As both a photographer and a dog lover there aren’t many things I love more than
“oohing” at and photographing dogs. Photographs can be some of the best presents
you can give to your loved ones, so if you’re looking for a birthday gift or
anniversary gift think about sharing a memory, even digitally by sharing via digital
So many factors go into whether or not a shoot will go smoothly or be a little bit
more of an adventure. Whether you are an experienced photographer or a dog
parent looking to get the perfect shot, I’m sure you will find a takeaway.
Maybe I have just been lucky, but I have yet to come across a mean dog. Dogs, like
people, all have different personalities. They can be shy, scared, mean, outgoing,
mischievous, or any other personality trait. Remember that although many dogs will
warm up easily to a stranger walking down the street, not all dogs are like that. If
the dog seems shy or scared, slowly approach them and let them get comfortable. It
may be beneficial to play fetch for a few minutes to build trust with them. If you ever
feel uncomfortable with a dog make your concerns clear to the owner and take
precautions if you are scared the dog may become aggressive.
Treats may seem like a good idea at first, but they may not be the best way to get a
dog’s attention. If you are trying to take a couple good photos of your dog, treats
may be an excellent choice, but if you are at a shoot the dog will most likely be
begging from the time the treat comes out to when the shoot is over. Always bring
some just in case you can’t get the furry family member to pay attention, but try to
get them to look your way by making a wide variety of noises and movements first.
Try and make sure that the dog has been fed and properly exercised before a shoot
so that they aren’t too hyper or too exhausted. If the circumstances aren’t perfect
and the dog isn’t calm you can still get excellent photos though. If the dog you are
trying to photograph is too hyper it’s playtime for you too. Try and run the dog
around for a while to calm them down, but don’t forget to pull out the camera for
some great running or jumping shots. If the dog is played out by the time the shoot
begins you have an excellent opportunity to get some cute sleeping photos. Once
you have enough sleep shots you can pull out a couple of those treats to help perk
Different perspectives can add a ton of variety into your photos. Many people spend
the day staring down at their pets so it’s natural to want photos of them from that
angle, but there are so many other options as well. Getting on the floor or crouching
down to the animal’s eye level can add a lot of emotion into a photo, especially if
they make eye contact with the lens. If you want to add more variety you can stand
straight over the dog, or lie on the ground with the dog above you. It is fun to move
around and change the angles up in order to get a diverse selection of photos.
While you can definitely take excellent shots with today’s smartphones it’s best to
use a DSLR camera if you’re trying to get a good shot of a hyper dog. Smartphones
and handheld cameras aren’t as equip to handle how fast dogs can run, jump and
roll. DSLR cameras allow you to change the shutter speed of the camera, which
means it can capture fast-moving dogs.
If you don’t have a DSLR camera don’t worry. Make sure that you have good lighting,
preferably outdoors, and take your time. Some of the best photos are candid, and
since we are constantly attached to our phones they are our best chance at getting
those candid shots. Just remember to be patient and don’t give up if the first few
photos don’t come out the way you want them to.
Taking photos of your dog can become some of your best memories with them, so
take your time to soak in the moment, and to capture the perfect shot, helping to
make that memory permanent.
Laura O’Donnell writes smart content on behalf of the digital photo frame experts at Nixplay. As an avid writer and learner, she loves to use her skills for engaging others in important topics in creative and effective ways. When she is not working, she loves meeting new people, traveling, and bringing her Pinterest dreams to life. Find her on LinkedIn.