Our interview with Kevin Newman from That Dog Dancing Guy
The old Show Business saying is “never work with animals or children”, for good reason. Pet photography is quite difficult, however with some expert tips it can be an easier process. We recently conducted an interview with the very talented Kevin Newman, who amongst other things is a keen pet photographer.
What equipment do you use?
The main camera that I use is a Canon 600D. If I’m shooting at night at all I also have a Canon 430EX II Flash. My secondary camera is actually my iPhone 4. You can get some great shots with an iPhone but the trick is keeping it, and your subject, steady.
What do you find better indoor or outdoor?
I prefer to shoot outdoor for a couple of reasons. The first is that natural light, especially around the mornings or early evening, usually gives you a better mix of shadows and light, which really enhance your photos. The second reason I like to shoot outdoors is because you of the natural backdrop which really allows your pet’s personality to shine.
I sometimes find it hard trying to take photos of my 14 month old German Shepherd. What’s your tips on making your dog stay put for a photo?
Toys, treats and trills are three different things that I use, depending on the situation. Toys (especially ones with squeakers in them) are great for those dogs that are toy obsessed, and if they squeak it’s even better cause you can get some really cute head tilts going. Both the Border Collie and the Beagle will stop whatever they are doing when there are treats involved so it’s easier to get them to sit still and watch the camera if you hold a treat where you want them to look. This is also great as you can reward them when they are being great models! Trills are any sort of high pitched noise, usually I use a short, sharp, high pitched “pup, pup, pup”. This doesn’t always work with every dog, but trying a variety of noises can also help get their attention and some great expressions on their face as they try and work out where the noise came from.
You see a lot of images on the internet that have red eye. What is your tip on removing/preventing red eye?
Red eye and pets is a pretty common problem, generally it’s because of the flash. My tip for this would be to avoid using the in camera flash, as it’s usually front on and what causes the eyes to shine bright. If you need to use flash, use one that can be bounced off a wall or the roof so that you don’t get that direct flash.
If we need any inspiration, is there any sites that you suggest we look at?
There are a number of incredible pet photographers out there and if you are looking for inspiration I would suggest taking a look at the work of:
Seth Casteel – http://www.littlefriendsphoto.com/index2.php#!/home
and this this gallery on Digital Photography School – http://digital-photography-school.com/25-inspirational-dog-portrait-photographs
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