Find The Perfect Time

The success of the shoot can sometimes rely on proper scheduling. If you’re aiming for portrait shots, you’ll have a much better chance of catching your dog in a relaxed position when they are feeling sleepy or have just woken up. And if you’re looking for a more dynamic shot, then it’s best to take photos of them when they are most energetic. You can usually prep them for the latter by playing with them beforehand.

Plan Out Each Photo In Advance

Capturing candids and going with the flow can get you good photos, but for really engaging ones that tell a story, you’ll need to show them in context. Conceptualize a theme and plan your key shots, as well as what you may have to do to create it. You may want to include props, such as pet toys or food that will bring out expressions of desire and excitement. Add variety to your shots by choosing several areas of the house that you may place them in and planning different activities.

Natural Light Is your friend

You don’t necessarily have to worry about flashes and complicated lighting setups when taking photos of dogs. The best option is to use natural, continuous light that won’t frighten them or cause red-eye in your images. Whether you’re using ambient or studio lights, the general rule is to go for bright, diffused light that will help create more flattering portraits.

Increase that shutter speed

Now here’s one reason why it can be very difficult to capture photos of pets. More often than not, you’ll need to use a camera that offers fast shutter speeds to freeze action. This means you’ll also need to know how to configure camera settings in manual mode. Some digital cameras offer a programmed Pet Mode, but it’s usually not enough to capture well-exposed, tack-sharp images—so your best bet is to use a DSLR, mirrorless camera, or at least a special app that allows you to adjust manual camera settings.

Always Shoot where your pup feels safe

The most basic aim in dog photography is to capture your pet’s character and personality. You’re less likely to get this if they’re in an unfamiliar place, such as a studio. Head out to a park or to your backyard and allow your pet to relax and loosen up. This should help them feel—and look—more comfortable for the camera.

Get down to doggy level

Everybody is used to seeing dogs from above, so photos from that angle may not be as striking. For best results, shoot them in their world—from way down below. Depending on the dog breed, you may have to crouch with your camera or lie on your belly just to level the camera with your pooch. The objective is to shoot from their eye level or even lower, where you can get the best view of their expressions.

Look into THE EYES

“Eyes are the window to the soul,” and this applies to any living subject. When framing your dog, make sure to auto-focus on the eyes to make sure they’re sharp and to allow the dog’s expression to become the focal point of your image. You may want to watch out for and capture that perfect puppy dog eyes moment, whether or not they’re looking straight at your camera.

GRAB & Hold THEIR ATTENTION

If you wish to make them hold still, try this simple trick: let them play quietly and, once you’re ready with the camera aimed and your finger on the shutter, call for your dog’s attention. Click the shutter the second they look in your direction and you’ll be able to capture them with their full attention on you and your camera. Once you have their attention, you may be able to capture a couple of easy shots of them sitting still. Be careful not to make any sudden movements as this will most likely make them jump up and follow you. Move slowly and avoid making eye contact as you change positions or reach out for a prop.


Try to capture your dog's personality

Even better than a cute closeup of your pet is a photo of them that conveys their character. If your dog is the playful type, you should definitely add a picture of him in action in your proposed shot list. If the dog loves lounging around, take a snap of him yawning while lying in his favorite bed. Those precious photos will definitely be for keeps!

Don't get stuck with one angle

Utilize your spacious memory card by taking as many photos as you want. But for variety, try shooting from different angles. Aside from taking shots from above and at eye level, try shooting from way down below (especially for bigger dogs), from the side, and even from behind. Make use of your creativity and try taking close up shots of the face, paws, or even the tail.

Patience... this isn't as easy as it sounds

Aside from camera gear and photography know-how, another important thing that dog photography requires is patience—and a lot of it. Pets obviously can’t follow specific instructions unless they’re trained by a professional. At the same time, they’re known to absorb human energy, so if you end up getting stressed out or frustrated, they’ll sense it and will begin to mirror your feelings. The worst thing you can do is to raise your voice and repeatedly command them to do certain things, as this will only confuse or freak out your pet. If they ever do stay still, you’ll get photos of them with flat ears and concerned eyes that don’t look good on camera. Remember, they can sense what you’re feeling, so the more relaxed you are, the higher the chances of you getting a decent shot.

Treat your pet for a job well done

Don’t forget to pay your model! Throughout the shoot, offer them something that they really like to keep them motivated and to encourage them to cooperate. The reward is up to you, and it can be anything from treats and toys to belly rubs and other forms of affection. Treats can even serve as bait, props, or tools that can help warm up your pet for the camera. Use rewards to make the shoot more fun and enjoyable, as it should be!

Posted by Ark Crew  | Category: The Ark Experience

Go Wag'n Pet Transportation

March 16th, 2020

Too much to do and not enough time?
We have a solutions for you! 

GO WAG'N | Pet Transportation Now Available in Chattanooga!


We know this is a crazy time, and you maybe self quarantined at home with your crazy dogs or you may just not have enough time in the day! We would like to offer you a solution during this time and beyond, when getting the dog to and from anywhere can become a serious hassle!

Pick Up & Drop Off Locations Are Endless...


Monday - Friday | First pickup at 7:30am - Last drop off at 6:30pm

The Ark Pet Spa & Hotel (15% OFF all trips to The Ark!)

Your local veterinarian
Your Groomer
Your family
Your home
Your business
Your home or apartment
Anywhere, you name it...

Simplified pricing:

($5.00 Base Rate) + ($2.50 x #____total miles) = Total Fare

Milage and routes calculated with Google Mapping Technology

Our drivers:


Go Wag'n drivers are selected from The Ark's crew and are licensed, insured, background checked and drug tested to ensure your pets are in the safest hands possible! 

How to request a ride for your pet:


Requests must be made 24 hours in advance for our scheduling coordinator to route the most efficient route. You will be sent a message with the estimated pickup and drop off time for your pet.

Call In: 423-803-6063

Google Form: Click For Form

Once you've made your request you will be contacted by our scheduling coordinator, that coordinator will then confirm your information, collect payment information, and provide you with an estimated pickup and arrival time.

Posted by Ark Crew  | Category: The Ark Experience

4/24/2020

  • Red Bank - OPEN: All services
  • East Brainerd - CLOSED due to storm damage
  • Hixson - OPEN for grooming only
  • Southside - OPEN: All services
  • Doraville - CLOSED until further notice

The Ark Pet Spa & Hotel - An essential business under Tennessee law.

There were six separate mentions of "pets" in Governor Lee's stay at home order. The Ark, based on the order, has been deemed an essential business as we supply goods and services for the wellbeing and health of our community's pets. We will continue our diligent effort to maintain a healthy and fun work place for our crew as well as provide our community goods and services to help them during this increasingly stressful time. Please utilize our curbside pick up and drop off as much as possible. Please give us a call at pick up and drop off and we would be happy to come out to your vehicle! CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ORDER

3/30/2020

  • Red Bank - OPEN
  • East Brainerd - OPEN
  • Hixson - OPEN (Grooming Only)
  • Southside - CLOSED March 19 - March 31
  • Doraville - CLOSED March 19 - March 31
While a "shelter in place" order or "safer at home" order has NOT been made by officials in Chattanooga, it has been done in Nashville and several other cities and states around the country. The great news is that in most cases "pet services" is considered an "essential business" and will, at this time, not force us to close our doors. We want to provide you a relief and service during this hard time. Don't forget your pets still need to social and be groomed! 

Our three Ark locations that are remaining open are offering curb side drop off and pick up! Just give us a call and we will come out to your vehicle to pick up your pets. 

Purchasing Daycare Packages or Gift Certificates will help our doors stay open longer! Buy now and play later if needed! 

3/23/2020

  • Red Bank - OPEN
  • East Brainerd - OPEN
  • Hixson - OPEN
  • Southside - CLOSED March 19 - March 31
  • Doraville - CLOSED March 19 - March 31

While a "shelter in place" order or "safer at home" order has NOT been made by officials in Chattanooga, it has been done in Nashville and several other cities and states around the country. The great news is that in most cases "pet services" is considered an "essential business" and will, at this time, not force us to close our doors. We want to provide you a relief and service during this hard time. Don't forget your pets still need to social and be groomed! 

Our three Ark locations that are remaining open are offering curb side drop off and pick up! Just give us a call and we will come out to your vehicle to pick up your pets. 

Purchasing Daycare Packages or Gift Certificates will help our doors stay open longer! Buy now and play later if needed! 

3/20/2020

  • Red Bank - OPEN
  • East Brainerd - OPEN
  • Hixson - OPEN
  • Southside - CLOSED March 19 - March 31
  • Doraville - CLOSED March 19 - March 31

Our three Ark locations that are remaining open are offering curb side drop off and pick up! Just give us a call and we will come out to your vehicle to pick up your pets. 

Purchasing Daycare Packages or Gift Certificates will help our doors stay open longer! Buy now and play later if needed! 

3/19/2020

We have made a difficult decision to temporarily close our Southside and Doraville Ark locations until March 31st. We hope at that time to be serving you again and playing with your pups! 

3/13/2020

As promised we will continue to monitor and update our guests regarding the spread of Covid-19.

  • All Ark locations are cleaned and sanitized daily as part of our normal business operations. In light of COVID-19, we’re increasing the frequency and extent of daily cleanings, and taking steps to ensure all locations have ample hygiene and sanitation supplies available.
  • All Ark locations will have hand sanitizer available for use by our guests at the front counter.
  • As always, we are more than willing to run to your car to scoop up your pet for daycare, grooming, or a boarding appointment as long as your paperwork is up to date! Just give us a call when you pull up! 
  • We are monitoring the CDC, WHO, and AKC for updates on prevention measures and protocols. 
  • We encourage pet parents to have all of their critical information readily available (preferably in digital form) at check in so the check in process is quick. 


We work hard every day to make The Ark Pet Spa & Hotel  a safe, healthy and fun place to bring your pets and work, and we will do everything we can to serve and protect our guests and their pets. We’ll continue to keep you updated at the


Posted by Ark Crew  | Category: Pet Heath + Wellness

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"Where The Pets Play All Day!"