Good dogs get Jones Natural Chews all natural bones

Dog Photo Shoot for Jones Natural Chews

Dog Photo Shoot

One of the most fun elements of my job is the dog photo shoot. Happy Wordless Wednesday, by the way (thanks BlogPaws peeps!). Wordless Wednesday gives me a great excuse to do a dog photo shoot, then edit and create. Today I’m just going to walk you through what that looks like for me.

First, I reach out to people I know with dogs. Typically via Facebook messenger, I’ll ask if they’re available in the near future, tell them what treats I have to cover for the month. Dee, at Jones Natural Chews, and I determine in advance which treats I’ll be giving away each month. She sends me a box of treats. Okay, so that part is first. THEN I reach out to friends with dogs.

Did I hear the treat bag open? Treat face
Max is a friend’s Rat Terrier. He’s quick.

But I don’t like using the same dogs over and over. So often I’ll put the call out to Facebook friends in general. Anyone out there have friends with dogs? My friends rock, and I’ve met all kinds of new people this way. Yes, I show up at a stranger’s home armed with a bag of treats and my Canon Rebel, ready to snap photos of their dogs. It’s awesome.

Next

Next is the hard part of the dog photo shoot. The dogs. One, I’m not a professional photographer. We’re not in a studio. I don’t have an assistant. I DON’T HAVE AN ASSISTANT. That part is important. When it’s my own dogs, I know what to do to make them sit and stay. Jones Natural Chews can get them to do pretty much anything. And I know which dogs photograph best and where. Strangers’ dogs? Not so much. And I have little control over location and lighting. I’ve been learning as I go along. Sometimes I even have an impromptu photo shoot when I’m responding to a Craigslist ad and the person has a dog. ALWAYS CARRY JONES NATURAL CHEWS. It pays off.

Loves his new bone - dog bones from Jones Natural Chews are the best! for a dog photo shoot
In this case, I showed up to collect turkey eggs for a friend and the woman had dogs. I had treats. I was there more than an hour, just taking photos (with my phone) and asking questions.

So what do I do about wiggling dogs and bad light? Because let me tell you, almost every dog I encounter will take the treat and walk away from me, back turned. They don’t know me. It might be a trick. I might want it back. That Jones treat is premium, and they’re not giving it back, by jove. I’ve even had dogs growl and snap while I try to take their picture. Not that I blame them. Our treats are just that good, and the poor dog doesn’t know me from a hole in the ground.

My Lovely Assistant

Here’s where I’ve learned to utilize my lovely assistant for a dog photo shoot with strangers. The owner. I’m slow, okay? It took me awhile to figure this out. I was nervous about having people in the photos, that they wouldn’t want to be on the blog, but just their dog. Now I just ask – Can you give the dog the treat while I take the photo? Lots of nervous energy is diffused this way. And I get some great shots. One of my favorites is of Kato Jack and his mama.

Is that beef jerky I smell? Dog funnies, Jones Natural Chews
Really Kato Jack? You think your mom would eat your Big Paw Jerky? Think again.

Bonus – the owner of the dog knows the commands, knows the best places in the house or yard for photos. They know their dog. Like I said – I’m slow.

But Lighting!

Yes, let’s talk lighting. Like I said, I’m not a pro. I’ve asked around a lot. And because I just show up to people’s homes, walking into an unknown, for me, I’ve had to be creative. Ideally I’d like to be outside, but the weather doesn’t always cooperate. And the lighting in some people’s homes? Oh my word. People. Turn on your lights. Buy some lights. Even then, the lighting often turns photos yellow and brown. Even with natural light.

Blue Heeler mix with a JNC knee cap
Again with Kato Jack. See the yellow light?

So I asked around and a friend told me I needed a low F stop lens. A low light lens. She was right. It was about a hundred bucks, but probably one of my best blogging investments. I can’t focus the lens, and I have to take photos from a distance, but it captures the best pictures and gives me the best light.

Good dogs get Jones Natural Chews all natural bones - one bone rules them all
I put a quilt over the couch to get a neutral background, I take early morning photos for good lighting. And I tap Gadget, since he’ll sit still and look pretty.

Settings

I also get blurry photos. Plenty of them. To combat that, I use the sports setting on my camera. It captures photos of wiggling dogs that I wouldn’t get otherwise. The sports setting changes the film speed, essentially. I love it.

AKC Agility Trials, Tulsa, OK

Editing

Once upon a time I used PhotoShop to edit my photos. I never really understood it, but I used it. Ideally, I’d use it all the time, but I no longer have it. So I use PicMonkey. It’s a life saver. I autocorrect first thing, but don’t always like it, so sometimes reverse it. Sometimes I use the Comic theme for the speech bubbles. But typically I use PicMonkey just to bring my photos down to manageable size for use on the blog.

Kato Jack and the Table - For Love of a Treat
No dogs were scolded in the making of this montage.

And I think that’s it. Nothing is ever as simple as point and click, is it? But I’m a pretty simple girl, so I tried to keep this simple. Please let me know if I left something out, if there’s something you do differently which would streamline things for me, or if you’re near Tulsa and have a dog which needs Auntie Flea to bring it treats!

Spreading the good chews …

Flea

7 thoughts on “Dog Photo Shoot for Jones Natural Chews

  1. Too bad we don’t live anywhere near Tulsa 😉

    You’re so right about the lighting being important. I like to take my dog pictures either outside or early in the morning when taking them indoors. I still take them all with my iPhone 6, but do want to invest in a camera at some point. Thank you for the tip with the low light lens.

    As far as editing is concerned, I typically send the pictures I take from my phone to my email address – before the pics are sent, the phone asks me what size I’d like to send them in, so that’s how I reduce the size. I then edit them in Canva.
    Barbara Rivers recently posted..Our First Experience At Pet-Friendly La Quinta Inns & SuitesMy Profile

  2. Awesome tutorial!! Do you use you camera or your phone? I know you got some lenses for your phone so didn’t know if they was the low light lense you got. I need a low light lense. My house is so dark so my pictures turn out dark or have major shadows from the sun. I usually use my phone in the house and camera outside but when in a building my camera sucks too so glad to hear about the lense.

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