Dogs can easily be distracted and was mentioned in the first part of Outdoor Pet Portraits. Most clients we work with prefer the undistracted environment of the studio. There aren’t birds or cats or even squirrels to content with. Even having additional people in the area can be distracting for some dogs.
However some clients really prefer the outdoor look and we’re happy to accommodate them. For safety I always have the client leash the dog. Even if you have the best trained dog int he world you don’t need them dashing after an animal during the session and getting hit by a car or knocking people over. It’s just a good safety precaution to leash your dog. There are ways to pose to minimize the leash and we can also digitally remove it if necessary.
It’s great to scout the location ahead of time. For this portrait I knew the area well so knew to arrive at a time when the sun was at the right angle for the couple and their dog. Even with such mellow dog as then one pictured here we had to wait for people to walk by and for other distractions such as ducks to not be within his visual range. It was a fairly cool late afternoon time but still we allowed time for the dog to cool off. It’s good to make sure your dog isn’t too hot or too cool. As with people they won’t look comfortable if they’re not. Though it was cooler he had his tongue out but they told me that was his look so we went with it.
Just as with studio portraits outdoor pet portraits with people should be planned with the background in mind—either to match it or in this case to look good for an early fall portrait. Solid seasonal colors look best.
So outdoor portraits are indeed a possibility but it takes a bit of extra planning for it to all come together.