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photographing a rowdy puppy

The 4 L’s To Photographing Your Rowdy Dog

Do you have a “rowdy rover”? Does your dog turn into “cujo” at the site of other dogs? Is your puppy easily distracted by anything and EVERYTHING? Are these thoughts holding you back from booking a photo session experience with your dog?

I’m here to tell you that you CAN have a photo session with your dog! Here are the 4 L’s that is use for a safe and fun photo session with your wild and rambunctious pooch!

1. Leash

“Darlene, I see the majority of your pictures with dogs off leash. My dog is terrible off leash! He would run over to any dog or person that he sees!”

“I have a husky… we NEVER let her off leash!” (haha that was my world for 11 years and that never held me back from taking photos!)

Ninety five (guessing!) percent of dogs I photograph are kept on leash. Don’t worry! This is for the safety of your pooch AND the safety of everyone else around us. I always have a 10 ft. lead in my bag if needed, especially for action photos. And the rowdier the dog, the more fun action photos are!

I don’t care that your dog won’t do a “sit” or a “down” or even a “stay” – as long as they are on the leash and just being a dog, I promise you that we will get some amazing pictures!

2. Location

“My dog is HORRIBLE in public places!”

“My dog gets so distracted anywhere we go – we could never do a photo session!”

Is this your pup? If so, we have lots of options for locations! We can do the session right in your own backyard. It’s all about the lighting. We can get beautiful images, no matter what the scenery. Many dogs are most comfortable at home and are much more relaxed. If you have a fenced in yard, we can also let them run around off leash.

The majority of pictures of my dog, Kota, were taken right in our own backyard over the years.

photographing rowdy dogs backyard
Kota running in her snow covered backyard

Wait… you don’t have a backyard? No worries! I have several locations that will work for you! Sunrise at Zorvino Vineyards on a weekday is one of my favorite spots! It’s beautiful any season of the year! Your dog can get as crazy and unruly as they want.

photographing rowdy dogs vineyard
Izzy running in the vineyard

I recently came across a hidden gem that’s just a 7 minute drive from my house. It’s call Kelsey Arboretum. (don’t spread the word! I have yet to see anyone there!) I photographed 6 month old Isabella (“Fudgey”) here for her calendar session. Puppies have a lot of energy! This was a perfect location for Isabella to just be her happy, energetic, puppy self.

rambunctious puppy running
Fudgey on the run!

3. Lens

“EVERYTHING gets my dog amped up! ”

If your dog is super jumpy I go right for my longer lense, so I can keep space in between us. The longer lens also works well for dogs that may be uncomfortable with people, especially new people. I work with fearful dogs and I understand that all dogs do not want to be “friends”. My goal is for your dog to be comfortable and to have a stress-free experience.

Zero is a young pup, and he was terrified of people. He is a working dog and he also loved to run! Action photos of Zero, combined with my longer lens, worked perfect for this beautiful pup.

4. Light

“It’s busy everywhere during the day! So many dogs and people are out!”

I will do my best to schedule your photo session early in the morning. I promise you it will be worth waking up at 4:00 AM . You will have the rest of your day free. The world is quiet and peaceful. There are less distractions for your dog at sunrise. Light mixed with a perfect location is key for rowdy rover!

Lucy was an exuberant adolescent. We chose an autumn sunrise session at Salisbury Beach. She LOVED running on the sand on a long long line. With Lucy being a black dog, silhouette photos were fun!

Salisbury Beach sunrise
Lucy loving a sandy beach jaunt

October 15th starts sunrise sessions!!! Most beaches here on the North Shore permit dogs from Columbus Day to Memorial Day. Check out this post to learn more about my sunrise silhouette sessions and drop me a line if you are interested in one of these epic sessions:

I hope this post is helpful and the fact that your pup may be a bit on the “rowdy” side does not keep you from booking a photo session with them! I promise you it will be fun and stress free! With over 6 years of dog training and photographing dogs we will got some amazing images!

This post is part of a pet photographer’s blog circle. Next up Syracuse Photographer Nancy Kieffer shares some tricks on how she is able to capture images of your impulsive pet at your photo session. Click on the link at the end of each post and follow along. Enjoy!

8 thoughts on “The 4 L’s To Photographing Your Rowdy Dog”

  1. If I was closer, I would schedule that sunrise session in a heartbeat! I’m so addicted to great photos of Bella and me together now and it’s made our mission to do it for other people so much more important to me.

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