DIY Portraiture for the Modern-Day Dog

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If you’re dog wants to be a pup-star, he will need stellar head shots to show off to talent scouts looking for America’s next top puppy model. Professional dog photographers can cost up to $300 dollars per sixty-minute sessions. But luckily, there are plenty of options for you if you want to take a great photo for your dog- without the hefty fees. These DIY photography tips are sure to create at least one loveable snapshot that you can include on your next family Christmas card.

The Selfie Pic

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If you think selfies represent the vice of modern-day culture, do not forget to include your four-legged pet as part of the trend. Without the help of their non-existent opposable thumbs, the internet has sprung with a micro-sensation within the world of social media sharing where dogs and cats alike, are taking selfies. To create the purrrfect pet selfie, the key  is snapping a close up of your pet, preferably only showing his neck and face. For the extra-credit selfie, have your dog reach for a handshake, so that you can snap him at half-motion to create the familiar arm gesture that has become the signature for selfies.

Shoot a Video and Look for Stills

A quick and easy way to capture a perfect still of your pet, who is anything but still, (except when he’s sleeping, but those shots don’t make for great pictures) is to take a running video of him and then go back through the footage and select a frame that you can freeze and clip a picture. Snapping a picture from a video is not as complicated as it sounds. Though this maneuver can be completed within a dedicated video editor like Final Cut Pro, other easier methods include taking a screen capture with Microsoft’s Snip it Tool or Mac’s Cmd+Shift+4 shortcut. For videos shot with an Ipad, you can pause the video to the desired frame, and grab a snapshot of the frame by simultaneously holding down the sleep/wake button and home button.

Wise Portraiture with Black and White Photography

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http://www.topdesignmag.com/extraordinary-swimming-dogs-photography/

If your dog is graying, or hasn’t taken a bath yet, snapping a black and white photo of him can capture his wise and faithful soul while conveniently hiding his bad hygiene. Editing your photo with  other subtle tints such as blues or intaglio tints can preserve your pet’s portrait with the timeless effect of black and white photography, but the alternative hues add a hint of playfulness. But If you’re seeking to add just a splash of color to your black and white photo, you can opt out for highlighting a portion of the picture, a red ball for example, using Photoshop: http://www.howtogeek.com/67884/beginner-photoshop-black-and-white-and-red-photo-effect-in-ten-seconds/

Motion-Picture Portrait

If you doubt still photography cannot adequately capture the spirit of your dog, or cat, consider other mediums that rival the magical portraits that first appeared in the Harry Potter series. The cinegraph-style portraits first enchant young Harry Potter because they capture subtle movements that provide a more intimate snapshot of a subject in comparison to a still picture. And because in our world, technology is synonymous with magic, here are a few techie tools to capture the subtle nuances of your pet’s personalities.

Create a Cinegraph

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http://designrshub.com/2012/10/dog-photography-cute-photos-of-dogs.html​

Cinegraphs create eerie portraits where only one selected element remains in motion. The subtle motion creates a surreal effect. Creating a dog-inspired cinegraph will take creativity, but think about the subtle movements that you can include in the portrait, such as the wisps of his hair rippling with a slight breeze. To learn how to create a cinegraph visit: http://blog.spoongraphics.co.uk/tutorials/how-to-make-a-cool-cinemagraph-image-in-photoshop

Create a Gif

Have you ventured into the gif-making world that can potentially make your cat go viral? Creating a gif will give your pet a more light-hearted portrait. https://imgflip.com/gifgenerator

There are many more tools that can help you create portraits of your pet. Simple things like attaching your go pro to your dog can create interesting shots from your dog’s point of view.  And there are numerous apps on the market that allows you to capture a pet’s attention so that you can snap a picture of him at the height of his curiosity. BarCam App for example, accomplishes this task and allows you to add cute stickers and thought bubbles to customize your picture.  Taking portraits of your pet has never been easier, inexpensive, and more fun.

Sources:

http://dogs.thefuntimesguide.com/2010/04/dog_photography.php

Photocredit for selfie pic: http://dogdays.grouchypuppy.com/2014/01/hilarious-dog-faces-selfies.html

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