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Beautiful Beasties: A Creative Guide to Modern Pet Photography by Jamie Pflughoeft

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Dog Breed Notes

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If you already have a lot of experience working with a variety of different dogs, you are one step ahead of the pack (I promise that’s the last pun; cross my heart) when it comes to pet photography and working with your subjects. Congratulations! If you have limited experience with dogs that aren’t in your family, read through these breed notes for some information that will help you get to know our canine friends. Each breed group has a set of characteristics, driven by genetics and molded by domestication. The more you understand these characteristics, the easier it will be to know what to expect during your shoots.

For some additional reading, here are the two best books that I recommend for learning about dogs, their behavior, and physical characteristics:

Dogs, by David Alderton. A Dorling Kindersley Handbook This book is filled with color photos of every breed imaginable, along with information on the history, physical characteristics, and temperament of each breed; it’s my go-to guide for dog breeds. I keep it on my desk in my office, and anytime a client contacts me regarding a breed with which I have never worked before, the first thing I do is grab the guide and read about it beforehand. It has been indispensible in helping me prepare for shoots. ...

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