If you answer “Yes” to any of these questions, you will love these terrific tips for taking photos of your pup.
- Are your dogs members of your family?
- Do you include them in your Christmas photos or family portraits?
- How often do you share pictures of them on social media?
- Do they have their own photo album?
Taking Photos of Your Pup Isn’t As Easy As You Might Think
We often see photos of the cutest dogs on FaceBook or Christmas cards from our friends and think, “Our dog is much cuter than that dog”. He deserves to be seen on FaceBook!
We quickly gather a few photo props and our camera, imagining how cute the pictures will be. It doesn’t take long before we realize that we are not dealing with a professional canine model.
Our furry family member is not interested in sitting still, playing with the prop or even looking at the camera. Younger puppies are the most difficult to keep still long enough to get a great photo.
So, What Terrific Tips For Taking Photos of Your Pup Can You Use At Home?
The most important thing to remember is that it takes both time and patience to take great photos of your furry friends. Posing in front of a camera does not come naturally for any dog, but some do seem to enjoy it once they catch on to how much fun it can be.
Most commonly, your pup has something else on his mind. It may take time for him to adjust to the environment, the props, and the camera. If you can relax and make the photo shoot fun for your pup, your pictures will come out much better.
The following terrific tips for taking photos of your pup will work better if you are prepared. Take a few minutes to prepare mentally and physically for the shoot and you will get much better pictures of your dog.
Cameras Can Be Scary For Some Dogs So Get Them Used To It
Even if they are not afraid of the camera, your pup may be intrigued by a new device and think it needs to be investigated. Regardless of the type of camera you choose to use, DSLR, or cell phone, give him time to get used to it before taking photos.
This is easier to do with a cell phone. If you plan to use a DSLR, carry it around occasionally so he gets used to it being part of his environment. It is helpful if you can use treats or playtime to help him associate the camera with something positive.
Then, when you are ready to rake the photos, he will be used to the camera and more relaxed. This leads to better photos.
Choose the Right Location
You must choose a spot where your dog is very comfortable for the photoshoot. It can inside or out, depending on your dog. Try to avoid taking your dog out of his comfort zones.
If your dog is jittery or nervous in certain places, choose another location. They will be easier to photograph in places where the things they see and smell are familiar to them.
Capturing your dog where they are in their most natural state will give you the best photos. Just like with humans, candid shots are often the best.
All distractions need to be eliminated when possible. This may be people or other animals. It can also be loud music or anything that can distract your dog’s attention.
Look for Diffused Light When Possible
Lighting is a vital element of any photo, regardless of the subject. For our purposes, we will limit ourselves to natural light options.
- If you are shooting outdoors, your best options are to shoot in either an evenly shaded area or on an overcast day. Photographing outside is your best option. It also gives you some great backdrops from which to choose.
- When shooting indoors, try to find an area where there are high quality and amount of diffused light. This can easily be achieved by tacking a white sheet over a brightly lit window. Be sure to use lots of windows and sunlight.
- Using the flash is not a good idea– not only does it distract your dog, it often frightens him. It may make him run away The use of a flash may give your dog an ugly case of red-eye.
Once You Have Chosen Where To Photograph Your Dog
Depending on the size of the dog and the pose you are hoping to obtain, choose a position on either the floor or on a small table. Remaining calm and taking your time, position your dog as you want him. Try to keep at eye level as much as possible.
Let your dog do what is natural for him as much as possible and keep an eye out for a good shot. Be patient and wait for the best opportunities to come. Always take several shots. You may need to repeat this process multiple times.
Angling For The Best Shot When Taking Photos of Your Pup
Photographing your dog from different angles is an easy way to get unique photos. You are not limited to shooting photos from a straight forward-facing direction.
Try shooting from a higher level while looking down at your sleeping dog. This allows you to photograph him all curled up and looking especially cute. With the correct background, you can take a regal looking photo of your dog by shooting from a lower level.
Another interesting idea is to change-up which parts of your dog’s body that you shoot. Usually, people only photograph full-body dog shots. However, you can get some very unique and cute photos by focusing on individual body parts as well.
Many people try to catch their dog with what looks like a “smile”. They want to catch a huge, floppy tongue grin on their dog’s face. Unfortunately, most dogs do not usually smile on command, Even if you ask nicely. But, there are ways to encourage them to do so.
If you wish to put a huge smile on your dog’s face, make him happy. No kidding. Take your dog for a quick jog in your backyard or at the local park. Alternatively, a rousing game of tug-of-war or of fetch is a great way to make your dog pant.
Any physical activity that induces panting will produce a floppy tongue look that can appear to be a smile. However, if you overdo it, you may also get a lot of slobber. This not a good look to capture.
Use Motivation for Taking Photos of Your Pup
If you need your pup to remain still, use a motivator, using either a toy or a treat. Begin by “priming the pump”, so to speak. If you have already taught your dog to sit and stay, this will be a piece of cake.
If not, it might take a little while but the results should be worth the effort. Just go about it as you would when teaching him a new trick.
Once your furry friend knows that he will be rewarded, you can use the treat to motivate him to remain still.
Here is the way to do this:
- Hold the selected treat where your pup can see it next to the camera.
- Give the command for your dog to stay. Hopefully, he will focus on the treat and remain still.
- Quickly take the photo before he looks away.
If your pup is very playful, a toy may serve the same purpose as the treat as a motivator. Squeaky toys work best because the noise will get almost any dog’s attention.
Basically, it works the same way. Hold the toy in the same manner as you would have the treat. Keep the toy near the camera so your dog will look in that direction.
The Use of Props and Costumes When Taking Photos of Your Pup
In addition to new locations, once your pup is comfortable with a camera, the use of additional items can add a good deal of variety to the photos you can shoot.
Natural photos of dogs are great but, sometimes, photos taken with props or costumes are lots of fun. You can get a unique and catchy photo by adding a splash of color.
This color can come from an article of clothing, like a bandana or a cap. It could come from a toy or other items. Be creative. Think outside of the box.
Before you dress up your pup, make sure he is comfortable with the item. Not all dogs are comfortable with being put in a tutu or Halloween costume.
Quite a few dogs are fearful of some toys, especially ones with loud squeakers. It is best to go with the toys that you are sure that your dog likes.
It is easier to get a good candid shot, and you avoid giving your dog a reason to be afraid of having his photo taken in the future.
Don’t Forget to Take A Break
If your dog’s patience or attention span becomes exhausted, take a break. Simply put down the camera and take a few minutes to play with your dog.
If your pup has any urgent needs, such as eating or drinking, going to the bathroom, or even taking a nap, allow him to do so. Return to the photo session when your dog is ready to do so comfortably.
Patience Leads to Success
Portraits of animals may be challenging for beginning photographers, but patience pays off. With enough patience, you will be rewarded with photos and memories that can last forever.
You do not have to hire a professional photographer to have high-quality photos of your furry friends. By taking advantage of these tips, you can obtain some pretty amazing photos of your dog.
Be sure to share these memories of a lifetime with your friends and family. Spread the joy! We would love to see your photos. Would you like to see photos of your dog featured in one of our articles? Let us know in the comment box below.
Another Article You Might Want to Read That Could Help You Take Better Photos
You may also enjoy this article on dogs and photos. https://excellentdogsclub.com/uncooperative-shiba-inu-with-hilarious-poses/
Special thanks to our colleagues at https://www.picturecorrect.com/tips/the best-tricks-for-taking-pictures-of-your-pet
Photos courtesy of my photo album and Pixabay