5 Tips for Taking Better Photos of Your Dog

by | Education

We all do it. Look at our dogs doing literally anything and say “OMG I have to get a picture of that!” I bet if I asked you to open your photos on your phone right now, more than half of them would be of your dog. Sound about right?

We all have the opportunity to take great photos with our handy dandy cell phones and I’d like to share my top 5 tips for you to make your photos even better!

1. Get Low

Oftentimes when we photograph our dogs, we take the photo from a standing position, which is how we always see our dogs. Instead of doing this, next time try getting down on their level, and shoot the world how they see it. Your photos will automatically get more engaging and intriguing as you show the world from your dog’s perspective!

2. Use noises to get your dog’s attention (but don’t overuse)

Noises can be a great way to capture expression in your dog’s face. These can include asking phrases like “do you want to go on a walk?”, “treat” etc or it could even be a squeaker from your dog’s favorite toy. (I carried one around in my dog’s treat bag even before I became a dog photographer). The biggest key to this is not to overuse your noises, and only to use them at the exact moment you are ready to capture the photo. Many people will squeak 10,000 times trying to get their dog’s attention, but I recommend doing it just once and snap the photo super quick for maximum expression!

Candy giving me a perfect head tilt after hearing one of my hunting calls!

3. Face your dog towards light/open sky

Have you ever noticed that how a dog’s eyes look can make or break a photo? Eyes with plenty of light bouncing off of them are more striking and draw you in to the photos, whereas dark eyes can be off-putting. The light that you see reflected in your subject’s eyes is called a “catchlight.” Catchlights can be any size, or shape, and the way they come out depends on many different factors. The key to capturing catchlights is to face your dog towards the light source, whether that be an actual light if you are indoors or an open sky if you are outdoors. So next time you take a photo of your dog, make sure they are facing the light!

4. Hold a treat right behind your lens 

Most dogs are motivated by treats, so let’s use this to our advantage. My recommendation is to hold the treat right behind the lens, not to the side, not above, but right behind it, so that their eye contact is spot on with the camera. Something I like to do is hold a treat close to the dog or off to the side a bit for the dog to see first before I shoot, then quickly move it right behind my lens when I am ready to snap the shot. This will get your dog’s attention and eye contact quickly (but usually only for a second or two!), so be quick and have something high value that your dog is interested in!

5. Find even light

No matter where you are when you are taking photos, there will likely be all different types of light. If you are taking photos outside, it’s always best to take photos early in the morning or a little before sunset for softer light. If that’s not possible and you are photographing your pup midday, look for even light. The shade is always a good option vs somewhere with harsh shadows and mixed sun and shade. Or you could take photos in the full sun. Whichever you choose, make sure the light is all the same for best results!

There you have it: 5 tips for taking better photos of your pup. Hope you found this helpful! Can’t wait to see what photos you create 🙂