How to Photograph Your Dog

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How To Photograph Your Dog

We’ve all experienced the difficulties of trying to get the pefect shot of our dogs. It’s not always easy! Does your dog seem to look straight at you right up until you pull out your camera or phone and then look away? Maybe you simply can’t get your dog to hold still long enough to take a photo that isn’t a total blur! We know photographing pets can be frustrating, which is why we’re sharing this information. Here are several great tips to help you capture some beautiful, natural photos of your furry friend.


Dog Photography Tips and Tricks

1. Get Down on Your Dog’s Level

If you take all your photos from above, looking down at your dog, he’ll look tiny and distorted. His head will look huge and disproportionate to his body. This can be cute sometimes, but you probably don’t want all of your photos to look that way. Instead, get down on his level to shoot photos, capturing him more realistically. Your photos will reflect his view of the world and look more natural. Getting up close to your dog will also help you hold his attention better. Sit, kneel, or lie down on your stomach to capture the moment.

2. Distract Your Dog

Grab a treat or toy to hold your dog’s attention. Move it around the camera lens to get him to look where you want, and snap away! It may take several tries to get a good shot, but don’t give up! If you keep at it, your dog will eventually cooperate, and it will be worth your time and patience. Reward your dog when you’re done so he knows he did a good job.

3. Make Some Noise

Making dog noises (like barking) and other strange noises will help capture your dog’s attention. You might be surprised at how many expressions you can get out of your dog by being goofy.

4. Grab a Partner

Ask a family member or friend to help you out and hold your dog in place while you set up your camera and get ready for the shoot. This way, you’ll avoid having to run after your dog every time he tries to sneak away.

5. Consider the Time & Lighting

The most important element of getting a great picture is the lighting. If the lighting is right, you could use your cell phone to photograph your dog and capture a better photo than you would with an expensive camera. The best kind of lighting is natural lighting, so try to photograph your dog outside. If you’re inside, open all curtains and blinds to let in as much sunlight as possible. Also, try not to use the flash. This usually creates harsh, overexposed, and unnatural lighting.

A good time of day for shooting photos is in the morning as the sun is rising. The lighting will be softer at this time than it will be when the sun is high in the sky. Another great time to take photos outside is when it’s overcast. The evening, when the sun begins to set, is another “soft lighting” time.

6. Exercise First

A good time to photograph your pet is after he exercises. For example, grab your camera after a brisk morning run. By getting rid of some of his excess energy, your dog will be calmer and likely take a better picture. If he gets too tired, grab a treat or toy to help him perk up a little and pay attention to you.

7. Practice Makes Perfect

Becoming a good photographer takes practice. If you ask an expert, he or she will more than likely tell you they’ve taken thousands of photos to get to the stage they are now. So, practice, practice, practice! You’ll learn as you go, and by working through the above tricks with your dog, you’ll begin capturing beautiful photos in no time!


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About Sean

I’ve been training people and dogs in Seattle for the last decade and a half. My main focus when working with clients every week in one-on-one, private lessons is to help people learn to get their dogs to a functional level so that they can actually enjoy spending time every day with their dog instead of stressing about their dog’s behavior issues.

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