Quinn, my 7-year old Shih-Tzu, is terribly camera shy.
As you can probably tell from the following pictures:
I’m not sure what it is! He’d be whining up until I whip out my phone (or any kind of recording device) and point it at his face. Then, cue the fake deaths.
Quinn would then lie on the floor, pull a Sleeping Beauty and pretend not to notice me. Worst still, he’d just look anywhere but my camera. As if the camera lens were the eye of Medusa, he’d be annoyingly frustrating when it comes to pictures, videos, and anything selfie-related.
Think of him as the dog version of Emma Thompson, who remarked in 2014 that selfies were “taking narcism to the extreme” and said she “wouldn’t dream of taking a selfie – with anyone.”
Yep, that’s Quinn alright.
Nevertheless, here are 5 tips to photographing a camera-shy dog. I’m looking at you Quinn, even if you aren’t looking at me.
1. Be patient
The lord knows that I’ve had my fair share of patience with Quinn. Many times after Quinn had decided that I’ve waited long enough, he’d grace me with a shot or two of his head and nose. Sometimes the eyes.
2. Toy/Food motivation
This is honestly one of the easiest ways to get Quinn looking at the camera. Just grab one of his favourite treats and place them right next to the lens! Easy peasy.
3. Take profiles (As a last resort)
There are loads of photographers out there who remark that taking profile shots are the best at capturing “the animal’s essence”. Truth be told, they’ve just got a bunch of Quinns, just like me.
Ninja your way into an awesome shot. Personally, I wait till Quinn’s sleeping, position the camera right in front of his face, and then make a gentle noise (like shifting my weight or a few tester keys on the keyboard) to get his eyes open. Works like a charm.
5. Employ: The hand
Yes, I call it the hand. Basically, you just grab onto your dog’s face and sidle your camera till their face is in clear view. Then point, shoot, and snap.
If you’ve still no clue what the hand does, check out my profile picture below – You’ll know what I mean