Renowned photographer from Western Mass is changing the way dogs are photographed from Boston to San Francisco.
Are you reading this on your phone? If not, chances are you have read something today on your phone. And there are equally high chances that you have taken a photo on your phone today. You may find it annoying that there are phones in our faces non-stop in today’s world, but it is the truth, and for most of us, we enjoy the creative access our phones give us on the go. They allow us to capture that perfect photo of our dog when he shakes or jumps to catch the Frisbee. With accessibility and convenience taken care of, we can focus on other aspects of photography that allow us to get that perfect shot.
Since I am not a professional photographer, I reached out to interview renowned photographer Jesse Freidin who gave me the breakdown of
“How to get the perfect Dog Photo!”
Be Calm and Stay Present
A lot of dog photographers will tell you to throw treats and play with toys, but I find the best photos and most authentic representation of the dog’s personality comes out when you remain calm and centered in your energy. This allows the dog to truly be him or herself!
Bring the Subject into the best light
The best light will be a space in bright, open shade. Examples are underneath a tree or close to a window. Some think the best light is in direct sun, but bright light creates shadows on the eyes and places that you want to emphasize in your subject.
Allow Personality to come through
The goal is to capture the personality of the dog, so having them sit and stay isn’t going to capture that. Find a place where your subject is at ease, and let them guide the shoot.
Know your equipment
Whether you are using a phone of camera, knowing your equipment is key! Become comfortable with the features. Also, make sure your equipment is in the same light as your subject. This makes for a great, and predictable shot.
Get on the same level
Standing over a dog and taking a photo looking down isn’t going to be the best perspective. Sit or lie down on the ground to get on the same level. This will give you a great shot!
A little bit about the expert: Jesse Freidin is a professional photographer that has mastered his style in dog photography. Not only is he fascinated by the human-dog connection, he is able to draw that our and capture it in a single image that is cherished by the owner forever.
But the truth is, Jesse grew up being a little afraid of dogs.
When you hear this, you may think, oh wow! He must have grown up with many dogs, and your mind may guide you through a series of images of a young boy on a farm with dogs licking his face and a sort of jungle book type of deal. But the truth is, Jesse grew up being a little afraid of dogs. After being bit as a child, Jesse was a little stand offish to dogs, that is, until he got a job at a doggie daycare in San Francisco (yup he needed a job that bad!). He found himself in a room full of large dogs, all barking, which was definitely not his comfort zone. A large pitbull named Linux (appropriate for San Francisco) seemingly took Jesse under his wing and quieted all of the dogs. He made Jesse feel safe, and from that moment on, Jesse was extremely fascinated with this connection between humans and dogs.
…from that moment on, Jesse was extremely fascinated with this connection between humans and dogs.
Being a self-taught photographer, Jesse later became an apprentice at a family photography studio, which opened his world and led him to his current career.
So, what sets Jesse apart from other dog photographers? This is what he had to say:
- The focus is black and white portraits of dogs, in a fine art style
- Use of film in many shoots
- Intimate connection that the dog and owner experience during the shoot
- Prints are hand developed, matted and framed by Jesse in his studio in Western Mass.
- The photos are pieces of fine art that are not sold digitally, but rather in frames, shipped to the customer and hung on their wall.
When asked if he ever feels burned out, Jesse mentions that it is an important topic that everyone experiences.
Jesse talks in language that really shows his calm and balanced nature, using words like “balanced” “Present” and “Intentional.” When asked if he ever feels burned out, Jesse mentions that it is an important topic that everyone experiences. Having to use both the left and right brain to run a creative business, he has certainly felt burn out. The key for him during these times is to take time away from work and let the brain air out. This allows him to stay fresh. Additionally, side projects are something Jesse mentions as a sort of “medicine,” and a recent side project is a book called “Finding Shelter” that Jesse wrote on the shelter culture.
Read more on his website, and go out into the world and capture some great photos of your dog child!
If you could list my website and/or social here that would be great J
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