How do you photograph a litter of puppies?

Photographing a litter of puppies is super fun! But, how do you get started?

What started as "photographing a litter of puppies to practice" has grown into a biennial ritual. 

When Bart and Annick, the breeders of my two own sweethearts Kyle and Hope, have a litter of puppies, we go to nice locations to immortalize the puppies on photo. This way the future owners will have a special memento of the first phase of their puppy's life.

It took a while before we had the right tricks to photograph those cute - but very movable fluffy balls. How do you start this now? I'll tell you further in this blog!  

 
 

The use of a bench or something similar is in any case recommended when photographing puppies. You want to be able to photograph them one by one, without them all getting mixed up. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Step 1

We always start with making a nice portrait picture per pup. This can be a photo on the forest path or in a nice flower field if present at the location/time of the year.

Theme pictures as at Christmas are also being made at the moment.  

Step 2

After this every pup is allowed to run back and forth a few times. Action pictures always produce fun and crazy images.  
 
Of course this is also possible on the forest path or between a row of flowers.
 

Step 3

Finally we make a photo of each pup for the group photo. I draw a line and crosses in advance where each pup gets a place. 
 

Why is everything done in stages? 

The attention span of a pup is still very small, especially when the whole litter is present. By giving the puppies some rest in between, they stay alert enough to be able to complete the photo shoot.  

 
 

Some useful tips: 

1) Let the breeder set the pup well and use sounds to attract attention. 

  • Puppies don't hear very far and are often easily distracted by the whining and crying of their littermates.
  • The breeder or an extra person therefore keeps the sounds close to the pups so that they look nicely into the lens. 
  • The extra person can also distract the puppies with crazy jumps and movements. Fun guaranteed! 😉
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2) Usually we manage to work without a leash. Occasionally, however, the pup does not sit still without a leash. The solution? An LCPD.be photography leash. 

This is a thin and high quality leash, specially designed to be easily disposed of in photoshop afterwards.

Interested in our photography leash? You can order it in 3 colours via our shop.

 
 

3) This is the most convenient method when taking the action photos:

  • The helping hand takes the pup at a distance
  • The breeder will stand behind the photographer to call the pups 
  • Make sure that the distance from the pup to the camera is not too great 
  • Let the helping hand jump into the bushes in time so that they are not in the picture 😜 

4) Finally, we have the group photo. The easiest way is to photograph the puppies 1 by 1. As you will notice during the photo session, it is difficult enough to get one puppy to look into the lens. 

So we're going to merge the photos we've taken into photoshop later on. How do you make a set-up so that the result looks as realistic as possible?

  1. You draw a line across the width of your path
  2. You put crosses for the number of puppies that are there
  3. You put crosses for the number of puppies that are there
  4. While photographing you lie straight in front of the pup. You do this to prevent too much repetition in your background when merging the photos. 

Would you like to learn how to compose photos in photoshop? Then book your private workshop or online coaching

 
 

Thanks to Border Collie kennel Flaxblossoms for the use of the 'behind the scene' images! 

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