One of the most common questions I get is “can my dog stay on a leash during the session?”. The answer is 100% yes!
In my images, all dogs seem to be well-behaved with a perfect “stay”. However, 99% of the time this is not the case. If you have a dog like mine that has selective hearing and prefers to run free on the beach ALL THE TIME, then I understand your concern! In fact, that is one of the reasons I became a photographer. Because dogs like Kobe, who is a little wild and reactive, still deserve to have beautiful images and artwork.
My solution is quite simple. During weʻll keep the leash on so the session can run smoothly and be as stress-free as possible!
Why Leashes are Better
When photographing any dog, their safety is my top concern during a session. Using a leash allows me to keep them in a certain position, while not worrying if they will run off unexpectedly. The only time we take the leash off is if I am shooting in an enclosed space or if the owner is extremely confident in their dog’s recall command.
The downside to leashes is that they can be very distracting and an eyesore in photos. If you are looking to display a giant 30×40 canvas in your living room or fill an album with photos, the last thing you want is a leash and background clutter taking the focus off your pet. Enter the magic of Photoshop.
Photoshop allows me to remove leashes and other unwanted objects in post-processing so that you can’t even tell it was there to begin with. Here of some examples of photos I’ve taken straight out of the camera and the final image after Photoshop edits…
On a Leash vs Off a Leash
I spend a reasonable amount of time editing each session to bring out the best in each photo. A camera does not capture a picture exactly as we see it with our eyes, so post-processing is always required. The end result is beautiful photos you can enjoy for years to come!