Answers plus a Question from the Photographer!

Dory and the Mama here to answer all of the really good questions we got last week!
The first question we have is a general question :

♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥  asks:
We have to agree with Madi - you always have the best wardrobes for all the pups. Mom says she wishes we were smaller so it would be easier to fuss around with us:)
 We would love to know all you can share - did you take photography classes to learn to do things as well as you do?
 Dear Ciara and Lightning,
What a fantabulous question!! Mama did attend a semester of photography and digital processing classes a few years ago. This helped bunches with the technical aspect of photography (like getting to know her camera and processing program). She has also been snapping pictures since dinosaurs ruled the earth (or 1974), which have helped her learn about composition and the artistic part of photography.

We received a few questions about blurry photos:

Princess Leah asked:
 I am often blurry in my photos...Mum would luffs to nose how you get Dory to pose so nicely fur the camera
Dear Princess Leah:
There is a couple of key things that help me (Dory) pose so nicely for the camera. First, Mama takes LOTS of pictures of me while I am posing...it may take 20 clicks of the flashy beast to get one that is usable.
Next, treats....LOTS  AND LOTS of treats. A super model (or Princess) should never work for free! So, patience, persistance AND rewards work for me.

Easy asks:
oh I have a question.... what setting is the best to take photos from moving objects (like running and jumping  weimaraners). I know we never will get a clear picture, but maybe it is possible to get one not only with brow-green-grey spirals? 
Dear Easy:
Oh, you and Jakey are the same type of models!! Jakey demands lots of attention while doing photo shoots, along with lots of treats! If your camera has a sports mode, use it. What you want is a very fast shutter speed. Mama also waits until right after naptime or before bedtime, when he is more groggy and sleepy before attempting to get him to sit still. When all else fails, may we suggest you shoot video?? BOL!

Sully asks:  Mom ditched her camera a long time ago. She uses her iPhone and gets lots of blurry photos; gotta have a steady hand. Do you know if there is a setting on her phone that would help with the blurs or any suggestions?
Dear Sully:
Mama has yet to find an app that will let her control the shutter speed (faster is better when taking pictures of animals) of her iPhone, but she is still looking! She does sometimes set it on the floor or couch/table.etc. to get it to stay steady. Also, she has one of the buttons on the side of her phone programmed to be the shutter release (instead of having to mess with the red button on the screen). If your Mama needs help finding how to do this, have her email my Mama :-). 
We had a few questions regarding cameras, themselves:

The Cowspotdogs Asked:
Mom always wishes she understood her 'big' camera better - she has tried learning from books and watching videos but it just doesn't gel for some reason - point and shoot remains her best option :)
 Dear Reilly and Denny,
First, I hope your paw is healing nicely, Reilly. That is one big owie!! Now, to answer your question. The only reason Mama got to know her camera as well as she does is because she took a class that made her BOL! She never hesitates to suggest taking a photography class. Local Community Colleges or even local camera shops will sometimes offer them.  That aside, she suggests your Mama learn about one thing at a time. For example, if you want to learn about aperature, read up on it and concentrate on using your camera settings to get the result you want. Although, we have seen the pictures your Mama takes and they look perfect to us!! 

Sandra asks:
what camera? dslr or not? where do yu find your models BOL BOL BOL.. how many props do you have.. I love your photos  
Dear Sandra:
Thanks for the great compliment, we just love your creative photos AND the giggles you give our Mama every morning!! To answer your questions, Mama has two DSLR's;  a Nikon D7200 she uses for most of our shoots and a Nikon D3300 she uses for beach and hiking shots (it is a bit beat up already). She mostly uses her 18-140mm lens with these (although she uses her 35mm lens for portraits of us sometimes!) More and more she is finding that the camera in her iPhone6 is working well if she doesn't have her DSLR with her!  We think you'll find the answers to the rest of your questions intertwined in the rest of the post!

Military Pug Wife asks:
 What's decent priced camera to buy that does video and pictures? That's not going to break my wallet, but will be good enough for shooting pictures for the blog and videos for me and Military Husband (and I mean home movies, not the Kardashian kind).
Dear Mili Wife:
First, can you tell me what a Kardashian kind of home movie is?? I asked Mama and she mumbled something sounding like "rachet nasty" but we don't understand??? Anyway, back to your question.
The photographer in Mama wants to say get a Nikon Coolpix, but honestly??? Her iPhone 6P takes great blog worthy pictures AND video, so if you our Mili hubby have that or an Android of the same caliper, use that. If not, check out the Nikon Coolpix or Canon Powershot, both can be found for under $150 at Amazon! We hope that helps!

Oh yes, Mama is addicted to photo Props, and, over the years, a few of our readers had some prop questions, here is one Madi asks :

Madi asks:
Dear Madi,
Oh Madi, my Mama is my fashion designer. She says I am her alter ego. She walks around in jeans and T-Shirts, most of the time without a lick of make up or jewelery and yet, I am always dressed to the nines when I leave the house!! Mama does most of my clothes shopping by checking out the sales at Petco (she cannot go in the store and walk out again without a new hat or dress for me and something cute for Arty). Now, don't tell anyone, but she also gets bunches of my clothes from the baby department at Target! All my tutu's and a few of my dresses are from there! So between department stores,  Petco and don't even get me started on the variety of pet clothing on Etsy, I have two plastic dressers chock full of clothes and hats! She also scours the Target $1 bins and hits all the Michael's sales for any type of junk artistic items she can use as a photo prop! We hope this answers your question!

We have a couple of questions on indoor lighting and natural pictures:

Mr. Bailey, Hazel and Mabel from the Idaho Pug Ranch ask:
 Mom struggles with indoor photos. She prefers not to use the flash so she doesn't get the zombie eyes but the camera won't focus well if not enough light. She doesn't know enough about settings to set them herself
Dear Mr. Bailey, Hazel and Mabel,
First, I must say you are looking very handsome today, Mr. Bailey...*wink* Ooops, Mama says I have to answer your VERY intelligent question! Mama says to try and do your photo shoots by a window or door that lets in plenty of light.  We know sometimes this can be difficult, so Mama will sometime take the lampshade off of a lamp and sit us next to it (not in front or behind it) and that will help. She finally broke down and purchased an external flash that has a diffuser on it for the darkest of dark winter days around here (the sun doesn't come up until 7:30am and sets at 4:30pm during November and December).   If your camera has a "nighttime" mode, you can try that. If you are using a DSLR or can set your own ISO, email Mama and she can give you some additional suggestions and thanks again for the wonderful question!!

Dash Kitten asks:Here for the Sunday Selfie but would love to know how to take 'natural' not posed pictures!
 Dear Dash Kitten,
We hope you found our Sunday Selfie shot, sometimes Mama really knows how to mess up our links! We are glad you stopped by and what a great question you asked!! Mama uses her iPhone to take natural pictures of us. She keeps it within reach most of the time so she can capture all the embarrassing cute things we do. Again, she may take 30 different shots, and only get one that she can use. So take lots of pictures and see what you can end up with at the end of the day and always have your Mama have the camera or iPhone close to her!

What an important question from the Mayorz of Blogville, Murphy and Stanley, asked:

Murphy and Stanley ask:
 How can you ever delete a photo?? I am swamped by photos! I have so many that I can't find anything!
Dear Murphy and Stanley:
Ummmm, my Mama won't stop laughing at this question, because she is the same way. The only suggestion she has is to get an external hard drive....in others words, she never deletes photos, and has yet to find a way to organize them. We have 15 years of photos that are all on our network drive, mostly organized into folders that say Dogs, People, Travel preceded by the year (2016Dogs, 2016Travel, 2016People).  Hopefully one day she will sit down and organize them a bit more

 Frankie and Ernie had a wonderful question:

Frankie Furter and Ernie ask:
We are now only SUBJECTED to the Smart Phone's Flashy Beast thingy.... we would love any ideas about THAT... you know.. like how to BREAK it so SHE won't be sticking it in our Bidness.. like SHE did with that horrid LADLE thingy....
Dear Frankie and Ernie:
We think the ladle escapade was totally unwarranted!!!! We spent sometime researching this and found that breakage is the number one way to destroy a smart phone. Maybe, if you barked really loud while your Mama was taking a picture, she might drop the phone and it would break. Another suggestion is to take gently take the smart phone while your peeps are sleeping and drop it in the toilet as water damage is another top way to damage smart phones!! Please keep us informed if either of these things work, we would love to have our Mama's iPhone be out of commission for awhile!
Maggie over at the Army of Four had a totally pawsome and important question:

 Maggie (and Cammie) asked:
Our question would be ... what treats do you use to reward Dory and the boys? You DO reward them handsomely for their efforts, don't you?!?!
Dear Maggie (and Cammie),
You bet your bippy we get rewarded!! Although there are times when our Mama "forgets" the rewards while we are modeling away from home, we demand payment as soon as we walk in the door!! In truth, I(Dory)  and Arty are very treat oriented making it especially easy to train us (that is why you may see us more than Jakey and Bilbo). Jakey is somewhat treat motivated, but is more attention motivated (he loves to get loves or dead play with a favorite toy as a reward) which makes it hard sometimes for Mama to do official photo shoots with him. Bilbo...well, Bilbo has always been camera shy, so Mama just gets candids of him.  As to what kind of reward?? Our high value treats are ZUKE'S. We love their Pumpkin and Turkey treats and will do almost ANYTHING for them!!  For everyday photoshoots we like Wellness Pomegranite/Turkey treats. Thanks for stepping up and asking the really important question!!!

Now...we have one question for you. It's an easy one but one Mama is curious about because she wants to be able to prepare for the upcoming class she is giving at the B.A.R.

What Camera do you use most when taking pictures for your blog? 
(a DSLR, a point and shoot or a Smartphone?)

 Thanks so much for all of your wonderful questions, Mama and I had a blast answering them!


Julie said...

Oh great advice Dory, you are the best!
More TREATS!!!!! Simple really, why couldn't my peeps think of that????
Now if I could just get Chewy to deliver to my house that would be pawfect
Loves and licky kisses
Princess Leah xxx

Yamini MacLean said...
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Yamini MacLean said...
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Yamini MacLean said...

whoops... whadhappened?? Hit a stray key??? ... Try again...
..........?????????????????????????????? and again!!!

Hari OM
What a FANGTASTIC post Dory (and mama)!!! if you read my 'bio' on MY TAKE you will know that I resisted digital right up till the mid'noughties'... [hmmm note to self, maybe a linked post to here?], but now I can't quite imagine going back to analog film. One great thing is the ability of taking multiple shots of at a given moment, as you mention above - however, from pure photographic perspective, I do think perhaps I have become a slightly lazy photographer because of that.... anyhoo, your question was the camera. Well mine is "The Fudge" - a Fujifilm 'bridge' camera. It is fixed lens, but has all the scope of a basic DSLR. This means it is bulky and heavy. Just last week I murmured to my sissy the pawhaps I oughtta be thinking of a little point and shoot for traveling light... like to the BAR fur instance... but probs won't get round to it. Pennies are precious. Golly I'm looking forward to chatting with your mama about photos and hearing what she has to share!!! Soon... sooon........ hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx

Mitch and Molly said...

What a lot of great information! Thank you, Dory! Our mom has a Panasonic point and shoot.

Emma said...

I think part of it is you have to enjoy using the camera and be willing to spend a lot of time learning to us it in manual mode and figuring out how all those settings work. It is a work in progress all the time my photographer tells me.

Sandra said...

i now use point and shoot because i have no smart phone and my DSLR Died last year. I miss it and wish i had bought another DSLR because the point and shoot just doesn't do the job as well. thanks for all the answers and wow this was a lot of really good questions.

Casey said...

Momma has a Nikon Coolpix, but she really only uses it for things like pool trips these days, since it's waterproof. Otherwise she's switched almost exclusively to her phone, since it's gotten so advanced and is always with her!

C.L.W.STEP said...

Thank you for the advice. Ghostwriter has a good camera that she has never used because she's afraid the high resolution photos will take up too much space on her computer storage. So she sticks with her smart phone.

Murphy said...

What a great Q&A session! Does your I phone have a "burst" setting? We have one on mom's phone and it really helps catch the action shots. The pictures of my ball Wilson in mid air are all taken with mom's cell phone.

Your Pals,

Murphy & Stanley

speedyrabbit said...

wow some great questions there and your mum does pawsome answers,xx Speedy

Madi and Mom said...

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh Dory...and Dory's Designer...thank you thank you thank you for answering my question. Dory shhh don't tell anyone but I, Madi, might be kin to your mom. You see I never wear makeup, bling. As for clothes at least you mom wears some. I go commando in my furry bday suit.

Okey Dokey all kidding aside

The flashy beast mom uses 99% of the time is Niki, aka Nikon 8100 Coolpix. She has had it a while..it works fine..she thinks about another one every so often but talks herself out of it.
I keep telling her if it bites the dust one day she will be in a world of Hurt...'cause I would probably bite her ankles.
Sincerely Madi(son) D. Cat
your bfff

Madi and Mom said...

PSSSSSSS the one I call Crazy was supposed to also type WHAT A WONDERFUL INFORMATIVE POST!

MilitaryPugWife said...

Thanks so much for the advice!!!

♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥ said...

Such a wonderful and helpful and informative post. Mom has always wanted to take a class on how to use her camera properly and one day might invest in a DSLR. Right now she uses her iPhone sometimes but mostly her Cannon G7X. She also has a Canon Powershot SD880 that she just loves, but the quality of the photos has declined with the age of the camera. She likes the new Canon, but she doesn't think the color is as good. Thanks again for all the answers.

Woos - Ciara and Lightning

Frankie Furter and Ernie said...

OMD OMD THANK YOU FUR YOUR ANSWER TO US.... and fur ALL these Beautifully thought out answers to ALL the interesting questions....
DARN... you are GOOD !!

Tweedles -- that's me said...

These are all wonderful suggestions and ideas.
Thank you

The Army of Four said...

Oh, what a great Q and A!!! Thank you for answering my question - I'm so relieved! Do you know there are some pups out there who are forced to pose without being given treats?!?! It's true. Very, very SAD, but true. We are big fans of Zuke's too! Right now, we're working on some crunchy Zuke's Skinny Bakes -- apple peanut butter flavored. They are outstanding!
Sadly, we won't be able to make the BAR, but mom uses her iPhone a LOT and then for more serious things, her Canon 70D. Sometimes, she borrows Dad's Canon SX60.
Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Whitley Westie said...

I 100% agree wif workin for treats only!

We use a point and shoot Sony. Sometimes da iPhone when dat are all momma has wif her, but momma never likes da pickshures on it as much.

Idaho PugRanch said...

Great questions and wonderful answers. We have a Nikon Coolpix L830. She is going to take a closer look at it to see if she can change the ISO Mom's cell phone is a prepaid samsung - she doesn't take pictures with it much.
Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

Team Beaglebratz with Lady Shasta said...

Oh this iz just all great info. Me'n mom egspeshally love all the great ideaz fer propz an'your d-signer outfitz. Mom thinkz that since it iz just me now an'not a Team then I shood start dressin'more like the lady I am - I really don't unnerstand this, I alwayz wuz a lady. Myaunt sis sez that I don't need all that cuz I iz a Beagle an'not sum little froo-froo dog - I really don't unnerstand that - whatever, I iz still a lady an'mom agreez with ME!

Oh yeah, mom haza a Nikon Coolpix L830 - she coodn't handle anything more. An'the only phone she haz iz an old flip phone that won't share pikchurez - mom iz tue cheep tue git a Smartphone. Butt we won't b able tue make it tue the B.A.R anyway. Oh drat!
Lady Shasta of Beaglebratz Manor

Dachshund Nola said...

Great answers!

Team Beaglebratz with Lady Shasta said...

Fergotz tue add - treetz iz a furry much impawtent pawt of successful photo shootz - at leest it iz with me. No treetz - no successful photo shoot - this lady don't werk fer free.
Lady Shasta of Beaglebratz Manor