The misconception that your dog must be able to be off-leash for a successful pet photography session is one that I’ve covered in past blog posts as well as a concern that I addressed in my marketing pieces, throughout my client guide, and during the pre-session consultation. Still, there are a number of pet parents who just can’t convince themselves to commit to a session due to the leash issue. (By the way, if that sounds like you, take a moment to check out this post.)
First, let me reassure you that at no point during your session does your dog need to be off-leash. I’ll say it again: your dog can remain leashed! In fact, unless you place 110% trust in your pup’s recall, I actually prefer he stays leashed, primarily for safety as well as for the added control that a leash can provide, for instance, in keeping your dog where we’d like him for specific shots. For some locations, it’s non-negotiable that dogs be leashed due to local rules and regulations.
So how in the world can you get those off-the-leash images you see in my portfolio and throughout my website? Why, the magical powers of Photoshop, of course! To illustrate how seamlessly leashes can be removed from a variety of images, check out the following before-and-after comparisons.
Here are a few suggestions to minimize the appearance of a leash and make my job in removing it during post-processing a little easier.
- Position yourself off to the side and always hold the leash away from your dog.
- Keep the leash taunt without allowing it to pull on the collar, which can add a separate issue that will then need fixed in Photoshop.
- Whenever possible, avoid allowing the leash to drape over the dog’s body, as shown in the following image of Ellie. While this can usually be removed during post-processing, depending on the color and pattern of a dog’s fur, it can become difficult and even unnatural-looking.
If I’ve eased your fear that your dog must be photographed off-leash and you’re ready to book your session, there’s no better time! My spring calendar is now open and registration for 2019’s first Fine Art Pawtrait Sessions will be opening in just a few weeks. Let’s get your best friend on my calendar and make this the year you celebrate the joy and love between you and your pet! Click here to learn
This post is a part of the Pet Photography 52 Weeks project blog circle. To see what the next pawesome photographer is sharing for the weekly theme, “Before & After,” check out Jo Lyons Photography, the down-to-earth dog loving photographer for cherished dogs of Sydney, Central Coast, Newcastle, and the Great Lakes Region of NSW. Continue to click the link at the end of each post in the blog circle until you eventually find your way back here.