How to Photograph Cats & Dogs

Cat & Dog Photography Course

taught by
Paul Walker
£145approx. $174*
4 weeks
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Taking great pet portraits whether on an amateur or hobbyist level, or even for those experienced professionals, is rarely without a challenge.  Aside from any challenges the pet's own behaviour may present, the environment, lighting, space and other external influences can also hinder or aid the image making process.  Consider a scene with more than one pet and the considerations and behavioural dynamics between the animals themselves become ever more complex.  Over the course, Paul Walker with his considerable experience in this niche of pet photography will present a foundation and mindset approach to making pet photography a much easier and more pleasant experience, which in turn can lead to far more creative and dynamic picture taking. Aside from the choice of camera, lenses and available lighting at one's disposal, the necessary preparations for any pet photography session will be explored in this unique online photography course.  From actual commissioned pet photography assignments, the choices and decision made in respect of planning, capturing and directing will be represented through a series of images captured during each assignment.  Paul will also share the secrets of the methods adopted behind some of his most striking images taken throughout his career.  You will learn professional top tips on pet photography from unique online tutorials as well as getting personal feedback on your work.

Week 1: An Introduction to Pet Photography  

In this first module, Paul will discuss different kinds of pet images from portraits of a more classic nature to images that could be labelled as more dynamic or quirky in appearance. The choice of locations, lighting and pet characteristics will be also be explored with a view to highlighting its importance in the final quality, quantity and style of images captured throughout any photography session.  He will also discuss the equipment you need to take pet portraits and highlight the strengths and limitations of various cameras.

Week 2: Image Style

In this second module Paul will explore an real life dog photography assignment including the planning and preparations, and the actual images captured from the session.  A range of different styles of dog portraits will be captured and he will discuss the techniques adopted and associated camera settings for achieving a particular style of image.  He will also highlight the key decisions and strategies he adopts to increase the chances of capturing more striking and memorable portraits.

Week 3: Theory and Planning

In this third module Paul will explore the challenging world of cat photography in and around the home. The necessary plans and preparations, and the images captured from the session will again be discussed.  A number of different kinds of cat portraits will be attempted throughout the session and he will discuss the techniques and camera settings necessary for achieving a particular style of image.  He will also highlight the key decisions and strategies adopted to increase the chances of capturing more striking and memorable portraits.

Week 4: Assessment and Editing

In this module, Paul will delve into my personal collection of pet imagery and discuss some of my favourite award winning images.  He will also highlight the challenges during the picture making process and techniques employed to overcome any difficulties.  So often pet portraiture can look all too familiar, however in this module Paul will also demonstrate the way that the home and our everyday neighbourhoods present countless opportunities for taking extraordinary portraits.
Find out more about how our online photography courses work

Lesson Plan

Each lesson starts with a video from your expert tutor, which you can watch whenever you like. When you’re ready, you can practice what you’ve learned with an assignment which unlocks the next lesson.

  1. 1 Week 1: An Introduction to Pet Photography ~30 mins 2 hours

  2. 2 Week 2: Image Style ~30 mins 2 hours

  3. 3 Week 3: Theory and Planning ~30 mins 2 hours

  4. 4 Week 4: Assessment and Editing ~30 mins 2 hours

Total course length — 4 weeks

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