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August 29, 2013 8:10 AM   Subscribe

Help me think of some out of the box ways to liven up photo updates on doggies I'll be watching for the next 3 weeks, in the style of Dave Engledow.

Dear friends of ours are taking a long vacation, and have entrusted the mister and I with the care of their 3 (mother effin awesome) dogs. We're super excited, but now that the trip is upon them, our friends are seriously bummed to be away from their dog babies for so long.

I thought it would cheer everyone up to send a daily photo update on all the nonsense their progeny is getting into while they're away. These folks have a pretty out there sense of humor, so the weirder the situation we can stage for the pics, the better.

We have: three extremely well trained dogs, several D/SLRs, a tripod, the ability/desire to craft props (within reason), decent Photoshop skills, a lack of shame.

My creative juices are failing me here. Help me come up with some zany antics for these dogs!
posted by Gonestarfishing to Media & Arts (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Props, you say? Can you make animated gifs?
posted by moonmilk at 8:17 AM on August 29, 2013

Recreate famous paintings. Whether "dogs playing poker" counts as a famous painting is something I leave up to you.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:28 AM on August 29, 2013

Best answer: Greg Nog has some tips for dog photography.

Dog shaming would be an easy format -- surround dog with unlikely item(s), add sign with unlikely events. "I'm sorry I acted out the Battle of the Alamo with the oranges." "I'm sorry I didn't obey the No Candles In The Blanket Fort rules." "I'm sorry I didn't pull a permit for the construction of Dog Biscuit City."

If you have access to small human(s), there's the classic small-human-dresses-up-dogs or the reversed dogs-dress-up-small-human(s).

Dog painting -- not painting of dogs, but painting reputed (or actually) created by dog(s) (using a safe medium for dogs). Even better with another dog in front studiously examining the painting for Meaning.
posted by pie ninja at 8:31 AM on August 29, 2013 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I don't know how I would have the strength to drag myself to work every day for three weeks with that project waiting for me at home!

Is dogs playing poker too banal? Maybe save it for a day when you're feeling tired.

Three-dog tableaux off the top of my head:

Three witches from Macbeth
Three little maids from The Mikado
Hitchhiking Ghosts from the Haunted Mansion
The Three Amigos
Cats in disguise
Three dog knights
1960's girl group
Kirk, Spock, and (dog) Bones (The one with pointiest ears gets to be Spock)
Two dogs in jail while the other has the keys in his teeth a la Pirates of the Caribbean
Mountain of Socks
The Spanish Inquisition
'80's Dance Party
Feasting on the entrails of a (fake) corpse (You could stage it so it looks like you or the mister is the corpse)
Sitting in a graveyard holding realistic-looking bones in their teeth
This kind of thing, but dog-sized. And with dog-pun locations, like "Boney Island," or "Yosemite National Bark"
They're eating their regular food, but their bowls are surrounded by empty boxes of every horrible sugary cereal you can beg from everyone you know. One dog has an empty Count Chocula box upside down on his head like a Pope hat. Other dogs' hats are made of empty sugar bags.

I think I need a day off work to come up with more ideas. And I need to consult my neighbor's dog, stat.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:42 AM on August 29, 2013 [3 favorites]

Wait, wait, wait. The dogs are playing ONLINE poker.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:42 AM on August 29, 2013 [4 favorites]

One dog has an empty Count Chocula box upside down on his head like a Pope hat.

The fact that I just burst out into uncomfortably loud laughter at work means that you probably really should do this one. Or even just the hat part.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:47 AM on August 29, 2013 [2 favorites]

They may not have the same Being On Things skills as Maddie the Coonhound, but some of her surroundings may spark inspiration.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:58 AM on August 29, 2013

Best answer: I saw something recently that would be perfect but damned if I can find it again.

Get the dogs to lay on the ground and then take the photos from above, using things like curtains or material and props make a "scene" that they are in. Ones I've seen include flying through the sky using blue material for the sky and white piles of material and tulle for clouds. A mermaid one done a similar way with ribbons for seaweed etc. I have also seen these done with a new baby that were super cute (and yay that I can find a link to that one) but I swear I saw it like 2 days ago works with small dogs and kittens and it was just as cute.
posted by wwax at 9:37 AM on August 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Maybe get a really good green-screen group shot the first day. Or two: one with sunglasses and one without. Then they can be dropped into some "day trip" destinations. And time travel. Although, it might be a pain in the butt to mask all the shaggy dog fur. Maybe they could just have a little TARDIS for the time travel shots. Or a cardboard box with "TARDIS" written on it in blue marker.

They could also have little mad scientist lab coats and be building a little Frankendog out of spare parts from stuffed dogs.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:06 AM on August 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

A restaging of Manet's A Luncheon on the Grass?
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:24 AM on August 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you have access to their house, have their dogs recreate the scenes in any of their photographs/art/etc they have displayed. Naturally, print these out and replace the originals.

This also might be fun to do via Instagram or Twitter too... Create a canine alter-ego that has very similar pictures. For example... If they have a lot of pictures of meals, put a heavily-filtered picture of a bowl of kibble up. Etc.
posted by Fig at 10:24 AM on August 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I'd also consider something that could be revealed over multiple days, like one of the dogs growing a big (harmless) spot in the shape of a four leaf clover or something else amusing. You could shoot all the photos in one day and then send them out over time (and even edit the EXIF data if you were feeling tricksy). You could also do some sort of a mystery thing where there are little odd pieces of stuff in the photos over time (you see one of the dogs consistently near the back of the photo near an odd-shaped stick, a striped scarf, something and SURPRISE it turns out they are Harry Potter (or whatever) and have revealed it slowly. Like a thing that close attention to the photos might spot but just random "here are the dogs" pix wouldn't highlight but come together in a story at the end or after a few days, a story arc of some kind.

Also: dogs discovers long lost twins but they are EVIL and get into all sorts of mischief. You can tell the twin dogs are evil because of their red collars, or whatever.
posted by jessamyn at 10:27 AM on August 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions everyone! Count Chocula box hat is DEFINITELY happening. If anyone's interested in the final result, I'll post the pictures to the flickr account listed in my profile over the next few weeks :)
posted by Gonestarfishing at 5:01 PM on August 29, 2013 [3 favorites]

You'd need an accomplice with access to the appropriate vehicle, but they could "steal" a school bus, ambulance, police car, fire truck, Zamboni, garbage truck, etc., with appropriate hats or accessories.

Earning Scouting merit badges - tying knots, helping old ladies across the street, etc.

Another one needing an accomplice: three dogs slumped over a bar, surrounded by empty glasses. and peanut shells. One has a swizzle stick of fruit or something hanging out of his mouth, another has a bra over his head. If it can be included in the shot, there's also a huge bar tab in your friends' name.

One dog's nose is sticking out a motel room door with a "Do Not Disturb" sign on it.

Fill the room with signs saying, "I POOPED HERE." One sign says, "I CLAIM THIS LAND FOR SPAIN."
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:19 AM on August 30, 2013

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