best dog photography tips

A dog photoshoot can be quite a challenge, as we learned from our collaboration with Best Friends Animal Society. We set up a photo booth at Strut Your Mutt, a series of dog walking events to raise funds for homeless pets. Adorable canines and their humans posed for the camera against a super fun backdrop of our blue, gold, pink, orange, and multicolor Christmas trees.

  • man and pet at Treetopia dog photoshoot
    This pooch posed like a natural! Photo source: Jennifer Hayes/Best Friends Animal Society

Here’s a list of tips that will help take your dog photography skills to a whole new level. Read on for pointers.

1. Get your dog familiar with the camera

Pet with camera for a dog photoshoot

Pets may feel uncomfortable with new objects and sounds. This can include your camera. Try to get them used to it, but of course, you need to be careful. You don’t need to give them free reign or hang it around their neck (though it does look adorable).

Letting them sniff at it and hear the clicks and shutter sounds will prepare them for what’s to come. Take a couple of photos of something else with your flash on so they don’t get startled when it’s their turn.

2. Get someone to help you take the best dog photos

a helpful dog photography tip
Photo source: Best Friends Animal Society

If you want in on the frame, it’s a good idea to ask for help. It can take some mad skills to manage your dog while holding your phone up for that perfect self-we. Having someone else snap your photo leaves you room to pose while getting your pet to sit still and look at the camera.

This also goes for when your pet is alone in the photo. Prep your best buddy while someone else takes the actual picture, or vice-versa.

3. Get down at eye level with your pet

eye level dog photography tip

When it comes to dog photography, perspective is important. Basically, it’s about giving depth to the subject of your photo. You need to consider the positioning of your subject. This helps you make a two-dimensional photo appear three-dimensional.

Perspective also means the point of view your subject. Getting down at eye level with your pooch is one of the most important things to consider. You can kneel or crouch while taking the shot. This will show your pet’s point of view, whether they’re looking straight at the camera or elsewhere.

4. Photograph your dog looking at the camera

Dog looking at the camera for the best dog photo

This relates to the second tip. You’ll find that photos taken from this perspective convey your pet’s emotions through the expression on his face. As they say, “the eyes are the windows of the soul.” Others can appreciate how much you see your dog as your best friend, making them seem human. Don’t you agree?

5. Find the right lighting

dog photography lighting tip

Photo source: Polina Gupaliuk/Best Friends Animal Society

There’s nothing quite like natural lighting for photography, whether you’re human or canine. An outdoor dog photoshoot is a beautiful way to capture your pet in their natural element. Surprisingly, overcast days are best for well-lit pet pictures. If it’s too sunny outside, your shots could end up looking like you went overboard with saturation and contrast settings. Photographing them in the shade gives better results.

If you need to shoot indoors, midday is the best time to let natural light from outside flood in. Avoid flash or risk the red eye effect. There’s no need to buy studio equipment. Make the most out of artificial light sources you can find at home. With the right techniques, your lamp and even your mobile phone can do wonders.

6. Call your pet’s attention and reward them with treats

Good pet photography tip is to keep treats onhand

Yes, we understand. Rover can’t stop roving! Kidding aside, it can be challenging to get your dog’s attention for a photo. The solution here is simple. Have their favorite treat on-hand.

Get them to look at the camera by showing them their fave chewables before snapping their photo. Another is to give them a nibble so they stay put in the shot. When you’re done taking the picture, give them yummies for a job well done. If you’re taking more shots, they’ll be more cooperative once they know they’re in for more treats!

7. Capture them in motion

pet photography tip for a dog in motion

A running dog is a thing of beauty. Capture your pet in action so you can enjoy that moment whenever you want.

One of the best ways to do this is to jog alongside your pet as you take their photo. This is tricky but believe us when we tell you that it’s well worth the effort. A blurred backdrop with your pet in clear focus is priceless.

8. Pick the star of the show

choose the best dog photo among many

It’s a rare thing to take the best dog photo on the first try. So, snap away then pick your favorites. It’s also an opportunity to see your pet from all angles. The next time you have a dog photoshoot, things will be a lot easier.

9. Adjust to your doggie and not the other way around

girl hugging pet for best dog photo

Spontaneous selfie? We recommend adjusting to your furry friend’s position. He or she could be standing on your lawn, sitting on the couch, or lying on your bed.

Go ahead and position yourself beside them. Why not hug them for the shot, too? Make them feel the love. Plus, this ensures that they don’t run away right before you click.

Dog photoshoot using a pink Christmas tree
Jen Perkins and pal with the Pretty in Pink tree in the background.

We hope this post helps with your dog photography. Share it with your fellow dog lovers everywhere. And, keep those paw-fect snaps of your canine cutie comin’!

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