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Dog, Photography, Uncategorized

Does anyone else see a tree or shrub in bloom while driving around and think “a dog would look so good in those flowers I want to take photos there”?  No?  Just me then.  Well, I do this all the time.  Sometimes I turn around and see if the tree is on public property and if it would be possible to get a dog there safely.  I’m obsessed with cute dogs in flowers photos!

A black and white newfoundland dog in front of white crabapple flowers

Spring is my second favorite season behind the fall.  But the spring flowers tend to fade more quickly than fall leaves drop so I feel like the season is so fleeting.  As an avid gardener I’ve tried to fill my yard with plants that will bloom in waves so I always have something to photograph.

A black newfoundland puppy sitting in purple flowers

I know what you’re thinking, “but Jennifer, I have a suburban backyard and the garden isn’t perfect”.  Don’t worry, that will still work and in the checklist below I’ll give you lots of tips!   You just need to see the possibilities with whatever is on hand.  Even a small garden can offer beautiful backdrops.

Black lab dog in front of yellow forsythia flowers in spring

Take this image above, for instance.  This was on a scouting adventure at a local tree farm (Sloan Tree Farm, Howell, MI).  The owner and I have talked about having dog portrait sessions there (it’s an option if you’re interested).  They have 40 acres through the woods and with all of the nursery plants there is always something of interest.  I spotted this yellow forsythia shrub and knew I wanted to use it as a backdrop.

A pet photographer taking pictures of a black lab

My friend was kind enough to take a photo of me working so you can see a bit of the set up.  As you can see, the glowing forsythia bush was right next to a pile of dirt/mulch. And on the other side was a hole where another forsythia bush had been (sold the day before).  So I had one good-sized shrub to work with and it was all we needed.

A small yorkie dog wearing a harness in front of green garden foliage in Troy, Michigan

Here are a few tips if you have a beautiful shrub, tree, or plant in your yard and you want to use it to get cute dogs in flowers photos.  

  1. Clean around it if you can and remove any distractions.
  2. Shrubs/trees with lower branches work best.
  3. Have a helper.
  4. Make sure your dog is ready for photos – slightly tired and hungry for treats.
  5. Place your dog a few feet away from the shrub at first and take some photos.  Zoom in if you can.  This will compress the background and give you a bit of blur.
  6. Get your dog to sit closer to or even within the branches of the shrub and take some additional images. Blurred flowers in front of your dog can look really cool.
  7. Get down low, especially if you want to feature the flowers of a tree that are higher up.
  8. Try from a few different angles. One step to the right and our cars in the driveway were too visible and ruined the image below.
  9. If the background is way too busy you may be able to hold up or clamp a black sheet in the background to hide the distractions.
  10. As always, make this fun for your pet.  Keep it short and filled with yummy treats.  

You may need to try over a few days to get exactly what you’re trying to accomplish. Just be patient and have lots of treats on hand!

A tri-colored shepherd dog in front of pink apple blossoms in spring

Want to print these tips out and try them?  Download them here and then post your results in the Pawdacious Pet Parents of Michigan Facebook group (free).

If you want more tips like these to help you create drool-worthy  images of your pets (no matter what kind of camera you have) sign up for the free 5 day to better photos of your pets challenge.   Sign up here to be notified when the challenge starts on July 13th.