Puddles Photography Tips for Knitwear Designers Photographing Products with Fur-babies

Lindsay LewchukAnnouncements, Designers, How-Tos 2 Comments

Aside: this blog is from Puddles POI

1. Schedule your shoot at the time of day your pet is most cuddly and obedient

Sleeping Puddles
Work is tiring! You soldier on, human, I need a nap.

2. A tired puppy is a photogenic puppy… or at the very least more likely to be obedient.
My typical exercise routine is one 20 to 40 minute constitution each morning, in which I run several miles while my human saunters 1 mile, plus a game of fetch, tug, or chase in the early afternoon. In order for me to be tired, my human followed my typical walk and play schedule and added an extra run (well, at least I was running) and 3 play-times. Plus after the photo shoot, she rewarded me with a third walk (this time, we both sauntered). Yep, although I sleep a lot during the day, I am an atypically ACTIVE Great Dane when awake.

Bored Puddles
I’m bored with this. Are we done yet?
Stay Puddles
“Stay, don’t move a muscle!” Got it mom, you don’t move a muscle either!

3. Know your puppy’s currency. If you didn’t guess from the above, one of my currencies is extra play-time. After the standing pictures, she threw in a few games of tag my butt (which I LOVE) before moving on to the sitting pictures.

Soft mouth Puddles
Enough pictures! I want to chew your hand, momma.
Leaping Puddles
Playtime, yippy! Leaping lizards, erg, Puddles.
Submissive Puddles
I wanted to play longer, but she sat firm on the subject & I returned to my submissive self. I’ll be your good boy, momma.

4. Puppies love a soft place to sit. So if you didn’t plan on hiring moving men to haul the couch outside, create one with your lap!

obstant Puddles
I heard that command, but I just can’t believe it. You want me to sit where? No way I do NOT sit on the ground. Fetch my couch if you want me to sit!
playful Puddles
Come on, human, let’s play some more, play is FUN!
kissing Puddles
Oh okay, I’ll sit on you, mommy. But hey no getting distracted with my cuteness, no kisses until we’re done.

5. Take LOTS of pictures – we took 190! If you thought you needed a lot of pictures in order to get your publishable ones, you’ll need at least a third more when having a fur-baby participate. You not only have to ensure the fur-baby is in focus, looking cute, but also the product being photo is in focus and arranged nicely.

Protector Puddles
Squashing a bug before it bites my human. I’ll protect you!!
Sitting Puddles
Hey look, I’m actually sitting on the ground. Aw, mom, you ruined the picture by standing in a glimmer of sunlight!

6. Work quickly with a plan! The photo shoot went from 7:14 – 7:27 pm (and that included our quick energy release play times) – after my dinner, when I’m the most clingy and obedient.

first picture
First picture 7:14
last picture
Last picture 7:27

7. Know your communication techniques. My human is trained to respond to both my eye contact gestures as well as my body movements.

initiating play Puddles
Aw mom, do I have to? I’d much rather play.
Dane Lean Puddles
Pausing for a Dane lean hug while I guarded her from a squirrel turned out to be one of her favorite pictures.

I, on the other hand, know both hand signals and voice commands! Yes, I know, I’m smart. But like all K-9 geniuses, I have my peculiarities. In this case, it is the one thing that made me fail my CGC (canine good citizen) exam. Any guess what it was? I was perfect on all the other hard requirements, like out of sight stay, and mock vet exam, but when it came to this one, to this very day, I think there is better things to do with my time then obey.

no sit Puddles
No, I refuse to sit.

SIT. Yep, I refuse to listen to voice or hand signals, if she wants me sitting she’s gotta tap my butt and make me.

lap sit Puddles
There is an exception to every rule

But to every rule there is an exception – her lap, of course. As much as I despise and refuse to obey “sit,” when “lap sit” is ordered, I feel like the luckiest dog alive. I’ve even been known to wake up, bolt across the room, and “land” seated on my human just to cuddle up.

8. Start with a vision, but be prepared to scrap it if your fur-baby isn’t cooperating.

Disobedient Puddles
I won’t do it, momma, I won’t
Bashful Puddles
But I don’t wanna look at gramma
Facing Puddles
Her original vision

My human’s vision was to have us sitting next to each other facing opposite directions. We even practiced in the house beforehand, however, come picture time this would not do for my Velcro dane tendencies! I objected, she regrouped & came up with the cuddle ideas instead… now that’s more like it, human.

My human is being dominant again and insisting I add these following points. Before I tell you I want the record to show, I strongly object – I include these tips against my will!

9. Perspective matters. If you are shooting something smaller than your pet (not hard to do in my case), make sure you shoot close enough to get the object details.

distant shot
Gramma, whatcha doing WAY back there? Come closer.

10. When it is all said & done, in post image processing, remember who the hero of the photo shoot is.

Adorable Puddles
Melt your human hearts. I’m just SO adorable in this picture!

It’s me… right! What, not me, you mean that knitting is the hero? But I’m SO cute, who cares if the stitches are out of focus, I look adorable in that picture you’ve got to add it to the pattern page.
hat in focus Puddles out of focus
Nope, sorry, my love, it’s the hat.

Puddles, my 3 year old Great Dane, has his own thread in my Ravelry group: knitting with pets & his own facebook page: PuddlestheGreatDane.

Sun Fire is now available for purchase.

Comments 2

  1. puddles, what a great post! I just love all your pictures. You’ve had to work hard to train your human 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *