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Book Review: Dog Photography for Dummies

Dog Photography for Dummies by Kim Rodgers and Sarah Sypniewski (Bark Pet Photography in Los Angeles) is perfect for dog lovers who have really good cameras at home or for those who want to volunteer or go pro in the dog photography world.

best dog blog, champion of my heart, Dog photography for Dummies book reviewWhile I would love to say that I’m the right market for this book, alas … I am not because I only have a simple camera — with a painfully slow shutter speed and post-photo recovery time.

I’m sure it has all kinds of fancy features that I never use, but I’m pretty sure it cannot do much of what Dog Photography for Dummies recommends in terms of shutter speeds and fill-in lighting and other technical tricks to capture dogs in motion or other tough scenarios.

However, Dog Photography for Dummies does deliver great advice on how to take dog pix:

  • In a variety of locations
  • In the best light possible
  • In a natural environment
  • In a set-up situation

The authors tackle tough situations like photographing all-white dogs or black dogs with the best outcome. They give helpful tips on angles, framing, and artistic composition of images. And, they cover some photoshop and post-production magic that fixes common photo problems — like eye goobers and leashes.

If you have a really nice camera with various kinds of lenses and shutter speed capabilities, then I bet you’d learn much more that you can use than I did.

Some of you may be toying with the idea of a full-time or side biz in pet photography. Others likely want to take better adoptable pet pix for your local shelter or rescue … since good pictures make ALL THE DIFFERENCE in pet adoptions.

Take one of my former, longtime editors Alison Landis Stone as an example. She founded a photography company called Stone Creative Images in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Bucks County), and she takes oodles of amazing pix of adoptable pets and others.

Here are a couple of examples. Notice how she captures this first dog’s personality. Then, check out the eyes on dog #2. It’s so hard to get the eyes just right, but Alison does it.

You can view more of her work at her main site — Stone Creative Images — or you can also follow Stone Creative Images on Facebook.

© Alison Landis Stone, Stone Creative Images, Philadelphia, PA, Bucks County Pennsylvania

© Alison Landis Stone, Stone Creative Images, Philadelphia, PA

© Alison Landis Stone, Stone Creative Images, Philadelphia, PA, Bucks County Pennsylvania

© Alison Landis Stone, Stone Creative Images, Philadelphia, PA

I would love for my pictures of Lilly to be much better, but I do the best I can with the time and equipment I have. Here is one my favs. Nothing harder than photographing a mostly black dog in the snow, but I think this captures Lilly’s amazing face just right.

For those who don’t already know, Lilly is FAMOUS for “handing” us the ball when we play fetch.

best dog blog, champion of my heart, border collie playing fetch in the snow

Normally, we give away the free books people send us to review, but this time, I think we’re going to donate it to some local volunteers who take pix of adoptable pets.

But you can check out this cheat sheet online with many great dog photography tips.


FTC Disclosure

The authors of Dog Photography for Dummies sent me a FREE copy of the book to review. I was not compensated in any way for this review.

Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related. I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

Pamela - June 14, 2012

I hate the idea of the “dummies” books but they do cover some great topics pretty well. I’ll probably check this out to see if it has any ideas for taking pictures of a dog who is afraid of cameras.

BTW, I think your photos of Lilly are beautiful. They are obviously taken with a lot of love.

It was wonderful to see the picture of Lilly “handing” you the toy.
Pamela recently posted..Three Among the Wolves – Pet Travel Book ClubMy Profile

Maery Rose - June 14, 2012

Java provides the black dog problem. It’s tough getting her eyes to stand out.

carol - June 14, 2012

I love dogs Our family gives them a portrait in our house we treat them as our young family.Thanks for posting those cute dogs.

Brette Sember - June 14, 2012

Thanks for this! We take a family portrait every year with our dogs and have had all sorts of problems with red eyes and getting the dogs to look at the camera! I will get this book.
Brette Sember recently posted..Trout with Potatoes and Arugula and HollandaiseMy Profile

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