Client Concerns – Part 1: But My Dog Won’t Sit Still

I hear it all the time. I’d say it’s probably the most common response I hear when I tell people I photograph dogs. This week alone, I’ve heard it three times: “Oh, I’d love to have photos of (insert dog’s name here), but my dog would never sit still.”

Well, I’ve got four words for you: hundredths of a second.

Hundredths of a second–that’s all I need. Do you realize how quick that is? Without getting into the sophisticated system of the brain-eye inner workings, the average human eye blinks at 1/3 of a second, significantly slower than what many digital SLR cameras are capable of in terms of shutter speed. If you dog can sit still for say, 1/250 of a second, you will absolutely walk away from your session with gorgeous images of your four-legged friend.

And if he can’t (or won’t) sit still? Good. I’ll capture your dog’s spunk and energy; they’re likely among the very qualities and quirks that you love about him anyway.

siberian retriever playing in the snow with snow-covered nose

Believe me when I say that your dog will not be on his best behavior every second of your session–and that I don’t expect him to! The reason why my time with my clients averages about one hour is to allow balance the time your dog spends in front of the camera and the time he needs to spend just being a dog. He needs time to get comfortable with  me, the camera, and his surroundings as well as time to play, explore, and just do dog things.

So before you give me “but my dog won’t sit still,” remember: hundredths of a second.

This Client Concerns post is the first in a three-part blog series addressing the top three client concerns and myths I hear surrounding pet photography. 

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