For those of you who receive the PetSolutions catalog or see really cute photos on our website, you may wonder where our dog models come from. We really try to add variety and a personal touch to our product images by taking our own pictures, and that means finding our own models. Queue the personal pets from the PetSolutions staff!

Luckily, there are quite a few dogs who love dog supplies amidst our ranks. Our Photographer talks to each puppy parent to get an idea of what the dog loves and decides which pups fit the products we plan on featuring. Some dogs come to our corporate office for pictures in the photo room. Those dogs get lots of loving before their star debuts, as they have to pass through a ton of cubicles in order to get to the shoot. Others go off-site to someone’s home, a park, or any other location our Graphics Department wants to use as a background.

When it comes to off-site locations, getting the perfect photo can be pretty tricky. A dog that listens fairly well at home, loves certain treats, and delights in playing with toys when in his normal environment can become hard to handle and uninterested in anything you place at his paws when taken someplace new. It takes a lot longer to get product pictures when you have to wait for the dog to sniff, search, and (sometimes) mark different spots before he is comfortable enough to settle down.

Getting an shot outside on a brick patio with one of my dogs sounded easy. All Bailey had to do was eat a few different rawhides. I thought, “My rawhide addict eating rawhides? This will be super easy!” Wrong. The neighbors let their 3 Great Danes out as we were stepping through the locations Bailey was to sit and chew. All care for rawhides went out the door as Bailey started focusing on the other dogs, and, eventually, on going inside.

One of our pup models did a great job with his natural bone treat in an outside setting. His strong strance, quiet softness, and love for his treat certainly came through in the photo. It made me want to rub Bleu’s velvety ears and play fetch with his bone until he was ready to lay down and start chomping on his treasure. However, you would never know from this shot that Bleu was a little nervous at first and chewed on his bone for awhile before he got comfortable enough to hold the bone in his mouth.

When you think about your dog, you probably think about how much he sleeps all day, waiting for you to come home. If he sleeps all day, then getting a great picture of your dog on a dog bed would be a snap, right? Not when your dog wants to be up and playing with you, is opening his mouth instead of keeping it closed, has an ear flipped the wrong way, or is sitting slightly off the dog bed. The act of chilling out has suddenly turned into work! Luckily, digital cameras make it cheap to take a ton of pictures until the “perfect” one is captured.

On the other hand, when your dog is feeling pretty comfortable, and you give him a product he absolutely loves, you might end up missing the shot! Bailey was doing well modeling on a bed, so we decided to do the SmartBone photo in the same spot. Rather than having him move (and move all the inside lighting), he could sit in peace and chew on his treat. If you compare the two pictures, you can see the SmartBone picture was not shot on the bed. In fact, Bailey jumped off the bed the minute his prized treat was in his drooling mouth and ran to eat it in a “safe” spot. I was able to wrangle the SmartBone from him until the equipment was moved, and we caught a really engaged Bailey chewing on his SmartBone… in the location of his choosing.

What happened to the rawhide that was supposed to get photographed outside, you ask? Bailey was done with “working” after his other product demos, so I got one of my other dogs and let him get down to work. While we couldn’t get Tyke to run around with the rawhide in his mouth like Bleu with his natural bone, we got some good shots. All in a day’s work, right?

View more articles written by Kristen Sydelko.

About The Author Kristen Sydelko

Kristen is the Web Coordinator at PetSolutions. She has over 5 years of experience working in the pet care industry, with many more years of pet ownership experience! When not at PetSolutions, Kristen enjoys spending time with her family (which includes an extremely spoiled Lab mix), crafting, and trying to decide when to set her fish tank back up.

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