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How to Pose Pets for a Family Portrait

Learn how to pose pets for a family portrait from professional photographer Joe Sinnott in this Howcast photography tutorial.


Speaker 1: I'm Joe. I teach photography at the School of Visual Arts in New York. We're going to try to pose a family picture with a pet.

The trick to photographing with a pet. Try and get them in the morning. Keep a grip on the animal so that the animal doesn't go walking away. And keep a lot of snacks handy so that you can reward the animal for being good and behaving nicely.

Don't make a lot of loud noises. You don't want to frighten the pet.

And you want the owners looking at you. And whenever the animal turns in your direction, shoot like crazy.

Patience is a virtue for this kind of picture. Don't take your eye away from the view finder or you're going to miss it.

And much like photographing kids, surrender the illusion of control.

Very nice. Look at me. Wow, there we go. Excellent. Happy, happy. Jagger.

And then just wait. Eventually the puppy will turn and look at you. Really, it will happen. I have faith. I have misplaced faith. Jagger. Am I pronouncing the name right?

Speaker 2: Yeah.

Speaker 1: Jagger. The trick is to keep the humans smiling at you so that when the dog eventually turns and looks your way, you can use the camera like a jackhammer, Jagger, and take far more pictures than makes any sense.

Keep a lot of treats so you can reward the dog for doing a good job. Everybody that works gets paid.

That is one contrary model. Jagger. That's good. Jagger. Everybody looking at me. Very fabulous. Now see if you can get down low. There you go. That's great, that's great. That's what I'm looking for. That's okay, let the dog scratch. At least the dog's not leaving. That's terrific.

And that's how you photograph a family with their pet.

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