How To Take Pictures Of Your Dog
Estimated Read Time: 6 minutes
Summary: In this blog, we share tips and tricks for photographing dogs. Learn how to take good pictures of and with your favorite pooch so you can save and keep some quality, beautiful memories together in photo format…
Sometimes it can be really hard to get that perfect shot of your precious pooch. So, here at PetLab Co., we’ve put together some tips on how to take pictures of your dog…
How To Take A Good Picture With Your Dog
Introduce Them To The Camera
Your camera, whether you have a cell phone or a large lens, can make shutter noises and flash out light. Make sure you test out your dog being around the camera first by taking pictures of other things and praising them/rewarding them when they don’t react, so they associate the equipment with a positive experience.
Timing Is Everything
Make sure you’re taking pictures of them during a time convenient for them - dogs are creatures of habit so doing it over the time they’re due a meal or when they usually take a nap or receive a walk, they won’t be as enthusiastic.
PetLab Co. Pro Tip: If you want your pet to be awake and invigorated in their photographs, try to play with them and make a fuss of them beforehand so they’re in the best mood.
Be Prepared To Reward Them
Make sure you’re ready to treat them for when they sit still or obey a command. You may need several rewards, so try cutting up their treats into smaller chunks so they’re not overeating.
Dress Your Space
Have you cleared away your dirty laundry? Have you tidied up your surrounding belongings? A messy space will distract the eye from your beautiful pup who should be, of course, the primary focus of your pictures!
Practise Makes Perfect
Try and rehearse using your camera with one hand so you can distract your dog with the other! A steady hand may take some practice on your part.
Make sure their ‘stay’ training is in a good place as this will be very helpful during picture-taking time when you need them to keep still.
Take lots of photos at once - this will increase your chance of getting a good one - and then just delete the ones that are no good afterward!
Ensure Their Comfort, Safety & Happiness
If you’re shooting outside, make sure their recall is strong or they’re in a secure area. In addition, make sure it’s not too hot, cold, or wet - for example, your dog may be reluctant to sit on uncomfortable wet sand or if it’s too hot you may be putting them at risk of heatstroke.
Make sure not to stress your pup out by dressing them in too many elaborate outfits or putting them in extreme situations/positions. Your pup wants to please you but may become distressed if they’re particularly uncomfortable or scared, and this will show in their face in their pictures. Be mindful of this and only put them in scenarios that you are 100% certain they’re comfortable with.
In addition, make sure to stay calm and relaxed with them. Any frustration coming from you will only disconcert and worry them.
Don’t shove the camera in your dog’s face – this can be scary! Let them approach the camera themselves so they can become familiar with it and, when shooting them, use the “zoom in” functions if you want to get closer for a particular shot.
A dog’s attention span isn’t as long as ours so when photographing dogs, we should do this in short 10 minutes bursts with ample praise and encouragement, and then take a break.
Capture And Cherish Their Uniqueness
Some of the best shots of dogs are candid, like when a dog yawns or catches a treat or when they tilt their head to listen! Don’t shy away from trying to capture your dog naturally rather than posed - this will also help their personality shine through your photographs too which in turn make authentic, loving memories in photo form.
If your dog loves playing Fetch!, get a friend to help you out so you can capture them during a game or if you have an older pet, focus on their distinguished eyes gazing out the window to capture the beauty of their maturity.
PetLab Co. Pro Tip: Looking for the best portrait angle for your dog? Make sure your camera lens is at their eye level!
Don’t be scared of attempting an artistic close-up shot of their paws, their whiskers, ears, or tail. These unique areas of their body can make wonderful photographs.
Enhance The Shot
Prep a bright background for them to pose on, and try to shoot them with a good window behind you and your camera - that natural light will make your shots look bright and beautiful. You can use flash, but this may give your dog the dreaded red-eye look as the light reflects back off their eye.
Try to focus on one area of your pet per shot. Your camera or smartphone should have this feature where you select the main, desired area of focus in your picture.
Play With The Edit
Your smartphone and social media apps can help you enhance your picture with filter functions and editing facilities. They can help you brighten, soften and sharpen your photographs which can help give them a professional feel.
Tips For Photographing Black Dogs
Black dogs are known to be harder to capture on film, so if you own a dark-furred pooch here’s some things to consider:
The right background color can help; try purples, oranges, greens, blues, yellows, and reds for a good contrast against their black fur.
Soften the lighting; The brighter the day or the brighter the light, the harder it will be to get a good picture of your black dog. Softer lighting serves them better when photographing. If you’re after natural light, aim for just after sunrise or just before sunset - also known as “the golden hour” in the photography world.
Photograph them from above; this way, your dog will be looking up and their eyes will be more distinguished from their fur which can also be a struggle for darker-furred doggos in photographs.
Try a silhouette shot; Black dogs lend themselves to that artistic silhouette shot! Take them out in front of the sun when it’s sitting low in the sky - preferably when it’s skimming the horizon line. Have your dog in front of the sun and lower your lens to capture them!
Ultimately, taking photographs of your dog should be a fun experience for both you and them, and a photography session can serve as a brilliant bonding experience too! We hope these tips help you get that perfect picture of your pup ready for framing, displaying and for sharing proudly on your social media channels.
“How To Photograph Pets” Blue Cross, Aug 22. 2019 https://www.bluecross.org.uk/advice/pets/how-to-photograph-pets
Author Taffer, Marissa “Become A Pupparazzi: Tip For Photographing Your Dog” Dog Eared by My Ollie, Feb 14. 2022 https://blog.myollie.com/tips-for-photographing-your-dog/
Author White, Rhian “7 Tips To Photograph Black Dogs” Rhian White Photography, Jan 29. 2018 https://www.rhianwhitephotography.co.uk/blog/2018/1/28/how-to-photograph-black-dogs