My dog needs to stay on leash for photographs – will we still get good pictures?

One of the most common questions I get from prospective clients is a variation of “My dog can’t be trusted off leash and needs to stay on a leash for photographs — will we still get good photos?”

Yes, yes, 100 per cent yes!

The truth is that almost every dog I photograph is on a leash for safety. Thanks to the “digital darkroom” and the detailed image editing I do after each session, however, you would never know it! Ah, the Internet — where every dog I photograph is a perfect angel!

I bring a long line to each session, which is skinny and easier to remove in Photoshop. Clients also play a big role in my sessions and are behind the scenes helping to position their dog and hold the leash, and sometimes they feel more in control and comfortable using their own gear, which is totally fine, too.

I’ve pulled together a few before and after comparisons to first show you the image straight out of camera — absolutely no enhancing or retouching whatsoever (eek, I feel naked!) — and below it the final image, followed by a side-by-side comparision. If you scroll down, there’s even a double leash removal!

First up is beautiful boxer Bella, perched on a rock with a dramatic sky in the background. Her person was within arms reach off to the right of the frame, and the angle of the image makes it look like she’s much higher off the ground than she actually is — she could easily hop right down.

bella-before

Image editing and removing a leash from dog photos by Happy Tails Pet Photography.

Image editing and removing a leash from dog photos by Happy Tails Pet Photography.Next up are Shar-Pei Lily (LOVE the wrinkles) and standard poodle Freddie, who were both on a leash for their entire sessions. A technique I often use to make leash removal a little easier during the editing process is to fill the frame of my camera with the subject, which reduces the amount of leash that needs to be removed. lily-beforeKeeping pets on leash for photographs for safety by Ontario pet photographer.Keeping pets on leash during dog photography sessions by Ontario pet photographer.freddie-beforePhoto editing before and after of dog on a leash in Ontario park.Photo editing before and after of dog on a leash in Ontario park.And finally here’s beagle puppy Poppy and big brother Jackson (kind of a sneek peak because I haven’t blogged this session yet!). This urban session took place downtown, so of course these two were leashed during their full session — I removed two leashes from every photograph.poppyjackson-before-copyUrban dog photography in downtown Burlington Ontario.Pet safety for dog photographers by GTA photographer.After each session I work really hard to get all the details just right in each image — image enhancement, including leash removal, is part of the service I provide to every client and is included in my session fee. So, even if your dog is a total nut (and I love the nuts!) and needs to stay on a leash for photographs, I can still get really beautiful, natural images of your four-legged friend … and, bonus, everyone will comment about how well behaved they are 😉 Don’t let a leash prevent you from booking a session!

Wags,

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