When I show people my pet photos, the most common remark I hear is “you could never do that with my dog, he would run away if I took the leash off him”. Or “my dog would never sit still long enough for you to get a photo of her that isn’t blurry.” Safety is my #1 priority during all of my custom photography sessions. It’s up to you to decide if your dog can be off-leash, but unless we’re shooting in a fenced in yard, it’s almost always best to keep dogs on a leash. While my own fur-baby Izzy is pretty good off leash (of course I’ve been training her to be a good model for me since she was a puppy), there are many times when there are simply too many distractions for her to not be tempted to run off. So in those situations I do leave her leash on, or I have someone come with me and hold onto her.
So, now you’re wondering how come you never see the leashes in my images, right? I’m so glad you asked! In today’s blog I’m going to show you how I work a little photo shop magic to make those leashes “disappear!”
Here’s a before and after of Bono from a session I did this spring. Bono turned 1 and like most puppies, he can’t be trusted to not run off if he is off-leash. So during the session I asked his mom to hold the leash and helped guide her to stand where it would be easiest for me to remove it in post-processing. Hard to believe there was a leash at all, isn’t it?
Here’s another before and after, this time from Buddy’s session in Valley Forge. Buddy is a handsome schnauzer mix who is well trained, he competes in agility, but for safety reasons we kept his leash on the entire session. Since we were at a park with lots of people, cars and wildlife, there were too many distractions and temptations for Buddy. Once again, if I didn’t show you the before, could you ever tell there was a leash in the image?
Here’s a before and after of Izzy. Since most of the time it’s just her and I when I’m photographing her, I have no one to hold onto her leash. But I will wrap it behind her so if she does take off, at least I have something I can grab before she gets away. Having treats in my hand helps a lot as Izzy isn’t one to turn down something yummy!
And finally, here's a before and after of Kita. Since she is still so young and learning her recall, I keep her on a leash whenever I photograph her.
So now that you know my tricks, let me share some tips that you can do to help for your fur-baby’s photo session. First, if you have a skinny black leash that’s long enough for you to stand about 5 feet or more away from your fur-baby, bring that to your session. Check your dog’s collar. Is it dirty, old or worn out? Perhaps this would be the time to buy a new colorful collar. Also, county license, rabies and microchip tags aren’t very pretty in your images. Plan to take them off your dog’s collar before the session, but carry them with you so you have them.
Sometimes leashes add a unique quality to your images, if that’s the case, then we’ll incorporate it into your photo session. On the other hand, I know some people like to use a harness for their dogs. Harnesses are very tough to edit out, so if you plan to have your dog wear it during your session, I may not be able to remove it in post-processing.
So now that you’ve seen the before and after photos, I hope you can see how it is possible to photograph your fur-baby and get beautiful images even when on a leash. As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to let me know. And if you’re ready to book your session, give me a call and let’s get the process started!