By Vickie Uthe
Photographing puppies is like photographing kids, don’t waste time and plan on doing it later because they grow up TOO FAST and there IS no later.
In 2016 my granddaughter got a Dorky. A mix of a Yorkshire Terrier and a Dachshund. A Dorky, cute, right? The puppy lives at Akacia’s dad’s house which means we rarely see her so I KNEW, on this visit, I’d spend a lot of the time shooting and capturing that adorable puppiness before it was all gone.
Plan on this shoot being handheld as I doubt a puppy will stay in shot of a tripod mount. Set you ISO at 400 in good light with the shutter speed at 500 or above. Get as close down to the animal’s level as possible, in other words, don’t stand and shoot from above. Make a sound in hopes they will cock their head, lift their ears and look at you and not run straight at you. It’s a delicate situation.
In this series, she was preoccupied with her leash. You want to try to focus on the eyes, which isn’t always easy as they keep moving. Be sure your camera is set on burst mode and fire away.
What you’re trying to capture is expression and personality.
Another concept I think is important in photography is to add a human to show scale. These images show how really little this puppy is.
They also tucker out pretty quickly so take advantage of their stillness to grab some more cuteness.
And there she is, surveying the situation on her first big hike in Kachina Village.
Take your camera to a friends house who has a new puppy and practice. The other nice thing is these images make great gifts over the years as the puppy moves through life and ages.
Vicki Uthe is a Volunteer Photo Guide with Arizona Highways PhotoScapes