OK, I'm going to give away a few trade secrets here that may never get me hired in Los Angeles as a pet photographer again but it was so illuminating I have to share. You know that the secret to capturing a dog's attention is noise, right? And treats, yes, and treats. In fact some dogs only respond to treats. And you know who they are.
So if a dog isn't deaf, and I don't say that facetiously, they will usually look alert when they hear a noise, especially an unfamiliar one. And that's when you click. Now I will say something that may continue to get mehired as a pet photographer and that's that I have a really fast camera with really fast lenses and I know how to use them. You may not be able to be so fast with a cell phone or a point-and-shoot camera, if that's what you're packing.
But... what a cell phone is good for are apps.
I've downloaded several but the ones that got the attention of Lucky, a puppy I shot recently, are from Pro Calls and Varmint Calls (yes, it's really called varmint).
I felt a little guilty using the most effective one... Hurt Fawn... but after using it, dang, if it didn't get great results. I got a big, sweet, curious look, I got perky ears, I got a tilted head... everything you want in dog photography. I don't think the puppy got post traumatic stress disorder after hearing it -- and for the record, Hurt Rodent or Coyote Group Bark elicited nothing. Now another for the record... I usually just use mouth noises and a judicious application of squeaky toys. I even have an app that will play a doorbell. But that app experiment was very interesting. And yet... I'm not sure I'll use it again, at least not the hurt sounds. They pain me. But the squirrel call? Oh, you betcha. It's not a hurt squirrel, after all.