Selfie with Dog Tutorial Austin family photographer in natural light

February 14, 2014  •  3 Comments

golden retriever, natural light photography, selfie tutorial, Austin family photographyShellyandBostonGolden retriever and natural light photographer selfie tutorial.

So yesterday, I realized that it was time to get a blog Welcome done. I'm playing graphic artist and web designer for myself--so all of these branding things and web elements are getting done piece meal. Anyway, the blog welcome I wanted needed to include a photo of me and I couldn't find one that I really liked that was current, so I decided to take it myself. And because taking a decent photo of yourself isn't hard enough, I decided to get my golden retriever in on the project. (Working from home can be lonely.)

Just in case you are ever inclined to do the same, here are some essential steps to the process. First and foremost, have plenty of dog treats on hand. Secondly, choose your location based on lighting and background (just as you usually would). Be aware of hot spots and try to have even lighting across the location where you and your dog will be sitting. I don't try to get the dog to cooperate at this point. I just run my hand through the air in the general area he will be lying in and look at how the light falls on my hand through the whole space. Adjust your location accordingly. I would have opened the front door in this particular location to let in more light, but my dog would have been in the street, so I just dealt with it. Alright, the next brilliant thing I thought of was to use my dog's favorite rug which happens to be the exotic game hide that my dad gave my sister and I later snagged. Sorry Dad, but the B-dog LOVES it.  

This may or may not be more complicated for those who shoot on automatic. I'm not really sure it's been so long since I went strictly to manual mode. I set my aperture a little tight for both myself and the dog, but I wanted to make sure I shot close to my usual style and that usually is 2.8 and under just letting the light do it's thing. Next I went across the room to setup the camera. I metered for the rug, changed the drive from shooting a single frame to shooting on a timer. Gave myself about 10 seconds on the timer. Then I got the treats, walked around with said treat in front of the dog until I lead him to his spot, got him settled and gave him the treat. At this point, I say "Stay" several times as I walk over to the camera, I focus on the dog, and set the camera down still holding the shutter half-way so as not to re-focus and then depressed the shutter completely, run over to the dog, sit down, and flip my hair so as not to look overly posed. I would cross my fingers and hope for the best, but there is not even time for that in the mix. Repeat 30 times or until the dog finally looks at the camera. 

Okay, so I got ONE photo with both the dog and myself looking at the camera. And I have been so sore today and could not figure out why. Well, all that running and throwing yourself down on the floor so you have time to look composed and relaxed before the shutter goes off is jarring to the body. I advise taking some ibuprofen after your selfie session. 

Another option is to just hire a professional photographer!




Ha! I'd love to see a few of the others! This one you have up is perfect!
Ha! Best advice right at the end. Hire a professional! :)
Diana Saunders(non-registered)
Shelly, I loved this commentary and instructions on self photography!!! Getting a good shot of yourself OR a dog is very difficult but doing a selfie with a dog is almost impossible!!! Great job on getting this special ONE!!! Have a great day!!!
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