Recently I have been asked a lot about little dogs and whether we can still get good images of them. There has always been a bit of a divide between the “big dog people” and the “little dog people”… Well they are all canines to me, and we really can still get good pictures of them, whatever the size.
Let me tell you about Nelson.
Nelson is a miniature foxy and he belongs to a very dear friend of mine. I had met and played with him many times before, so I thought that taking pictures of him would be easy. It turns out this was not correct at all. As soon as I got the camera out he hid behind his mum and wouldn’t even look at me. Not surprising considering he was actually smaller than the camera itself!
I have since gone on to do a couple of photography sessions with Nelson and he has completely turned around. He has no trouble being in front of the camera, and if I didn’t know any better, chooses to pose with his best side whenever he thinks anyone is looking.
In the end it really wasn’t that hard to get him used to the camera. I just put it on the ground, covered it in his favourite food and left him to sniff it to his heart’s content.
Smaller dogs do come with a few unique challenges however, and I have a few techniques to get around them.
The human connection
Small dogs tend to feel more secure when they’re close to their owners, so I often encourage them to snuggle up or interact during the shoot. This not only puts the pup at ease but also adds an extra layer of emotion and depth to the photos. The love and bond between the dog and their owner can truly shine through the pictures.
One of the special challenges when photographing small dogs is conveying their size accurately. To do this, I like to play with scale in my shots. For instance, capturing a tiny Chihuahua against a backdrop of towering flowers or grass can emphasize their petite stature. It’s all about finding creative ways to showcase their smallness in a big world.
Getting down to their level
Dogs can feel less intimidated if you get down to their level. This is a way of getting filling the frame and allowing your pup to take centre stage with the pictures. This is also one of my favourite ways to get photos.
Create some distance
If your pup is still terrified of the camera despite our best efforts, I have some good zoom lenses to utilize so that I can put a lot of distance between me and your pooch. A wide angle shot can also be a nice way to have a landscape image with your dog as the main subject.
Thinking about getting a photography session with Rustie and co?