Photographing Black Dogs and the Black Dogs Project

Why is it so doggone difficult to take a decent photo of a black dog? Those of us with dark-furred pets—be it kitties, pups, or gerbils—know exactly how impossible it is to snap photos of our best friends.

Our newest office staff member, Chris Causgrove, joined our team this year and brought with him his incredibly beautiful pup, Sophie. The first time Sophie graced the OUG! Central office with her presence, not only were we all TOTALLY IN LOVE, many of us attempted to take photos of her. How tricky could it be to get a picture of this cutie as she stood still as a statue with her head in our laps, asking for chin scratches?

Answer: super tricky, for two reasons. One, it’s hard not to immediately want to pet her sweet head when she approaches our desks, so keeping her waiting while we took a gazillion photos was a challenge. Two, no picture was able to capture her actual appearance! As we swiped through an afternoon’s worth of photos taken on our phones, flash-free captures were too blurry and offered no contrast where it was due, while flash photography sabotaged her gorgeous coat coloring and showed glowing neon green crazy alien orbs where her beautiful brown peepers should have been.

Having photos of our pets is important to humans for a number of reasons: holding onto precious memories, showing total strangers in line at the grocery store how cute your furbaby is, …you get the picture (pun intended). But what about pups and kitties whose futures start out relying on decent photographs, such as those waiting in shelters or foster care, hoping to be found on adoption websites?

We soon coincidentally stumbled upon this fascinating photography series called simply “Black Dogs Project.” Pet photographer Fred Levy started the project after noticing a trend of black dogs experiencing more difficulties getting adopted than their peers. Levy’s images are crisp and captivating, actually able to convey colors and contrast. Set against a black background, the pups featured in this project really let their personalities—and fur—shine! Remarkable!

Black Dog Project

As for Miss Sophie and our camera phone photography skills here at OUG! Central, we’ve got some practicing to do. If you’ve got a professional camera, check out Levy’s tips and setting suggestions in this tutorial video on how to photograph black dogs!

Do you have any great photos of your dark-furred doggie or tips for capturing that perfect picture of your sable kitty? We’d love to hear about your adventures in pet photography!

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