One of the most joyous parts of having a pet dog is when you can give them treats for good behavior. They’re so overzealous and excited about the whole ordeal, that they literally yelp and pounce with excitement. Dogs are also extremely expressive, and they do so in a way that human beings can understand. That’s an important factor, too! A lot of people think that cats aren’t that expressive, but that’s not true. Their way of expression is just different from human beings, so it makes it hard to pick up on it.
For example, did you know that cats meow only to communicate with human beings? And they see human beings as cats, too? That’s why they drop dead things at your feet sometimes because they’re trying to show you that they care for you. Dogs are a whole lot more simple, and they can show you the love they feel with their eyes in a way that you and I can understand! As such, photographing dogs in the midst of an incredibly expressive episode is… A really good idea.
Artist Christian Vieler decided it was a good idea, and boy, oh boy, was he right.
#1 The brown-eyed puppy
“I started doing the treat shots by accident and chance, I had never seen anything like it before, but I didn’t plan on doing that kind of photography either! Back in 2013 I got myself a flash with a big battery pack for outdoor use. The day my new toy arrived was a rainy one, so I started discovering all flash options in my living room – especially the capability of freezing motion. I wanted to use my own dog Lotte for my test shoots.”
#2 A derpy face
He further elaborated;
“The problem was: She was (and fortunately still is) a very chilled labrador and didn’t move in front of me. So what gets a lab moving better than a treat?! I started throwing and hit my camera button at the same time … just to find out the right settings for a “motion freezing setup.” Days later – when I cleaned my hard drives – I recognized how funny some results turned out. That was the birth of “Dogs Catching Treats.”
#3 He’s so excited
“Now, I work with dogs everyday. Photographing them is just the half of the work. To get good results, understanding and interacting with them is a very important part of my job. So I can say that this whole “Treat“ project hasn’t only brought me closer to dogs – dogs are my 24/7 life now!”
#4 This puppy’s got eyebrows
“I’ve worked as a professional dog photographer since 2016, so I am in a really lucky position. The cutest models find me, because clients make their appointments. But I search for for special breeds or kind of dogs, when I have new topics and ideas in mind, for example the variation ‘Puppies catching treats.'”
#5 Monstrous monch.
#7 He lost the snack
“Most of the dogs enjoy their photoshoots, that’s for sure. I use many treats – the really yummy ones, because my challenge is to become the best friend of the dog for a short time. Most of the dogs are really excited about the fact that someone gave them treats several times in a row and they didn’t have to do anything for it! And – to see it from another perspective: If a dog feels really uncomfortable, he denies all food. You can see the malaise in every part of his body and behaviour. So nearly every dog enjoys the shooting for sure.”
#8 That’s too much for one puppy
#9 He’s shocked
#10 Total confusion
#11 Look at the excitement!
#12 Exciteable bite
“There are a few, who are easily scared by all foreign things (like rooms, persons, even the floor). Those dogs are hard to shoot. That’s the point where you really have to work hard for a single photo. But I never ever force a dog in a situation, he doesn’t like. The reasons: First I would not stand it myself, and besides, there would never be a good picture for the reasons above.”
#14 More pugs!
#15 Poodles have great hair
#16 Just look at them, their hair is wonderful.
#17 A perfect catch
“All breeds are good for the job in general. I often need a perfect grab for a photo – a single movement towards the treats is often enough for a hilarious shoot. It doesn’t matter if the dog really catches the treat. But it’s harder to work with long-haired breeds. Because of the fur, you don’t see any movements in their face – sometimes not even eyes. So, short haired dogs let hope for better results.”
#18 A swing and a miss
#19 Look how happy!
#20 He has regrets
#21 A delicate lip catch
“Most dogs successfully catch the treats – when we do it as an normal exercise. But – once I have a couple of shots – I throw faster to evoke new expressions. There is no really chance for them to get the treats, even if it looks like in the pic, that the treat is flying straight into the mouth.”
#22 Lick the snack
#23 Snarling bite
#24 A golden retriever.
#25 Confused crunch?
#26 The hair!
#27 Too many snacks.
#29 Careful now…
#30 He’s too excited to care
Do you like what you see? Tell us down in the comments, we’d love to hear from you about your love for dogs in the midst of being fed treats!