By Jan Jackson
We all have those pet pictures that would have been so cute if it hadn’t been for too many reasons to even list. But never fear. There are dog photographers that know how to do that, and there could be one near you. Case in point, folks living in the Mid-Willamette Valley of Oregon, have access to professional dog photographer Rebecca Cozart.
Rebecca was but a child when she started taking picture with a little Brownie camera. Trained as a journalist, she now photographs pets with a state-of-the-arts Canon 5D 4IV. She opened NosesTailsPaws Pet Photography in 2014.
“It all started when a friend asked me to take adoption photos of rescue dogs,” Rebecca said. “From photographing in a field, I moved to working on location at dog groomers and pet markets taking holiday pet portraits. Once I got comfortable with lighting off camera flash, I created an indoor studio in my garage which has come in handy with the pandemic restrictions.* I still love natural lighting work outdoors and in people’s homes.”
Asked what makes a good pet photographer, Rebecca’s answer came quickly.
“Two things,” she said. “You have to have a love of animals and you have to have patience. My husband and I have Molly and Dugan, two Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers. They own our hearts.
“Patience includes patience for the pet and the pet owners as. It makes it tough when owners hover and shout, ‘Sit, stay sit, sit, sit, stay.’
“I’ve had owners hovering and shouting, sit, stay, sit, sit, sit, stay,” Rebecca said. “Had to come up with a way to have the owner leave the scene on one occasion. Once they were gone, the dog and I just had a little chat. I asked the dog if he would just sit for me, and he did.”
Rebecca has some good advice about taking your pet to be photographed.
- Tire your dog out before you get to the photographers. A dog that is full of go-go-go energy doesn’t pose easily.
- Don’t feed a heavy meal before the photo shoot. If treats are incentive for behavior, you want your dog to be interested in food.
- If you are uptight and nervous, your dog will be too.
So, if you are thinking about holiday photos or something to immortalize your pet, email Rebecca at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 503-339-5861.
*To implement COVID-19 protocols, the photographer wears a face-mask and the studio is sanitized between clients. Pet owners are also required to wear masks and maintain social distance.