to ignore your puppy’s crying. We know it’s hard but we promise it will go away and then they learn there are no rewards for barking and whining.

 

  • Chew toys are fantastic for when your puppy is alone as they are a good stress reliever. They are also great for jaw strengthening and dental health and best of all reduce the chance that your furry friend will destroy your favourite shoes!

 

  • Invite your friends and family over so they can play with your beautiful puppy (not that they will need an invite!). It helps your puppy meet new people and not get too attached to just you. You will also score yourself some willing puppy minders when you’re away!

 

  • Slowly increase the time spent away from your puppy so it is not stressed with a sudden and long separation. Your puppy will learn that alone time can be fun and that you do come back to them.

 

For your dog:

  • Doggy play dates not only can be fun but can teach your dog how to play with other paw-pals. So when you are at work or away they learn to play with other dogs or animals in a positive way and are not alone or bored. Before you schedule a play date make sure the dogs have met each other and know the backyard/home environment. Bring your dog’s favourite toy or blanket so they feel comfortable and that they have a special area to relax in when they want quiet time.

 

  • Create a fun scavenger hunt that can entertain your dog for hours by hiding some treats in toys or bones in crevices within your backyard. Make sure your four-legged friend isn’t too overwhelmed by a lot of toys and instead have a few interesting toys rotated every couple of days.

 

  • It will be hard but make departures and returns to your companion uneventful and calm. This will help keep your dog relaxed instead of feeling sudden spikes of excitement and stress.

 

  • Regular exercise is an essential part of a healthy active dog’s life. It is also great for releasing doggy endorphins and serotonin (feel-good and calming hormones). Exercising your dog in the morning helps them to use up extra energy so they tire out and are calm during the day.

 

  • Not only is obedience and lead training awesome for your dog’s general behaviour it is also great for their brains! It reduces their chance of feeling bored and destroying your favourite pot plant or sofa. It is also a great way to bond with your paw-pal and improves everyone’s mood!

 

By using these helpful tips, you and your family will be at ease during times of separation from your beloved canine companion and know that they will be happy and healthy.

If you are concerned about your puppy/dog’s behaviour and don’t feel that your strategy is working don’t hesitate to seek assistance from a professional dog trainer (we recommend Ian the Dog Trainer), dog behavioural specialist or Veterinarian.

 

 Here at Banksia Park Puppies we keep our dogs stimulated with regular visits to the Agility Park for extra physical activity and provide socialisation with incursions and excursions. We supply our dogs with some toys and chew ropes and regularly rotate dogs into different yards so they have new neighbours and paw-pals to interact with. We employ an average of 8 Socialisation staff who focus primarily on developing our puppies and dogs’ physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. They undertake walks and lead training, giving and receiving extra affection and cuddles, as well as encouraging surface training with interactive baby toys, mirrors and objects that stimulate a puppy’s senses. With this combination of love, attention and strategies, our puppies and parents are able to adapt to most environments and interact positively with a broad range of people and furiends with minimal to no stress and anxiety!

 

How do you keep your puppy/dog happy and healthy during time apart? We’d love to hear your feedback!
Banksia Park Puppies Hami

Socialisation time with mum Hami

Banksia Park Puppies Socialisation Time

Our Banksia Park Puppies mum Hami came down for a play with us the other day – look at how adorable she is! She loves balls, I tried to get a video of her but couldn’t get how funny she was. She would pick up a ball then find another and drop the first to pick the next one and that went on for AGES. Super adorable to watch!