Tips for Taking Great Pictures of your Dog
There’s a reason #dogsofinstagram has over 54 million photos associated with the hashtag on Instagram: no one can resist a cute dog photo. But, as anyone who has ever tried to take a good photo of his or her pet knows, dogs aren’t exactly the easiest subjects. Listed below are a handful of tips for taking great pictures of your dog!
Get to Know your Equipment
Whether you are using your phone, a point-and-shoot camera, or professional grade lenses, take some time to learn how to use all of the special features. Some cameras and phones may even have special modes for kids and pets. Look for fast shutter speeds and high ISO, or download an app that makes taking dog photos easier, such as BarkCam.
Use Natural Lighting
The lighting you use for taking photos is important when it comes to pets, especially for dogs with dark fur. Wait for a sunny day or take photos in a room with a lot of natural lighting; avoid using the flash, if possible, as it can not only frighten your pup but creates strange effects with your dog’s eyes as well.
Make your Dog Smile
Which dog looks happier: one with an open mouth and hanging tongue, or the dog with its mouth tightly shut? You can quickly put a smile on your dog’s face by taking him or her for a quick jog around the block or playing a vigorous game of fetch. Whether your dog is happy from the extra attention or just panting to cool off, this trick will make for better photo opportunities.
Get Your Dog’s Attention
If you want your dog to look at the camera, use treats or toys to hold your dog’s attention. Some photographers suggest taping a treat near the lens to ensure you have your dog’s gaze, but this tip is only recommended if you know your pet won’t lunge at the camera! You can also use squeaky toys to secure your pet’s attention, so long as your dog isn’t too toy-motivated.
Use Simple Contrast
When taking photos of your dog, be mindful of the background. If your pet has white or light-colored fur, avoid taking photos against white walls; instead, pictures in grass may be more appropriate. Alternatively, avoid dark backgrounds if you have a black or dark-colored dog. A simple solution is to lay down a brightly colored sheet or to plan your photo sessions outdoors in the yard or on a deck.
Avoid taking all of your photos from the same perspective, such as directly above your dog’s head. You may notice that your dog interacts with you differently if you get on his or her level, making for even better photo opportunities.
Keep your Pet Comfortable
Above all your dog should be comfortable throughout the process. If you become frustrated that you are not getting the photo you imagined, your dog will become even less cooperative. Provide your pet with plenty of treats and praise while keeping photo sessions short.