Stacie Grissom is a self-described “crazy dog person,” which certainly comes in handy at her day job as head of content at Bark.
“All I do is talk about dogs, take pictures of dogs, look at dogs and tell dog stories in different mediums and channels,” Grissom told Metro.
And if you think that the office of the folks behind BarkBox is a heaven filled with wall-to-wall dogs, you’re not too far off.
“Depending on the weather and the day, there are 20 to 25 dogs in the office,” said Grissom, whose pup, Pimm, is usually among the pack. “Right now, I’m in a little conference room, and there’s a little bulldog just languishing on the floor sleeping with his legs splayed out.”
Pimm’s escapades around the Bark office are well-documented on her Instagram and her mom’s, which makes Grissom the perfect person to give us advice for taking great photos of your dog — and maybe even make them an Instagram star along the way.
“You can take incredible photos of your dog with your iPhone, you don’t need a big, fancy camera to take a good photo of your best bud,” she said.
First, be authentic
“You can’t want to build your dog’s account just to build it. It has to be a hobby and a thing you love already that’s just icing on the cake,” Grissom said. “People can see when someone is trying to build their dog’s account. I think some of the most famous dogs, their photos aren’t mind-blowing works of art, but what their parents have done really well is telling the story of those dogs in the photos.”
Embrace your pup’s peculiarity
“Find the quirky things that are unique and speak to the rest of us sitting on the couch snuggling with our dogs to go, ‘Oh, my dog does that, too!’” Grissom suggested. “That’s where it starts to be a little bit of magic, and I’ve seen people pick up an awful lot of followers really quickly.”
Lighting is everything
“You don’t want light coming from behind — you want to make sure you have the light coming on your dog, and shoot at their level to really capture their facial expression,” Grissom advised. “Keep the background simple, and keep the focus on your dog.”
Shoot outside as much as possible, she added. “If you’re inside, shoot next to the window. Don’t shoot with your phone facing the window, position your dog so the window is shedding light on their face, not their back.”
The secret weapon
“You know your dog best, so do whatever you can do to get them to make a funny facial expression or get some spark in their eyes to bring out that funny expression,” Grissom said. “Peanut butter is the secret ingredient. Put a dollop on their nose — they’ll sit still trying to lick it off, and you’ll get really amazing photos because they’ll wrinkle up their face and put their tongue on their nose.”
“Networking with other dogs and finding a community of people is really helpful,” Grissom said. “I know a lot of the famous dogs are part of meet-up groups, and a lot of the most successful dogs have offline things they do.”