Dogs

First time in the studio...

What do you do when a dog has never been in a dog photography studio before, he has no idea what is going on and has never seen a flash before? How do you get a good photograph let alone one that will WOW his owner?

This is where my extensive experience as a dog behaviourist really comes into its own as I can understand the body language the dog is showing me and I can help the owners understand their dog and how he is reacting and they can stay relaxed. It is the combination of understanding the dog and helping the owners that helps the dog relax very quickly and feel confident enough to show off his character.

It is the character of the dog that must shine through in the photograph as that is what the owner and the viewer want to see, that draws the viewer in to the photograph and makes them stop a little longer to take in the view!

As part of the settling in process in our studio, we allow the dog to run free and explore the studio and whilst we are doing this we fire the flashes. The burst of light and the sounds the flashes make can startle a dog initially but with sufficient repetition they soon relax and ignore the lights and sounds.

This is Bruce, a three year old Pug who had never been in a dog photography studio before and who was very wary when he first came in.

His owner was just as worried as she thought he would be a nightmare, wouldn’t sit still and would cock his leg up on everything.

She wanted photographs of Bruce on his own and with her which is always a challenge but it something we are used to working through to produce our usual high standard of images.

The photograph above was achieved without treats or toys, Bruce just really got into the whole role of being a model and he just loved performing for the camera.

For a complete beginner he certainly learned fast and found this is something he can really do and, pardon the expression, get his teeth into!

He loved the studio, he loved the lights and he loved posing. His owner loved the whole studio experience and this is what she said in a follow up email when I asked her if she enjoyed it:

“Oh Saturday was just brilliant- Bruce really surprised me at how much he was posing, he really enjoyed it!”

This is what you get when you and your dog come for a dog photography studio experience, we all have a great deal of fun and I make lots of silly noises whilst behind the camera so we get really great expressions from the dog.

The hour soon flies by and by the end of the session we will have taken between 200 and 250 images. These are sorted after the shoot and we choose around 30 to edit, process and then we come to your house to show you our work and this is where you can order the images you love.

Our job is to make choosing as difficult as possible by presenting you with 30 images that you will love so much you will want to buy them all!

We love photographing dogs in our studio, we love photographing dogs on location and we make sure we do our best to help you have the best experience possible.


Beautiful chocolate Labradors!

As far as working dogs go, chocolate Labradors are up there with the best of them.

Beauty, grace, purpose, power and amazing gentleness all rolled into one. They are more at home out on the field working or relaxing in front of the fire after a hard day out with the guns but this beauty had to come and take on a different form of work, she had to pose in our dog photography studio and she loved the experience.

Chocolate Labradors are very intelligent and can be quite intense, especially when they have picked up a scent. This is relatively easy to show when photographing the dog when she is out working, it is more of a challenge to capture those character traits when photographing a dog in the studio.

In this photograph, she is focused and ready as she would be out in the field.

You can see the intensity in the dogs face, her ears are alert as she listens for an instruction and her eyes are focused on her owner, just waiting to go! Photographing a dark dog is a challenge and the lighting has to be just right so we can see the sparkle in her eyes, we can see her gorgeous colour and the features of her face.


This next photograph of a chocolate Labrador is out in the field and we can see the dog in his perfect environment.

You can see the same characteristics in the dog, the focus of the eyes, the intense stare, the alertness of the ears as he listens for a command and the closed mouth, almost holding his breath in anticipation of the work ahead.

These two photographs of chocolate Labradors are of completely different dogs in completely different environments yet are very similar.

The two photographs really capture the things that people love about chocolate Labradors and the colour is just beautiful.

Photographing working dogs when they are actually working or out in the field with their owner on an organised shoot is where the real magic happens and photographing the dog next to their owner with a pheasant in their mouth are the sort of images that gets hung on the wall to remember such a good day where the owner and their dog worked together as a team and loved every minute.

These images are protected by copyright and may not be copied or used in any way.

©dog photography by Havers

Why Beagles are great in the dog photography studio?

Why are Beagles great in the dog photography studio?

Because they are Beagles! Beagles are strong minded, wilful, determined, mischevieous and full of character.

Even at 13 years old as our model is. Their colours, their face, their eyes all help to draw you in to the portrait, to hold your attention and captivate!

Beagles tend to have fine temperament and are steady by nature so they can cope with the noises and flashes in the studio and they love having their photograph taken.

Beagles are fun to be around and if the mood in the dog is fun and happy, that lifts the mood of everyone in the studio and makes photographing the dog so much fun and if the Beagle is having fun that shines through in the beautiful portrait we create.

Beagles love to perform and to be the centre of attention, some would say they like attention too much and become very good at getting it!

Beagles love to scent and can get carried away when a strong smell wafts across their nose and we all know what a Beagle sounds like when in full scent following mode, that is a sound to wake everyone up!

Beagles were used to hunt hare because of their fine sense of smell and their remarkable stamina, this means however if your Beagle takes off on a scent, he isn’t going to get tired and will take some finding.

Beagles make superb pets and due to their compact size, they are easy to live with and are very trainable which s a great help when they are in the studio having their dog portraits created.

Beagles are lovely to be around, they are social, love a good fuss and want to help and they want to please and this is a real asset.

Why Pugs make great dog photography models.

I am often asked which breed makes the best dog photography model? Which breed do you enjoy photographing the most?

These are very simple questions to answer, every dog is a great dog model, every dog can be relaxed enough to show their character for the camera.

Pugs are a popular breed of dog and their features make them very endearing to the viewer. They do have their health problems and can be an acquired taste but they do make taking their photographs easy.

Their colouration helps as there are areas of high contrast which helps the camera focus, that’s the boring technical stuff out of the way so back to the question.

Pugs tend to have big characters and are not usually shy or wary. The Pugs I have worked with have a zest for life and a curiosity to explore what is around them and it is this energy that comes across on their photographs and it is this character and energy that engages the viewer and draws them into the image.

Pug owners will know exactly what I am talking about and have experienced their character for themselves and when I am photographing Pugs, I am repeatedly asked to make sure I capture their character.

Pugs are very expressive and are great communicators and these characteristics really shine through the image.

This is Marty, you would never have guessed his name if I hadn’t told you!

Marty is a great dog photography model, look at the power of his gaze! He knows he is good, he has and shows that confidence with his bold posture and use of eye contact and his character oozes into the camera and really engages with you, the viewer.

There is such an aura of confidence, this is also Marty and he really knows how to show off for the camera and how to demonstrate how much of a dude he is.

I love working with dogs and photographing dogs is the most fun as I get to meet such wonderful characters, photograph them and create beautiful portraits for their owners to keep and enjoy.

Our dogs are only with us for a short time and I have beautiful portraits of all the dogs I have had the pleasure of living with. Such happy memories.

Frank is a Frug who has style...

Frank is a Frug, a French bulldog cross Pug and he has a favourite walking essential, his Julius K9 harness.

Frank loves it because it is very smart and he thinks he looks great in it, who are we to disagree?

Comfort and safety are very important to Frank so as he takes his daily exercise he knows he is smart and safe.

Frank is one of our dog actors and models and he loves to work in front of the camera, we use Bowen lights, Canon cameras and lenses to create the most engaging images for our clients. We are based near Leicester in the centre of the UK and we specialise in commercial dog photography and creating images that truly engage the viewer which only enhances their perception of the service, product or brand the image is promoting.

Frank is so happy working n the studio, off camera are other dog actors and dog models from our team just relaxing and waiting their turn to work on their project.

We love Franks expression in this photograph as he just looks so relaxed and cool, he is a dude which is a good reflection and a positive association for the Julius K9 harness he is modelling.

Frank is not a pedigree but his favourite food is!

Frank is a cross between a French Bulldog and a Pug which makes him a Frug. Now Frank may not be a pedigree, but his favourite food and snacks certainly are as you can see from our lovely studio photograph.

Our client asked us for a photograph that would include some Pedigree dog food and snacks so we looked through our dog actors and models database and Frank was the perfect fit for our clients needs and as you can see, Frank loves working in front of the camera.

This image was taken in our studio with professional Bowen lights, Canon professional cameras and lenses and with a great deal of fun as Frank is such a pleasure to work with.

Commercial dog photography is all about engaging with the audience by creating an image that draws and holds the viewers attention and Frank has certainly nailed that part of the brief with his very cute expression.

Whatever your service, product or brand, the inclusion of the right dog actor or model with the right setting and lighting we can create for you images that draw your audience in, holds their attention and helps them engage with you.

Frank loves his Pedigree dog food, he loves the treats in the photograph and he was working for the Tasty bites during this shoot so he is a true product ambassador for Pedigree dog food and Tasty Bites treats. Such a star!

If you would like more information about how we create our images and how the inclusion of the correct dog actor or model from our own team could change your advertising and marketing please get in touch through our contact page and we will call you for an initial chat.

Location shooting

Every photographer has a preferred way of working and their own style. Much photographic work is studio based where everything is under control, the subject, the lights, the setting, the props and the time. The weather does not even enter the equation because inside a studio is warm, dry and well lit. Whilst I am happy working in a studio, I have a portable set up, I am much happier out in the fields and woods where dogs are behaving more naturally and having fun just being themselves.

Our dogs have real character, it makes them unique and is the reason we love them so much and I love to capture their character where they are happiest and that is usually out on a walk with you. It is also usually regardless of weather, most dogs don't care if its dull, cloudy, cold or raining they still manage to have a good time. Some of my favourite images are of dogs out in the rain, they still have a great time! I have just as much fun photographing dogs in the rain and cold, I just wrap me and my camera up and out we go!!

Which brings me onto this shot of Digby. It wasn't raining but it was very dull and cloudy on the walk but it didn't put Digby off nor did it put me off. Not too many people enjoy lying down in a very wet field on a cold, dull day but I do because I am doing something I absolutely love, I am photographing dogs having a great time. Fun is infectious, if the dog is having fun, how can you not be? You have to love what you do!

Digby is having a breather and just paused and I managed to capture this image as he looks around to see what he should investigate next. Sure enough, just after I took this shot, he was off again looking for mischief. He has an adorable character which made him great fun for work with!

Digby catching his breath after a great run in the field!

Digby catching his breath after a great run in the field!