Everyone wants to capture that perfect photo of their dog, but between wiggly puppies who won’t sit still and off-camera distractions a lot of shots will end up being deleted. Here are some tips for taking better photos of your pooch.
Think about lighting
A sudden bright flash could startle your pet, so might not be the best or kindest way to take their photograph. If you want to try using a flash then take a test photo pointing away from your dog’s face and see how they react.
If you’re not a photography pro, you’re more likely to get good photos using natural sunlight. If you’re outside, try and put the sun behind you or to the side (but make sure your shadow doesn’t go into the shot!)
Take a lot of photos
It’s a rule that applies to any type of photography, but especially true when you’re photographing pets who don’t understand why you want them to keep still! Many of them will come out wrong, but somewhere in the hundreds that you’ll end up deleting will be a few perfect shots.
Try different shooting modes on your phone
If you are using the camera on your phone, experiment with the different modes and see what happens. Some phones have sports/action modes that will capture an active dog more clearly, or a ‘depth effect’ that will bring them into focus and slightly blur the background. Scroll through your camera settings and see what you can find. You don’t have to be an expert to play around and see what happens!
Be an opportunist
Pets do silly or cute things a hundred times a day. Keep your phone or camera handy, charged and with free memory so you can whip it out and start snapping at any moment.
Sometimes the only way to get your dog’s attention is to use a treat or toy. Try holding it behind or off to the side of the camera to get their attention, and you could end up with the perfect shot. Having a treat might also put your dog in full waggy-tail, tongue-out happy mode for the best photos!
There’s even a gadget to help with this – the Flexy Paw is a phone attachment that holds a treat just above your camera.
Photographing black dogs
Capturing all the features of a dark coloured pooch can be tricky. Here are some tips for improving your photos:
- A ‘normal’ flash may wash out your black dog’s features – it’s usually best to avoid this
- Use natural light if possible, but bring your dog into the shade to help the camera focus
- Avoid brightly lit or overly fussy backgrounds
- Your pet will probably not stand out on a very dark background
- You want to find a place with soft, even lighting that doesn’t cast strong shadows – cloudy days or shaded areas like woodlands might give you the best results
Time your photo session well
If you want your dog to sit still, get your camera or camera phone out after they’ve had a good walk, or during the warmest hours in the middle of the day. They’re more likely to be resting and will sit still for longer. If you’re looking for an action shot then wait for a time when they’re naturally more active, like before walkies.
If you’ve got a photogenic dog in your life, we’d love to see some pictures. We’re taking entries into our photo competition until the end of July. Enter your photo here and you could win a canvas print!