The Story Behind The Picture: Dave dog

The Story Behind The Picture: Dave dog

You have probably already realised that as well as loving creating people's portraits, I love creating dog portrait photos too. Each year I do a lot of studio and outdoor photoshoots involving dogs of all breeds and sizes. Over the years I have photographed most breeds, and I see the popular types such as Jack Russells, Pugs, French Bulldogs, Dalmatian’s, Daschunds, Labradors, Spaniels (all types) and Terriers, again and again.

I have to say that when it comes to behaviour though, one dog stands out in my memory from all the others, and that was Dave the black Labrador. He is the most well behaved dog I have ever photographed. You may have seen the framed portrait photograph of Dave in my studio window. It has created lots of conversations wth many people calling in to ask me if it is a painting. That always makes me smile because if I had painted it it would look like a two year had done's definitely a photograph. When Dave's owner brought him to the studio for a portrait photo, he gave Dave a command to ‘Sit’ and then told him to ‘Stay’, and he stayed. He didn’t move at all for about three or four minutes and by then I had lots of similar looking photos so I had to ask Dave's owner if we could get Dave to move so that the photos didn't all look the same.

With each new command, Dave did as he was told and his photo shoot was one of the most straightforward pet photoshoots I have done. Photographing a black dog against a black background can be tricky too if the lighting isn't right. If you have tried photographing your own black dog you probably know this already. I went for a deep black background with visible detail in the fur for Dave's photos. His good behaviour certainly helped to make everything go smoothly during the photo shoot. Not all dogs are the same though...

At the other end of the scale are dogs that can't remain still for more than about a second. Most people's dogs are like this, including my own. It's still possible to get great photographs, it just takes a little bit longer!

I am used to photographing several dogs at the same time too. I very often photograph two or three dogs together because many of us own more than one dog. Eight is the most I have photographed at the same time so far and seven of those were puppies (I like a challenge). Here's the photo, seven gorgeous sprockerpoo puppies with mum.

Photo by Paul Holland showing seven Sprockerpoo puppies with mum

Why not book one of my portrait photo shoot for your dog(s)? I offer a choice of studio or outdoor pet photo shoots.

A dog studio portrait by Paul Holland


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