WHEW! That’s a doozy of a title! But it is true… fresh air has nothing to do with how to do Easter pictures of your puppy! (We’ll get to those briefly!)
As we travel throughout the weeks of the blog ring, we sometimes land on interpret as you will type themes. Fresh air is one of those.
For those who live in Minnesota, our fresh air for the past half a year has been freeze your face off and make your nose runny as you marvel at all of the snow we’ve gotten (a record year, I think we’re landing about the 3rd snowiest on record…) and do your best not to turn into a comic as you encounter ice & slush. Which means many of us have avoided fresh air as we’ve kept to our cozy interiors. I know Blue and I have.
Oh my, did you know it was spring? And do you know what Minnesota is often called? Minne-SNOW-ta! In fact we got a few inches the evening and into the morning of April 1st. Good joke Mother Nature! Move forward a couple days and there was more impending snow / rain / sleet / freezing rain (pending on where you live in the state) so Blue and I headed out to the river for some fresh air before the mess hit.
I forget how pretty the banks of the Mississippi River are during the winter. The wind was brisk, but tromping through semi supportive snow and getting dragged about by Blue had me rather warm. We paused at a few pretty spots (Blue was leashed the whole time, we need to work on his photography skills outdoors…) then took some time to gawk at the geese and ducks on the open water. Blue couldn’t quite decide if he could figure out what the floaty noisy things were. The geese seemed to question us too, it seemed they thought the human form should have snacks, but the 4 legged form was most likely predatory and swam towards us and slightly away to return towards us.
The fresh air did wonders for Blue and he snoozed into the afternoon.
How to take Easter pictures of your puppy!
Indeed this is a two part blog! This weekend hosts Easter on Sunday. So Blue and I thought up some tips for you to get adorable Easter images of your pup!
- Start with patience.
Bunny ears and Easter things are new and novel, especially for puppies. Let them sniff the props you want to use and remind them not to eat them.
- Request a sit & place the bunny ears.
Place the ears on your puppy, followed by “leave it”. Don’t worry if they brush the ears off and attempt to eat them, these are a mega weird thing to them. Remove the ears, get your puppy settled into a calm sit and replace the ears. Use “leave it”. Repeat until your pup doesn’t bother with the ears.
- Enter the props.
Same as the ears, use “leave it” for the prop. Remove if it becomes too much of a toy, the retry. Repeat until your dog doesn’t pay much mind to the prop. As for props, there are loads of things that can be used – carrots, bunnies, lambs, pastel colored things and flowers all could help convey spring & Easter time. When picking props, I recommend thinking like your puppy is a baby or a toddler – things will go in their mouth! Plush props are great as they won’t break if chomped on. Metal & wood items can handle chomps as well. Or just opt for dog and puppy toys that will handle teeth, chomps and play!
- LOADS OF TREATS!!!!
Blue says loads of treats will help your pup focus on you and realize that leaving the ears & Easter props alone equals loads of treats.
Once you’ve gotten your pup comfortable with bunny ears on their head, THEN add in the camera.
You may only get a couple of seconds for each image before the ears are dismounted, but remember to be patient. The more you practice having the weird ears (this works for Christmas antlers & decorative headbands for other seasons too!) on their head, the less likely your pup with try to swipe them off.
If your pup is too nervous for the bunny ears, don’t push it! You want this experience to be fun. You can use the bunny ears as a prop next to your pup or opt to not even have them (you can wear them instead!). Pick a different prop that is less intrusive but still conveys Easter / spring and see it it works. If it doesn’t, take a break, go for a walk or have a batch of play and revisit later. Always remember to make pictures fun, especially when props are involved.
Blue is nearly a pro as we’ve been doing props since he was a teenie pup and he’s now 9 months old. It takes a couple of “leave it / leave” instructions to refresh him, loads of treats, sometimes a soda can (he’s a weirdo) and he’ll pose like a pro model.
And if you want to get pictures of your pup holding flowers, you can work on a “hold” command or… let your pup chew on the flowers as you get their attention. Can you tell he’s chomping on the stem of the tulips? Haha!
For those who want the tech details for the “shitty weather studio Easter pictures”:
- Interfit S1 monolight at 4.0 power + front baffle, placed at photographer’s left.
- Neewer TT560 Speedlight at 2nd to lowest power (1/64th?), no modifier, placed at right on loveseat or floor
- Nikon Z9 + Tamron 35-150mm f2.8-4 / most images at 35mm
- ISO 100 + 1/200th shutter
We are in a blog ring with fellow pet and dog photographers. Next up Northern Virginia pet photographer, Lynn Sehnert, of Lance and Lili Pet Photography, shares three reason why sniffy walks benefit your dog and you.