Dog Photographer Brighton East Sussex Standard Dachshund
I recently had the pleasure of meeting a seven-month-old Standard Dachshund. These dogs are much larger than the very small Dachshunds we might be more familiar with. They’re powerful and they can move very quickly indeed. They’re also loving, playful, and loyal. The photo shoot was a special gift from the owner’s son to his father and our goal was to create photographs for several large wall pieces, as well as a range of natural and characterful pictures for an album.
Animals, especially youngsters, can be quite challenging to photograph. They’re lively and when they’re young they’re not ready for any significant obedience training. But this in itself can make the photo shoot great fun and these sessions are always filled with laughter. This is why I enjoy animal photography so much – every outing is totally different to the last with its own unique aspirations. Key to success is an owner who understands that! A relaxed and flexible attitude is vital to this kind of work.
And then there is the weather. It just isn’t possible here in the UK to have ideal weather for every shoot. In fact the right weather and light is a rarity these days. It doesn’t need to be a limiting factor unless it’s pouring down and blowing a gale. One constraint is that very often we’ll find that we don’t have enough light to freeze action. On our next shoot we may find that the light is very harsh and contrasty which can introduce a new set of compromises. But there are almost always ways to adapt to this and the ability to change tack on the run is vital.
When photographing animals I’m concentrating on lots of different things at once. Animals can move around a lot so I’m constantly adjusting my composition to accommodate that. I need to be ready to capture bursts of action without having to stop and fiddle with my settings while the moment is lost. Timing is everything, since we may only have a split second to capture an interesting or characterful moment. If our subject is very small we’ll need to get down to their level. Getting up and down becomes more painful with age and switching to lightweight mirrorless cameras can really help you out.
Indoors I’m usually using prime lenses such as a 50mm and an 85mm f1.8. I’ll need to stop down a little to get enough of my subject’s face in focus, depending on distance. Outside a telephoto zoom is almost always my first choice. Something which covers the classic 70-200 range. As with any moving target your shutter speed is a very important consideration and this may mean increasing the ISO quite substantially at times.
Here are some of the wall pieces we created: