Barb Kirkby explains how to take great dog photographs
Barb Kirkby is a dog owner and photographer, who takes awesome photographs of dogs. Her dog photos are particularly good because she seems to know how too capture their temperament and spirit beautifully.
PHOTO: Sue and Couger
Here at K9000 Dog Wash we love a good dog photo and that is how we discovered Barb, via a photograph that she posted on facebook of her four pups in our dog wash. As you do when you see a great photo posted, we clicked through to her HollyView Photography Facebook page to see who she was. Here we discovered an avid photographer who had a passion for dogs.
Last year we asked her if we could publish some of her photographs in our Tru Blu K9000 calendar. She agreed and sent us through some ripper shots. This year again, we are on the look out for photographs for our 2016 Calendar. We thought we would ask Barb to give us some tips and tricks to great dog photography. We hope you can apply her tips to your own photography.
Can you tell me about your interest in photography? Particularly Dog Photography?
I've loved photography since i was a young child and in more recent years probably the last 10 years dog photography. I love capturing their personalities and little quirks, every dog has its own story and sometimes you can see it in the dogs face!
How many dogs do you think you have photographed?
I love dogs in general and have four of my own who are frequently in front of the camera.
I take pictures of my dogs every day and on occasion I've done shoots for other people and their dogs. I've probably photographed 100s of dogs over the last few years; a few single dogs and lots of photos of a training group I am with called Sitstay GoodDog.
How do you take a photograph of a dog to capture he/she's nature? Whats the secret of capturing a good shot? How do you get them to “behave"?
I usually hope for the best with a personal shoot and hope the dog is well trained, getting down to the dogs level, throwing a ball and just generally waiting for the right moment. A squeaky ball is good to get a nice head tilt shot or get the dogs attention. My photography style with dogs is very natural and not posed, I find this the easiest way and not as much pressure for dog or owner.
What does it mean for the owners to have a photo of their dog/s?
The owners love the photos and can't thank me enough. I have done a couple of shoots where the dog was in his final days, they were hard but very much appreciated by the owners that no longer have the dogs with them. Also one dog passed away unexpectedly and some of the photos I'd taken were the best she had of the dog and treasures them.
What did it mean to you to have your photographs in the K9000 Calendar?
All my favorite photos are in my Facebook photography page Hollyview Photography. My partner and I were so wrapped to have my pictures of our dogs included in the calendar. My partner’s dog was PTS the day I took his photos so they are extra special to her. She cried when she seen him in the calendar.
In return for giving us her photographs to use in our calendar, Barb recieved copies of the calendar for her and her friends and large prints of each of her photographs that were published in our calendar. What did it mean for you to get a large print of your photograph?
The prints were spectacular we were just blown away, we didn't expect to get them and we treasure them.
How often do you use the dog wash?
I use the dog wash a lot in winter as its quick and easy. My four all fit in at once and we have been coming for a few years now and they all know the drill and are very good. Other people who have come into the wash while I'm bathing mine always comment on how good they are!!