Unleashed Education Blog

Photographing a Camera Shy Dog

behind the scenes dog training pet photography tips Mar 12, 2019

With Charlotte Reeves

Back in 2017 at Barkjour in southern France (another out-of-this-world pet photography retreat), one of our attendees, Leslie, took some video of me working with Marley, an Australian Shepherd that was camera shy when photographed at close range. I've produced this video from Leslie’s footage, to highlight the training concept behind the technique I use to work with camera shy dogs.

Here’s some of the photos I took of Marley. The first shots taken with a long lens (70-200mm) at a distance were fine…

But when we started working with up him close, it was obvious he wasn’t very happy about it – stepping back, avoiding the “gaze” of the camera, and barking. Unfortunately we didn’t get this part on video, so you’ll have to take my word for it!

Leslie started filming just as I started working through the process for positively associating looking at the camera, with the click of the shutter, followed by a reward (a tasty treat).

The end result were some lovely close-up portraits of this handsome boy.

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