Wren Louis Pet Photography, Pasadena CA
Question 1: Will I still get great photos of my dog if they are not trained?
Yes! It doesn’t matter if your dog is trained, untrained or a puppy. I have a few ways up my sleeve of getting your dog to look at me and the lens. or getting them to ’stay’ with treats, squeaky toys can help get their attention. Lots of patience basically and I have that too. After a while most pets get more comfortable in the surroundings indoors or outdoors with me and they calm down a bit, so the second half of the shoot can be the most photography productive zone, that’s when the good stuff can happen the pet genuinely forgets it’s a photoshoot. My aim is to capture the dogs character, my goal is to capture all the ways that you the owner sees them, everything you love about them and all their little ways. Whatever stage they’re at, whatever age they’re at.
Question 2: Do I feed or exercise my dog before the pet photoshoot?
If they are very treat motivated I would probably only feed them half their food. This will stop them being hungry but stay hungry enough to want to eat treats and they will eat way more treats than usual. Please bring your own treats something your dog is already used to, I don’t want to introduce something new to their diet.
You can just feed them a few hours earlier to get the same effect. You can also bring their normal dry food if it’s in pellet form like a kibble, it won’t be as rich as the treats.
Try and test if your dog will accept their normal kibble as a treat before the shoot.
If it’s an indoor studio shoot it’s best to take your dog for a walk before, it helps calm them down a bit, less hypo and little more relaxed. If it’s an outdoor shoot they will get their walk and exercise during the shoot as we go along so they won’t need one before.
Saying that it does also depend on the breed. A dog with bags of energy may well benefit from a small walk before the outdoor shoot.
Question 3: I don’t have a dog I have a cat, rabbit, snake or some other pet, can you still do a pet photoshoot?
Yep. I can photograph different pets of all shapes and sizes.
If you love them I’ll take photos of them.
Question 4: Do I need to bring toys, outfits or anything else to the pet photoshoot?
Treats, bring their favorite treats that will help me motivate them, bring what they are already used to, but don’t bring any new foods to the shoot we don’t want to introduce anything new to their diet. Again bring their normal kibble food and we can use it as a treat, rather than them actually eating too many rich treats.
If they have a favorite toy that they might react to or more specifically react to the noise of the toy, but nothing too big, we don’t want them being distracted and physically playing with it. We want to get their attention with it. If in doubt bring it and I’ll take a look at it and decide whether I use it or not.
Outfits, Yes! cute little outfits, dresses are great fun and can look fabulous in the photos. Bandanas, custom made collars and bow ties are welcome too.
Also it’s best to bring a collar rather than a harness if it’s safe to do so, they just look better in the photography and can be edited out of the photos if necessary.
Question 5: How do I know if I want an outdoor or indoor pet photoshoot?
That’s why I arrange to meet you in person before the photoshoot to work out by going through what’s involved with the different types of photoshoots and more importantly which you prefer. I can come to your home to meet you and your dog, that’s where we get to discuss more about the dog, what they like. I can show you different examples of previous photoshoots I’ve taken to show the difference in locations and how they differ in mood and style. Dogs can be more comfortable at home, you may have an outside area or garden that we can use. Possibly discuss getting photos taken inside the house. I have a portable studio that can be set up in your home too. If you do come to the studio for the main shoot it is possible to get a few shots right outside the building with natural light with some lovely backdrops of a city scene that can be a great addition to the shoot. That way you get a bit of a mixture of both styles. There’s a local path just a few minutes walk away as well.
When we first meet we can talk about what it is you want and how you might want it displayed, this will influence what we arrange. If you want to hang something on your wall, will it be dramatic indoor or scenic outdoor? Do you want a story told in pictures and maybe presented as a series of images in an album. You might want your dog in their favorite place so you can be reminded of that. I’ll have lots of examples of photoshoots and lots of samples of ways of displaying the photography when we meet. Don’t worry we’ll go through all the options and find the one that suits you.
You may suggest outdoor locations that you prefer by all means I’m welcome to the idea, or I can suggest a few locations in and around Pasadena that are great for pet photography. For example, various hikes and trails to the north, or some of the fabulous parks along the Arroyo Seco which runs through Pasadena.
Question 6: Can I train or prepare my dog ready for the pet photoshoot?
Absolutely you can, in the two weeks leading up to the shoot, you can practice simple commands like, sit, stay and wait, these can be treat or food motivated, basically your dog will learn to be rewarded for that specific behavior, so on the day we can repeat that behavior. You can build these simple commands up, start with a sit, once you’ve mastered that try a sit, then a stay command and try and take a couple of steps backwards away from your dog repeating stay, then going back to them and rewarding them for staying. You can then get further away over time, this is a great discipline for photoshoots.
Do they have reaction words, where their ears prick up or tilt their head a little to one side if they hear a certain word, maybe someones name. Write them down and we’ll try them in the photoshoot to get a reaction, this can also work really well.
What words might get their attention? Walk maybe, they might react to the word treat, maybe there’s another dog they get to play with, I can mention their name.
Question 7: Can I be in the photos?
Yes absolutely! Although I’m a pet photographer in Pasadena, I also love taking photos of the pet interacting with their owner. Capturing the bond that you have with your pet is the name of the game here. I definitely love taking these types of photos, if it’s a family shoot, well then, your dog is part of your family and should be treated so.
Question 8: What Do I Wear?
Basically we have to consider how what you wear could impact the photography. If you wear something to bright in color it could distract from the beauty of your pet and the surroundings they are in. So no stripes or big brand logos, they will go out of fashion and date the images over time, where what we really want is for the photography to look timeless.
If you are being photographed as a group or family, it’s best to coordinate what you wear as a group, even lay them out somewhere, take a step back and see if everything blends well together, to work out what will work best. Neutral can really work well, it helps bring your pet to the foreground.
Indoor shoots are done under controlled lighting and can be quite dramatic, there’s definitely the possibility of dressing formally if you wish. you can bring different outfits.
Outdoor shoots tend to be a little more casual, leaning on the side of smart casual, this will depend on the location and what the photography is intended for, but by all means, if you want to wear a flowing gown to an outdoor shoot and want me to capture both yours and your pets personalities go for it! You could arrange for your hair and make-up to be done on the morning of your shoot then bring hired clothes too.
Question 9: What’s the best time of the day to do a pet photoshoot?
Simple, for an outdoor photoshoot it’s either in the morning or late afternoon. The mornings are probably the best out of the two, because it’s a lot cooler so your dog does’t get too hot while we’re walking, we don’t want your dog panting in the pictures!The light can be particularly good for photography in the morning again with the light in the afternoon coming a close second.
If you are doing an indoor studio photoshoot it doesn’t matter what time you choose to do it.
Question 10: Can I buy just the digital images?
I do offer digital image packages, however I do have lots of lovely products on offer. The main point of my well chosen quality products is to make sure the photography of your pet is displayed, either in a frame or on a canvas for the wall, where you will be reminded of them everyday and they will bring a smile to your face. Or whether it’s the story of the shoot you want told in the form of an album, what we don’t want is the images lost or buried in a folder amongst other lost images on a computer.
We’re going to capture the character of your dog and of course the bond between you and your pet. They are going to become your favorite images.
Your favorite images of your favorite pet/friend on the wall making you smile everyday is what my service is all about at Wren Louis Photography.
All images you choose to be displayed via any of my products will be given to you in digital form as well.