Beautiful to see the interaction of the dog during the photography session. Brendan gives us some pointers on shooting high quality pet portraits.
Some of his pointers:
Minimize distractions for the pet. Have some ready treats if the shelter or owner allows it. Dogs like sounds so a squeaky toy might help to get their attention. Having an assistant to keep the dog on a leash will help to control the animal.
For the camera set up he used Auto focus, a 50mm lens (allows you to use a wide open aperture) with the following settings: f/1.8 – 1/250 – ISO100.
For the lighting the Westcott D5 was used which is continues lighting, a flash light might startle the animals. Please be patient and calm during the session, avoid anything that could stress the animal and have fun.
You can also use the “continues shooting mode” with portrait sessions (another argument for using continuous lighting avoiding problems with max sync speeds and refresh times), capturing about 5 frames a second. Very useful when you have an animal that moves around rapidly.
f/1.8 works well for cats – it keeps most of their faces in focus while blurring the background. For dogs you will need a deeper depth of field, f/2.8 or higher. The distance between their nose and their eyes is much greater than a cats and requires a deeper depth of field to get the whole face in focus.