I always tell people while I shoot that it takes a few minutes for the animals to settle in. The one thing I find that
people try to do is distract their pet with a treat. I think that never works. What happens is the animal is always looking
at the owners’ hand for that treat. The best thing is to have patience and wait for that shot. You will get it. I do
have a great assistant, Svenn Petterson, that has been working with me for years. He is always behind me making some
strange noise to get the pooches attention.
Some other tips. Try and stay down low to the ground. Stay at the animals’ prospective. Try and get a sudden look.
Let the animal do their thing then make a noise that will get their attention, or if you have someone helping you, have
them stand behind the camera with you and let them make the noise.
Try not to have many people in the room with you, it is too much of a distraction. The other thing, attempt to shoot the
animal in a room that is very bright or outside. Avoid using a flash this is also distracting to the animal and sometimes
they are even scared of the flash.
If you are trying to get the shot with the animal looking at the lens of the camera, you usually have to get that within
the first 10-15 shots - so be ready. Then you can get the candid “playing around” shots. If the animal is not
staying where you want them, you can either take him to another room or space and/or wait about 20 minutes and try
The most important thing to remember is to have a lot of patience.