How to Take Great Photos of Your Dog

taking photos of your dog

If you have every owned a dog, you’ll know how much you want to capture their cuteness and personality in photos that you can treasure. And if you’ve ever tried to take some stunning photos of your pup, you’ll know that this isn’t always as easy as it looks online! If your dog pays no attention to the camera or just won’t play ball, try these handy tips for taking impressive and cute photos of your dog!

Most dogs don’t see the appeal of the camera, and we can’t expect them to! Your best bet when trying to get some great photos of your dog is to catch them when they’re being most natural. This will show your dog’s personality while also not needing to train them to be photogenic! 

You can do this in lots of different ways, like getting on the right level, timing it well and making the whole activity fun for them as well! In no time you’ll have a perfect album that reflects your dog exactly as they are!

Get on the Right Level

This is an important first step to achieving the perfect photo of your dog. Instead of trying to get them to change their position to accommodate you and your camera, your best shot at success is to get on their level from the start! This is most important if you’re wanting to take closer up photos of your dog, instead of ones from a distance with some scenery. This will make you much more likely to get a good photo while showing them in their most natural light as well!

Everybody has seen the classic photos so many dog owners take. If you stay stood or even sat over your dog and take a photo of them looking down, this is what you’ll get. Some of them are cute of course, but you want to get a range of photos of your dog and definitely some that don’t just look like everyone else’s!

While this is slightly more effort, it is bound to get you better results than if you never change the angle your photos are taken from. As mentioned before, it is generally best to be down on your dog’s level for taking photos. As they are likely lying or standing simply on the floor, this might mean that you’ll need to kneel or even lie down to get that perfect shot. Don’t be afraid of doing this! It will not only capture your dog in a more natural way, but is bound to look better after this small amount of preparation!

Make sure you have the right Lighting

Make sure you always catch your dog in the right light! This will not only show them at their best with the right level of detail, but also their surroundings. 

Generally, natural lighting can be great for photographing dogs. This might also be your only option if you’re wanting a photo of your dog outside. But you can control the time of day! Your camera and skills with altering the settings of this can also determine when you’re best to plan to take your photos. If you’re limited by a simple phone camera or aren’t confident with changing your camera settings manually, make sure to photograph your dog in plenty of light to make sure you can see them. 

Also be aware of if your camera is pointing into the sun or away from it the achieve the effect you want! If you want a dramatic silhouette photo, take one with the sun behind your dog as you take it. If you want a clear photo showing your dog in detail, take it with your camera facing away from the sun or with it shining from one side. Just be careful of your own shadow or shadows from nearby trees or objects getting in the way of your perfect picture!

If you’re altering the shutter speed of your camera to accommodate for your dog moving around, this can also affect the amount of light the lens allows in.A faster shutter speed will let less light in than a slower one. This might work well outdoors in plenty of light but not work as well indoors. 

Think about the background

The setting of your photo can be an extremely important component of any picture! It is always a good idea to try to capture your dog in a setting that they particularly like and that will mean something to you when you look at it in future. 

Choose a place they love to be:

Can your dog not get enough of the beach and love the sea? Take your camera with you on your next trip! Do they love sniffing around in woods or large green areas? Or do they simply have the most fun in their very own garden or home! You can take photos in all of these places which show your dog’s personality in a place that they love!

Make them stand out:

It is also best to think about what background your dog will look best in front of, and this can be different for every dog! Beaches and green areas are normally great choices for making your dog stand out in the photo. Just make sure that you choose a background that will make your dog stand out and be the focal point of your photo. For this reason, it may be a good idea to make sure that there are not too many other objects close to your dog that might become the focus of the picture instead! 

Don’t forget to make sure that they are in focus as opposed to the background behind them!

taking photos of your dog

Get their Attention

Dogs don’t always get what all the hype is about with photos, so don’t expect them to look into it easily! The key to getting a great photo of them looking into the camera is to get their attention to look in your direction. If your dog does this naturally and you manage to get the perfect snap, great! But for the most part, owners aren’t that lucky, especially if you want to take more than one photo!

Use their name:

You can prompt your dog to look at you in a few different ways. First, try saying their name in an upbeat voice. This will normally get your dog to look at you to see if you have another command. However, usually this only works a few times. If your dog has lost interest and has figured out that you aren’t going to ask them for anything else, they might stop looking round at you at this point. But don’t worry, there are plenty of other ways to get their attention! The key is to use positive reinforcement when they do the right thing. That can be either praise or even a small treat. This will keep them interested for much longer!

Use their favourite toy:

Does your dog have a favourite toy? If so, this can easily be used to get a great photo of your dog! Hold their toy slightly above the camera. You can even wave it around if this helps or say their name at the same time. This is likely to get their attention as they begin to look at the toy. Just be sure to reward them by giving them the toy and playing with them straight afterwards!

Try a treat!

If your pup isn’t keen on toys, then try using a small treat! This works especially well for dogs that are food driven as they are likely to fix their attention on it straight away. Again, be sure to reward them by giving them the treat straight away afterwards.

Get Creative!

Make sure that the experience of having their photo taken is just as fun for your dog as it is for you! This will not only lead to more creative and natural photos, but will keep your dog interested for longer while making the whole experience much more exciting for you both!

Try some playful photos:

Try getting some action shots of your dog playing for example. If you can take photos with one hand or have someone else to help, try getting great photos of your dog playing their favourite game like catching a ball or Frisbee or crewing their favourite toy. These shots will look natural and also show your dog’s fun loving personality!

Get an action photo:

Why not try getting some photos that are full of action of them running and playing? You’ll definitely need a fast shutter speed to catch them in action without a blur! To achieve these great photos it is definitely a benefit to have someone else to play and run around with them! Just make sure not to overexercise your dog.

Change the angle: 

You can also get creative by changing up the angle of your camera and also the zoom to really get some interesting shots. This will make your photos really stand out from the crowd and are even more fun to think of and create. Just let your imagination and creativity flow!

Check Your Camera Settings

Don’t worry at all if you’re not a camera whiz! If you are taking photos on a digital camera or even a smartphone, you can still take amazing and professional photos of your dog with a little patience!

Turn off the flash:

When photographing your dog, turn off the flash and instead use natural lighting to show your dog in the best light. This is to make sure you don’t dazzle them with camera flashes.

Shutter speed:

Another important feature you can easily change on a digital camera is the shutter speed. A fast shutter speed is great if your dog isn’t keen on sitting still! This can capture photos clearly even while your dog is moving with little blur. However, a fast shutter speed also means that less light is allowed into the lens. Therefore, if you’re using a fast shutter speed, make sure you are somewhere with plenty of light like outdoors in the daytime. Using this when indoors doesn’t always produce the best results!

Edit them afterwards:

The great thing about taking photos in the modern day is that you can adjust your photos even after you take them. Is there some pesky distractions and objects in the background that draw your attention away from your pet? Don’t worry! There are loads of different types of software out there which allow you to crop these out! Is your photo slightly too dark? Alter the brightness along with adding other filters on your computer after you’ve taken it. You can also get creative by adding other special effects, stickers and borders to make your photos even more special!

Get your Dog used to the Camera

A camera can be a new and strange thing to any dog. To some, it can even be very unnerving and put them on edge. Because of this, it is always best to allow your dog a little time to get used to the camera as an object before diving straight in with taking pictures!

Try letting them sniff the camera and check it out for a little while with you holding it. This will make sure they’re not too nervous when you start taking photos. Just make sure they don’t see it as something to chew on so keep hold of it at all times!

taking photos of your dog

Don't be Afraid to Take Lots of Photos!

This is a great idea when taking photos of anything at all, and taking photos of your dog is no exception! Taking a number of photos instead of the occasional one will give you a much better chance of getting that perfect picture!

Get a variety and lots of them:

This is especially true with dogs. Dogs are prone to moving around at the last minute and blurring your photo or just not quite being in the position that you would like. But that’s OK! Don’t sit around waiting for the perfect photo. Keep taking them and moving around and changing position while you do. You’re likely to get a huge variety of photos which you can go through later and just keep the best few if need be. 

Take lots at once using the shutter button:

The great thing about lots of digital cameras is that you’re not very limited to the number of photos you can take. You can even set your camera to take continuous photos if you hold the shutter down. This can end up giving you a huge number of photos. But don’t worry, this just means that a few of them are more likely to be exactly what you’re after. If you try taking them from a number of angles too, you might just get a great photo of your dog that you weren’t expecting!

Take Opportunities as they come

As with so many photos, spontaneity can produce some of the best photos, and this is especially true when photographing animals! Your dog is prone to move around and change constantly when you try to take photos of them. And they’re not often likely to do exactly what you want when you’re taking a picture! If you’re waiting for that perfect photo, have your phone camera close by and wait for these natural picture-perfect moments to come to you!

You will be the one to know your dog’s routine best. This should give you an idea of when best to photograph them depending on the photo you want. Do they love to bring you their favourite toy at a certain time of day? Are they most energetic and playful when you take them on a certain walk? Make sure you have your camera with you at these opportune moments if you’re waiting for a great photo of your dog!

Ask someone else for help

Having someone else to help you while you get that perfect photo can be your best tool alongside a camera! This can mean you don’t have to balance your camera in one hand while you get your dog’s attention of play with a toy with them using the other. You can also get some interesting photos from different angles to make them even more interesting, or even photos with both you and your dog in!

Ask another person to get their attention:

Another person can help to get their attention and keep your dog engaged while you snap some amazing photos. This works especially well if you want a photo of your dog looking in a different direction like off to one side. These make for impressive profile photos that are bound to show your dog in a great light! Using another person to make a photo like this happen is extremely useful. Ask the other person to call your dog’s name or play with a toy with them. This will give you a lot more flexibility with the kind of photos you can get, and also makes the whole process a great deal easier for you!

Get some photos of you and your dog:

If you trust someone else to use your camera or phone, why not ask a friend to take some great photos of you and your dog together! These are definitely photos that you’ll love to treasure. Try sitting together or even getting some great photos of you playing with a toy or running around together. This will not only be even more fun and interesting pictures, but will also show the great relationship between you and your dog. 

Make sure the person taking your photos knows exactly how to work your camera and how to change the settings a they’re taking them. This might involve you giving them a quick demonstration beforehand!

Final Thoughts

Getting perfect and professional looking photos of your dog might seem like something that’s just for the experts. But that’s absolutely not the case! You can get fun and adorable pictures to treasure with just a little patience and experimenting with your camera.

There are a number of different and creative things you can try out with your camera. Try altering the angle, camera settings, background and lighting! Don’t forget to keep the whole experience fun and engaging for your dog too. This will make you much more likely to get a great photo of them and show off their personality!

The important thing to remember is not to focus too much on getting the ‘perfect’ photo. It’s very rare that you will! But spontaneous and natural photos might just be the ones that show your dog exactly as they are. And these might be the ones to treasure for years to come.

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