Animal Photography: 6 Things to Avoid

You can't give animals direction; you can only guide and trick them into getting what you want. Here are 6 things to avoid when working in animal photography.

1. Not Giving Yourself enough Time

Don't make the assumption that you'll get done with the shots of the dog quickly. Animals are unpredictable and do what they want. If it's sitting down in the shot and wants to get up, it won't wait for you to finish. So, overestimate the time on the schedule. The worst that will happen is you'll get the shot quicker than you thought. That would put you ahead of schedule.

2. Not Having Back Ups

Everyone has their bad days, including animals. In case the animal you hired is uncooperative or not doing the right stuff, then you need to make sure you have a back up on hand to pick up the slack. As long as the animals are of the same breed, no one will know the difference.

3. Not Getting the Animals through a Professional

There is a whole group of people who make a really nice living off of owning animals that are in film and photo shoots. They're called wranglers. These people own and raise the animals. They spend everyday with them and have a ton of on set experience. Spend the extra money and hire a pro. It will be worth it.

4. Having a Busy Set

Make sure you clear the set when the animals arrive or at least make sure everyone settles down. Animals can be startled easily, and if that happens to your star, it is going to take awhile for him to calm down and get back in the mood.

5. Putting All the Animals Together

Try to find space so that the animals are all away from each other. That includes dogs. Dogs can be very territorial, and sometimes if they come into contact with each other, they go crazy to prove that they're holding their ground. Keep everyone separate, and you're day will go a lot smoother.

6. Not Providing the Owner with Details

You need to be completely honest and open about what you're going to shoot when you're booking an animal. Animals all have their own unique personalities. One dog may work better with children than another. The owner knows his animals best. So give him as many details as possible so he brings the best pet for the job.

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