Anyone in the movie biz will tell you that the most challenging actors to work with are children and animals. Some have even flatly stated that it should be avoided at all costs. As one who works primarily with children and pets, I admit that it can sometimes resemble a three-ring circus – but I think the circus is fun.
And it’s taught me so much. Dogs do not love camera flashes. If given the choice, a dog will face its owners, leaving their other end to face me. To gain control, most pet owners will try commands, which succeed about as often as demanding smiles from a toddler. This is when the fun starts. Family members resort to more inventive techniques like whistling, singing and howling. Sometimes, even the dog howls.
Do any of these methods work? Let’s just say, it is usually better to let me, or someone near the camera, get the dog’s attention for the best shot, not to mention the best angle. Nonetheless, getting everyone engaged in the common purpose of enticing your dog to strike an appropriate pose can lead to some wonderfully charming portraits. To me, it’s way more fun than a barrel of monkeys.