Did you know that most of the dogs I photograph are on leash?
Would it surprise if I said most of the dogs pictures on my site were on leash? And the leashes were being held by the owner or a photography assistant?
Unless the dog is really well trained, I find it easier as a photographer to have the dog leashed. It's easier to direct the dog and it's easier for him to understand what we want. I will make certain the session is fun for your dog. If he understands what we want him to do and he's having fun, we're going to create some great photos of him.
Removing the leash from a photo is a big part of what I do.
To really simplify photography, it has 2 parts: actually taking the photos and editing the photos. The majority of the time I spend on any given session is actually in editing the photos. (If you ever see the phrase "post processing" that is just another way of saying editing.) My sessions may last 45 - 90 minutes and I may spend 10 times as long editing the photos.
Depending upon how simple or difficult the editing is, will depend upon how long it takes me to remove whatever distracting elements there are in the photo. Not to offend (ha!) but the leash and whoever is holding the leash are the distracting elements.
As a photographer I've learned the best ways to position the dog based upon the lighting. I've learned the best way to have the handler hold the leash so it's the easiest to remove.
The photos above are samples of an edited photo and the photo "sooc" or straight out of the camera. You can see the leash being held up and away from the dog. This is Sully and he's a furry guy so you can't even see the collar in the photo.
If you look closely at the "before" photo, on the left side you will see Sully's mom's feet in the reflection in the sculpture. I removed her and I removed her shadow. Removing the leash in this photo was a bit tricky because of all of the tiles in the sculpture. That required a lot of detailed, intricate work.
I typically don't remove the collar from the photo. That's why in my Welcome Packet I suggest a clean, pretty collar with the tags removed during the session.
I don't remove harnesses. If your dog wears a harness and that's how you want him to look in his photo, that works for me. If your dog wears a harness but can wear a regular collar just while we are taking the photos, we may swap the harness for a collar during the session.
Making these decisions are things we can talk about prior to our session and this is where my 9+ years of dog walking and pet sitting really help me understand your dog. Keeping your dog safe and providing you with memories of him you will have forever are my goals during our session.
If you thought your dog couldn't be photographed because he can't be off leash, think again! It's usually easier when he is on leash.