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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
You folks have really handsome, photogenic dogs. I have the prettiest little BLF that's doing wonderful things and I'd love to have a picture of her. But she cringes, or turns away, or puts her ears back like we're holding a chainsaw instead of a camera. I suppose I could drug her... or put her in 4 point restraints (nurse-speak). We've tried distraction and cookies and everything but she wiggles and jiggles and flinches, and whines. Ergh! People at work want to see my dog and I don't have a single photo worth showing.

She was on veterinary leave of absence for a week and I had to take her to work. She slept under my desk. Some folks got to meet her, so they know I'm not lying when I talk about this sweet little dog.

Is it hopeless? Is she going to outgrow this?
 

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If it helps any, my recyle bin is used a bunch.

The worst photo sessions (for me) are when I'm actually trying to compose a shot. I rarely just decide to have a planned photo shoot. The camera is available most of the time and I often anticipate opportunities as they unfold (if that makes any sense).
 

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what he means is youhave to take a lot of pictures to get a real good one, a good camera helps, i go thru 50 -60 to get a good one with the right look, sometimes there arent any good ones
 

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sometimes there arent any good ones
I didn't know you were there last few times I took a camera into the field. :(

Non artistic regards,
 

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Back when film was used in 35 mm cameras, the rule of thumb was one good picture (maybe two) in a roll of film.
 

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Take out a bird and have someone behind the camera hold it up or a gunner and tell her to mark. Get her pumped up and have something to focus on besides the camera.
 

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LOL!! Just keep trying.......

My old girl Jaz, now gone, was picture phobic. I got 4 good pictures in 15 years. AND I am a picture nut with the dogs. She would stick her nose up in the air and look away if she saw a camera. HATED having her picture taken and somehow she always knew what you were up to. What a snot she was. Best picture I ever got was her holding a pheasant, looking away. Silly dog. I miss her and the nice thing is every picture I look at I end up laughing. So while it drives you crazy now, someday it will mean a lot to you.
 

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Dead bird cue works for us pretty much every time. Even if they're standing on their own, you can say it and they look straight out and usually have a pretty enthusiastic expression. Probably wouldn't overdo it though!
 

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My dog does not like sitting for composed pictures. He'll look away from the camera and totally mess with me. It helps to blow a duck call to get his attention.... that usually perks him up a bit.
 

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1Tulip, I know exactly what you mean. I have 3 dogs but the love of my life, Indy, HATES the camera. The other two are hams and are also photogenic. Indy, (who I am only slightly biased towards;-) ) is, I think, one of the most beautiful dogs I have ever seen and does not have a single portrait quality photo. Same as yours, his ears go out or back, his tongue hangs out a mile or he twists his head away. 'Course if you use a duck he creeps! I will just have to keep him in my heart, cause I sure can't keep him on canvas.
 

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You don't say how old the dog is or where you are in training. If the pup knows sit/stay and if the pup likes to retrieve and will fixate on a dummy, etc., put the pup on sit and toss the dummy out in front of the dog. That can be a great way to get profiles and headshots. If you want the dog to be looking in your direction, put the dummy between you and the dog. Sit on the ground or even lay down. You also didn't say how long your lens is. A short to medium telephoto (100mm or more) may help. That way you can be back from the dog a bit to get the photo. I have thought that some dogs don't like that big single eye staring at them, so if you are far enough back to not be intimidating that might be better. Have your camera at your eye, focused, with your finger on the trigger before you call to the dog. Learn to squeek softly and don't have a bunch of folks calling, squeeking, and dancing around. Soft sounds just at your dog's hearing threshold will often get and hold their attention better than stuff they hear loud and clear.
If you are attempting action shots, be sure to set your camera on the autofocus mode that will track moving subjects (on canon slr cameras that is AI Servo) and get back from the pup. Try not to be where you are sticking the camera right in the dog's face, you probably wouldn't like and most likely your dog won't either at first. Good shooting!!

These two photos were taken at hunt test with the dogs waiting for the command to go.




 

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While I know it's way too early, especially since I haven't picked my CLM yet, this Saturday, I think he's going to be ok with the camera. See my avatar for picture of him.

David
 

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Unless you have a dog that hates the camera, you don't know what we go through. I would say you can take 30 pictures and not have one work. The more frustrated you get, the more their ears go back or they start panting or they squint their eyes. Some dogs are hams and some dogs just hate it. I have one dog I walked around the corner and took a picture of her coming at me. Only decent one I ever had. You need to get someone else to handle the camera who can take a decent picture and then you need to put the dog on a sit and get the dogs attention-a squeaky toy, toss a bumper, duck call, dead bird, live bird or whatever and hope for a good profile shot. It doesn't work the other way around because they think it is a trap.
 

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Sandy, tell us a little bit about the work up on those posters please. Seems like you posted photos of your lighting setup a while back, but I would like to know how you are getting that background and what you used to create the poster. Being an old time film guy, I am still learning the digital work up.

HPL
 

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A simple, little trick I use to spark their interest when photographing retrievers is that I take the squeeky device out of a squeeky toy and hold that in my left hand along with my camera. I then squeek the device and shoot away. It's amazing how dogs will pick their ears up when they hear that noise.
 

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Sandy--what great shots--beautifully framed and a very handsome dog, too. I especially like the "Focus" one.

Tony--I tried the squeeker trick once and nearly got trampled! I've taken dozens of shots of my young girl and with every one (except 5 or 6) her eyes are squeezed shut & she has a really silly grin on her face. The 5 or 6 exceptions are red blurs and one rather blurry up close picture of a black nose.
SuzanneB
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, I'm embarrassed to admit that my little gal is no pup. She is almost 4 and has two legs on her MH. She's incredibly disciplined when working. But if I set her up for a picture and tried to use a bird or duck to get her attention, I'd end up unconscious, flat on my back with everyone around me wondering how the paramedics were going to extract the camera from my nose.

I think you all are right and this will have to be a team effort with the folks in my training group.
 

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In the netherlands we ask a photografer to make fotos of our dogs if you need a nice picture, than you can pick one you like and have a hich resolution picture.

Greetings Haije Volbeda
 

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Well, I'm embarrassed to admit that my little gal is no pup. She is almost 4 and has two legs on her MH. She's incredibly disciplined when working. But if I set her up for a picture and tried to use a bird or duck to get her attention, I'd end up unconscious, flat on my back with everyone around me wondering how the paramedics were going to extract the camera from my nose.

I think you all are right and this will have to be a team effort with the folks in my training group.
So she won't sit for you to throw a bird for her? Would she sit while you or someone twirled a bumper? How about if you sat her and got everything framed up and blew a "sit" whistle? Or said "mark!" Or blew a duck call?
 
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