"I would love to have great pictures like those,
but my dog has to be on a leash."
This is what I hear most when I talk to my clients for the first time. They love the images that they see in the gallery, but assume that their session images could never look like those because their dog has to be on a leash when outdoors.
Here's a little secret . . . 98% of the images on my site were taken with the dog on a leash and his owner at the other end of it. Can you tell from the gallery images that the owner was standing there, sometimes right next to the dog? I myself, don't think any dog should be off a leash unless they are in their own fenced in yard where they are safe from cars, other dogs or anything else that might be a danger to them. Why risk it? The last thing anyone wants is to see a pet hurt when it could have been prevented. (And, that my friends is as political as I get.)
While there are images that, in my opinion, need that leash to stay as part of the story, most of the time it needs to be edited out for esthetic reasons. Now, let me say right now that Photoshop is not something that you do to an image. It's not a magic wand that corrects an image instantaneously. Photoshop is a software used by artists for any number of projects. For photographers, it's an editing tool. When starting out, Photoshop is not simple and it is not easy, but with practice AND patience one can learn the skills necessary to meet their needs. For pet images it is wonderful for editing out eye boogers, slobber, . . . and leashes.
Here's the truth of it all . . . When you and your pet join me at a pet session, your pet will pretty much run the show. I'm sorry, but that's just how it is. I've never had a pet respond to, "Ok Lucy, you come sit over here facing this way, and why don't you have your tail going this direction so everything is nice and balanced in the frame." I also can't say, "Oh wait, can you move that leash out of the way," because if I do they are already on to the next thing (translation: squirrel ). So, we walk around with them a bit and lead them in the direction we want them to go. And, pretty soon it happens . . . the pet that you know and love comes out to play (even on a leash! ) We always have so much fun and you know what? We get those shots. We get the shots of your pet and all that you love about them . . . and then I edit out the leash. :O)
Here are a few before and afters of editing and leash removal.
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I can't really get them to say "cheese," but I can almost always make them smile. -Kelly