My little brother Oakley has been with me for about a week and a half now. I only see him every once in a while, and the little guy really looks up to me. So when he’s with me it’s like having a second shadow (who keeps trying to steal your toy).
It’s no secret (rather ironically) that I am in fact the superhero dog who goes by the name of BATDOG. My brother Oakley has always idolized my superdogness, and has been bugging me for sometime to let him into the club – er, cave.
You may have seen my post on Facebook recently where I showcased for the first time BATDOG and Robin. But that’s not what this post is about. Ultimately, Oakley strives for the celebrity lifestyle – the flashing lights, the glamour, and of course the chicks.
So for the past week and a half I’ve been teaching Oakley one of the key parts in being a celebrity dog, and that’s how to take celebrity photos.
Now even though I’m usually the one in front of the camera, I am also a (self) acclaimed director. I introduced Oakley to my personal photo studio, where I had him take the set while I hopped up on the director chair. And as usual for a job like this, I needed my thinking glasses.
Tip 1: Don’t Be Shy
For Oakley’s first official studio modeling task, I had him sport a pair of neon pink undies while I proceeded to instruct him on how to properly “work it”.
He was reticent at first to strut around in his pink underwear while under the gaze of a camera, but I explained to him that men who wear pink exude confidence – and that’s what you need to be a celebrity. Some people may presume that this is just my form of having some fun with my bro (which is possible to a degree), but I assure you I have his best interests at heart.
Tip 2: Provide an Attention Incentive
It can get distracting with all the flashing lights and camera shutters and whatnot (particularly for Oakley), so I had to keep his attention with nice incentives. For Oakley it’s a treat – for me it’s usually a squeaky ball.
I also found that if I told Oakley a complicated or funny story, I got a good visual reaction from him.. Or in other words, it brought out his super-cute face.
Tip 3: Stay Still
Focusing on a treat is one thing, but staying ‘still’ is another. So learning to hold your composure for photos does take practice. I am quite used to it, but Oakley not so much. This is where I coached him on taking baby steps. I got him to stay still for only a few seconds by saying “stay”, and then rewarded him. We practiced this for a while, steadily working up to longer times. He found it fun and was proud he was doing such a good job!
Sidenote: through this exercise I realized I should probably invest in some new lenses..
But in any case, they’re only meant to help me think more sophisticatedly, not actually to see better, so I guess it doesn’t matter.
Tip 4: Positive Reinforcement
Oakley is an attention-loving dog. So after a few good photos, he really appreciates some happy positive affection. For Oakley, just a pat on the back from his big bro (and maybe a little treat) is all he could ask for. When I’m on a shoot, my positive reinforcement usually comes from my sideline babes.
Tip 5: Always be Flexin’
I always make a point of flexing in front of the camera. It’s become second nature.
After Oakley started to get the rhythm of the camera clicks, I slipped off my director chair and joined him for a few shots (couldn’t resist when the weights came out). This is our body builder cover photo.
Notice the upright, proud and pronounced chests, high chins, and flexed shoulders.
And then for Oakley’s most exciting moment – the BATDOG & Robin shot!
I think just being Robin was all the positive reinforcement Oakley needed.
He wasn’t raised under the camera, but he’s a natural (I guess that comes in being my brother).
Tip 6 (and the only one you need): Make it Fun and Loving
When it comes down to it, a truly great photo just represents the moment. So the more fun, entertaining, and loving the experience is, the better photos you get. I for one have come to recognize that the camera means personalized attention, playtime, fun, and affection – as well as the delayed benefits of fame, babes, and self-indulgence.
And after all that good work in the studio, one of our favorite things to enjoy together.. is ice cream : )
That was a blissful moment, and the camera caught it.