Sue Ford, Buster and Boots

Well you already know that I think pet photography is fun. Or can be fun once you learn a few basic rules. Take Sue Ford, who lives in Salisbury Wiltshire, England. Now here’s a photographer who is really having fun photographing her pets, Boots and Buster.

“Boots & Buster are best buddies and are always snuggling up together.” iPad

She uses her iPad, iPod, phone or a Canon EOS 7D for her photos and keeps her equipment nearby. (Big hint…if you want to capture the cute stuff your pets do, keep your equipment handy.) After a photo session, she uploads the pictures directly into Boot’s Facebook page.

“Boots loves the grooming table and Buster loves to be by his side wherever he is.” iPad.

“I always have either my iPod, iPad, my phone or my Canon camera nearby, ready and waiting for a picture moment,” she writes. “Sometimes I just sit and watch the dogs together while I click away. I usually get at least a few good shots.”  (Big hint…take lots of photos. Gone are the days when film was an expensive part of the process. With digital, you can just keep shooting, so be ready and keep at it once something fun occurs.)

“Bonding over Boots’ favourite pink ball. This was on Day 2 of Buster arriving.” iPad

Boots was an ‘only dog’ for four years before Buster arrived so Sue was understandably nervous about how they would get along. “I was worried about getting a puppy,” she writes, “because Boots is very laid back and relaxed. He doesn’t like a lot of noise or fuss. Until Buster, he had a calm, fun, chilled life.”

“Boots on his grooming table waiting to go in the show ring.” Canon EOS 7D

Enter Buster, who arrived at 8 weeks old with tons of energy and spunk. “I think Boots thought maybe the little white bundle of fluff was just visiting for the weekend,” Sue writes, “but then Monday morning came and Buster was still there. Boots didn’t look happy that Buster hadn’t packed up his toys and disappeared.”

“Buster cosy in his new crate with just a ‘few’ toys.” iPad

“I took this shortly after Buster arrived. Boots wasn’t happy that the little white terror…oops terrier was still there.” iPad

So how does she create her great images? For starters, she tells Boots to sit, stay, wait. “When he does I give him a treat and tell him to wait again. He always does…he is such a good boy. Buster copies everything Boots does so I tell him the same thing and give him a treat. He doesn’t always sit still as long as Boots and he wants to chew the props, so I have to be really quick for a costume shot with him. I use a treat. Put the hat on him. Tell him to sit, stay, wait. Give him another treat and shoot .”

Sue does a great job with her people and pet images too. In the one below, she has followed all the rules. Chose a plain background. Move in close for a tight crop. Have everyone looking straight at the camera. Wait for your pet to look just right, and shoot.

It’s important with people and pet photos to instruct the people to hold their expression while you concentrate on the pet. These two are obviously seasoned pros, but often times people will look at their pet to see how he/she is doing, and the photographer will lose the shot. I always ask folks to look at me, ignore the animals and pretend everything is perfect. It gets harder when there is more than one animal, but at least I know the people are ready so I have eliminated that variable.

“Amy and Archie on Archie’s 10th Birthday. At this point, Boots was still happy being the ‘only dog.’ He didn’t know that Archie’s birthday present Buster, would soon be on the scene.” Canon EOS 7D

Thank you Sue Ford for the great photos and advice! Stay tuned…Sue has a really wonderful blog on Christmas photos with Boots and Buster coming up next month.

If you want to see more of her wonderful pet photos now, go to where you can also read information on her 2015 calendar of these two charmers.

Good shooting!


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