Magic Words – for Great Dog Photos

By PAM VOTH

When I arrive at a dog’s home for a photo session, I’m greeted with lots of energy.  Many dogs are so excited about me being there, they wag and wiggle, show me their favorite toys, peak inside my camera lens, check their food bowl, ask nicely for a belly rub or suggest a good scratch right above thetail.

I’m happy to oblige, of course. All of this rigorous greeting and getting to know each other leads to a lot of panting. And pictures of panting dogs are fine, but a few of these go a long way.

What I really want to get are shots that show more facets of a dog’spersonality.

So, how to get a dog to close her mouth? Say some magic words. Usually anything that starts with “do you want…” and ends with a noun or verb will get her to slurp in her tongue if only for a quick second. And this is just enough time to snap the shot.

I’ll ask a dog’s person what her magic words are before the shoot begins so I have my secret arsenal ready should I need it.

Invariably, Missoula dogs will snap to attention when asked if they want to go to their favorite off-leash area, like Bark Park? Water Works Hill? Jumbo? Saddle? Blue Mountain?River?

Missoula dogs are also ready to say yes! to any of their favorite activities like Hike? Swim? Fishing?

They also love any suggestion they’ll get to ride in a Truck? or Boat?

Kamukin visited me from out of town so she didn’t know Missoula dogs’ magic words. She came with one of her own….Frisbee?

Around our house, just the word “do” would get an immediate yes! But, that’s the price a dog pays for living with a dog-lovingphotographer.

Like Pam’s blog post?  You might also enjoy: I Think I’m Gonna Like This TownorMissoula Dogs About Town.   And check out Makes It Missoula’s info on Pet Friendly, how to License Pets, Moving with Pets, and Pet Resources.  

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It has been said, “There are dog people, and then there are people like photographer Pam Voth.” While Voth has a knack for creating unique images of any subject, her distinct rapport with Dog is expressed through direct and personal portraits that capture the authentic nature of canine and human interaction—or in her own words, “pure dog-ness.” Pam Voth has developed an artful style for photographing dogs so intimately that you can almost smell the biscuits on theirbreath.