Few months ago, we published an article about Alex Cearns and her wonderful photographic series “Perfect Imperfection”; a series in which she shows the beauty and bravery of animals thought as disabled.
This time she came back with another series in which she portrays dogs smiling. It is called “Happy Pooch Face” and for sure, it will brighten up your day.
Alex Cearns is a specialized animal photographer based in Perth, Australia that photographs around 1300 animals per year. Because of her point of view, her photographs have a positive quality that connects her to her subjects, that celebrate their personalities. She is truly committed to their well-being.
Dogs are Alex’s favorite animals and she absolutely adores to photograph them. She says “…dogs are always happy, they not only smile with their mouth but also with their eyes. They give so much back to us, they are always happy to see us and spend time with us. They are pure heart.”
The same as with “Perfect Imperfection”, the new smiling series was compiled over time, from her day to day pooch clients who visit her studio for photos.
“I love capturing big happy dog smiles and recently I sorted through my images to collate a series of images with this theme. I usually get dozens of images like this from each photo shoot I do”.
READ MORE: YOU’VE GOT TO SEE THESE PHOTOS OF DOGS DANCING WITH THEIR OWNERS FROM ALL OVER THE STATES
So how does she do it? How does she accomplish those beautiful smiles? Here are 5 tips from Alex to you:
1. Fun and Frivolity
This is the most important tip because nothing can’t be done if it’s not fun. Make sure you create an environment where your pooch can be relaxed, happy and feeling safe. Choose your dog’s optimum activity time and use it to your photo taking advantage. If the session is a positive and fun experience, your dog will reward you with big smiles.
2. Toys and treats
Use them to get your pooch’s attention. Show him the treat or toy and use those precious seconds where he is focused on it, to get your shots. Be sure to offer regular rewards to make sure the attention doesn’t decline.
3. Timing and anticipation
Waiting until that split second moment of a perfect photo opportunity presents itself, requires anticipation and then timing. Once you see the shot, grab it as quickly as you can! This is something you’ll get faster at, the more you practice.
4. Be patient
This is a crucial factor when taking portraits of your dog. Repeating movements and words calmly and gently creates a chilled atmosphere for your pet. I like to think of patience in dog photography as a three step process:
- Calmly wait until your pooch subject does what you want
- Take a burst of images to get “the shot”
- If you miss the right moment, go back to step 1 and repeat
5. Perspective and Backgrounds
Be creative and experiment with different perspectives, angles and vantage points – sometimes the most interesting images are off center or a bit quirky. Take a series of images while lying on the ground and shooting from their point of view, or consider taking photos directly at their eye level while they are sitting up, or shoot from above, pointing the camera straight down at them.
Be sure to check the background for objects beside of behind your subject; they can “photo bomb” your subjects and are things to watch out for.
Now check out the rest of her “Happy Pooch Face” series and try not to smile. I bet you won’t be able to!