There’s nothing like coming home after a long day to a furry, four-legged thumping tail pup, smothering you with kisses like he hasn’t seen you in three years. No matter how crappy you feel, a dog just has a way of putting a smile on your face. (If you don’t like dogs, and don’t get what I’m talking about, I don’t know if we can be friends).
As a photographer, one of our main jobs is to make people smile and look natural in photos. There are many methods to do this, from the cheesy “cheese” to singing Barney songs and dancing (yeah, I’ve done that just to get adults to smile). Most of the time, these methods yield stiff, unnatural and fake smiles until you eventually get a few tricks up your sleeve. Or just teach a dog to do it.
In honor of National Smile Day in Japan earlier this month, Mars Pet Care (who owns pet food brands such as Pedigree, Sheba, Whiskas, Iams, etc.) released an adorable video where dogs were trained to photograph their families.
In the 3.5 minute PhoDOGrapher video you see below, Japanese families are interviewed about their beloved furry family members. They gush and show photos of their adorable pets (much like I would if we sat in a room) and then were taken into a studio where much to their surprise, their dog runs in and snaps their photos. A Hasselblad was set up with a large button – big enough for paws – on a platform in front of a traditional portrait backdrop and surrounded with Broncolor and various other studio lights. The resulting portraits show genuine smiles and laughter elicited from the joyful and proud dog owners.
As one lady (in the subtitles), while looking at the iPad of images said, “I’ve never seen ourselves like this, in such a huge smile. I can’t help crying.”
This isn’t the first time canines were used as photographers for a campaign. Last year, Nikon’s phoDOGrapher was a sheepdog named Grizzler whose rise in heart rate triggered a camera that was attached to his chest. Watch out, photographers, these little furry upstarts are after your job.