Puppies are amazing. Those beautiful eyes. The big paws. The sweet new puppy breath. The way they wiggle. And now, you have just welcomed one into your home! Take a moment to savour this big event for this is the very beginning of your adventure together.
We can wish with everything we have that our puppy could remain a puppy forever, but it’s simply not possible. In fact, it is amazing how quickly puppies physically change during the first few weeks and months of their lives. However, there is a way to ‘bottle’ all of that new puppy goodness, so to speak, and that is by photographing him or her. But, think of puppy photography as comparable to newborn photography – if you want images that will forever preserve those first few weeks of ‘newness’, be sure to photograph them early and often, because that stage will be gone before you know it. So, how do you make sure you don’t miss anything important? Here are 3 ways…
1. Photograph your new puppy in their new home
When your puppy first arrives home, photograph their first moments in your home, now their home. These images do not have to be technically perfect (this image has a pile of towels in the background), but they will be so precious when you look back at them and think that this was the day when <insert name> joined our family.
Photography is all about light. Believe me, you will feel better about your images if you can coax your new little bundle of fur into good light. Try images by windows that will give you gorgeous diffused light. Even when your puppy is naughty (notice that this little guy has obviously gotten into something), ensure they are safe, and then take a photograph. Getting in close will allow you to document their wrinkles, their furrowed eyesbrows and those big paws.
No doubt, as your puppy ventures outside for their first steps on the property, you will be right there with them. You can watch them from a bit of a distance and, with a zoom lens, capture their natural inclination to explore their environment.
Know that new puppies will tire easily and will often take naps wherever and whenever they feel like it, giving you wonderful opportunities to photograph peaceful moments.
2. Be sure to continue photographing them as they grow
As puppies get older, they will begin to explore their environment and test their boundaries. This will give you lots of opportunities to capture those puppy antics. Here, this little girl purposely climbed into her mum’s garden and lay on the flowers to pose for me. There wasn’t any danger (except to the bent flowers), so I didn’t stop her. The result is a natural portrait that brings a smile to your face.
Don’t forget to take some headshots by getting up close and personal with your puppy. Photographing them from just under their eye-line as I have here makes them appear larger.
I have found that, as a puppy moves around, they often just stop to look at the world around them. If you can command their attention, you will be able to create a very beautiful portrait. As always, try and be conscious of how the light is falling on your subject (your little guy or girl) and you will be much happier with what you produce.
And, honestly, sometimes puppies will just ignore you and really test their boundaries. These two were on the edge of the property, and had they ventured any further, we would have physically picked them up to bring them back. I’m not sure what caught their attention, but this portrait gives the idea of having the whole world ahead of you. Which is, when you think about it, very true of puppyhood.
3. Arrange for a studio portrait session
Sometimes you are looking for classic, studio portraits of your puppy and this is where it is wise to book with a professional. Puppies often do very well in the studio. It’s a safe, closed off environment where they can explore, but all the while under your watchful eye. They also often enjoy all of the cuddles and attention they get during the session from their new friend, the photographer. With the non-distracting background, you will have timeless portraits that show your puppy’s personality and sweetness.
So, there you have it – 3 ways to forever remember your puppy in photographs and art. Be sure to look through your images and choose some to print and display. Images, while they are fun for sharing, are not really appreciated with everyone huddled around a computer of some other device. Your puppy is a member of your family now so ensure you display some of those up on your walls.
If you are looking to capture your puppy’s first moments and their first year, a great option is the Year in the Life Luxury Series. Find more details below.