Monday, January 20, 2020

What can I do as an exhibitor to help the photographer get that great picture? I get so nervous after a good win that it is hard for me to relax enough to make sure the dog is properly stacked etc. It must be that rush of adrenaline. Plus it always seems so rushed. -JO

It is an exciting time, the few minutes right after the win! A photo can seem rushed for sure, as there are usually 4 rings per photographer and with most superintendents, they all break around the same time.

First and easiest for you, is to make sure you are ready to go. Take a deep breath and relax!  The photos are truly the easiest part. Remember, the judge has signed the book and cannot "take it back."  Thank the judge on the way to the ramp, podium, table or mats for the photo. this gets everyone back into the excitement, but is still relaxing.. (helps you get your thoughts out of your own head).. remember, you did this already to win!  If you have a coated dog, bring someone to help brush/comb the dog out, and to make sure things are lying the way they should. Then look at the dogs "feet" make sure they are set fairly well there.. I will tell you what to fix for the picture.  

If for some reason you have not liked what you have received on a particular dog so far, then, let the photographer know what you haven’t liked in the past. "This dog pulls back at the last second" or "for some reason, even when we think the front is far enough under, it just does not seem to be in print" is much more informative and gives the photographer a starting point. “I need a nice one” or “I have never gotten one I like”  does not tell me what you have not liked or what you have noticed so far on this particular dog.  

Try and make sure your dogs are used to being hand stacked. It is important that they are used to having their feet touched, for something other than toenails and that they are used to being on tables/podiums etc. 

Sadly, photos ARE often rushed, the judge has a start time, and the photographer has more rings to get to in a small amount of time. Although we want nothing more than to get you the perfect picture, we have less than 30 seconds per to do that! Sometimes, waiting until the next break or even group times allows you to breathe and calm down, it is always an option to wait. You do not have to get it taken the end of the “hour” you are in, wait for the next break. Use that time and find the photographer, tell them you have had issues before, let them know what that issue is and what you hope to accomplish. If they have a podium and backdrop set up (often at the discretion of the club) and it is not in use, ask if you can stack the dog on the podium for practice. This will allow you to see if the dog is comfortable there and the photographer may even be able to help you more in the more relaxed period of time.  Talking to the photographer, will also give you an idea of timing. A photographer will often know when the judge took their last break, if they took pictures at that time, or if they are rushed, etc that day.

Finally, like so many things, practice makes perfect.  Setting dogs up in front of a mirror can tell you what you are doing/not doing that you should not/should be doing. Remember, cameras "flatten" the image I tell people, set the dog like you would to show them, it is my job to tell you what to fix for the photograph. I take my whippets at a slight slight 3/4 or 3/8th as they have really nice rears, but a solid profile leaves them looking "short coupled" and the slight angle removes that illusion. They are not short coupled, but the photo is a one dimensional image of a three dimensional reality so the depth of the image is changed giving that appearance without the angle.

Have questions? Ask them! Follow us on Facebook for more information. Interested in having us photograph your show? Contact us at either location!  We have updated our website! See our calendar to know where we will be next!

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