Zoom in on these expert tips for photographing your furry sweetheart.

Zillions of dog photos and only a few good ones – that’s how it goes. As soon as you get Buddy in the frame, he’s off to catch the Frisbee. And you’re left with a blur of fur, a digital dog of a shot. Taking better pet pictures doesn’t take much. Zoom in on these top tips from pet photographers.

Lighten up

Proper lighting is key to shooting a good picture. Photos taken outdoors or indoors with natural light produce the best results – no red eyes and better detail. Don’t forget to have the sun behind you when taking dog pictures outside.

Snap in the golden hour

This is during the day’s first and last hour of sunlight. The lighting is warmer and softer, and shadows will be pronounced. Also called the magic hour, photos tend to turn out more dramatic during this time. And who could resist a little more drama?

Fill the frame

Don’t ruin your photo with a cluttered background or unnecessary mess. Move the squeekies and zoom in close.

Get in the mode

Use the shooting modes on your digital camera to get the best pet pictures. Try using the ’action” or ’sport’ mode for faster shutter speed and less blur.

Focus first

For best results when you’re shooting, press the shutter button down halfway to lock in your camera’s focus. This way you won’t miss the shot while waiting for your camera to adjust.

Get on all fours

Kneel or lie all the way down to capture pics at your dog’s eye level. You’ll get a more natural and personal shot. Get in close to your pooch to capture the details, you’ll also enjoy a glimpse of the world from his perspective.

Take the Rule of Thirds

When taking pictures of landmarks along with your pooch, try dividing your view into thirds. Position your pup in one of the outside thirds, rather than in the center. This makes for a nicely balanced photo that is unique and easy on the eyes.

Get out the treats

Engage your canine subject with a favorite treat, toys or goodie, whatever keeps his eyes on the camera.

The Scoop:

Upload your pup’s picture or share it on our social channels and you just may see your pup on our site or in our email newsletters as our Top Dog of the Week. We can’t choose yours without a photo!

Originally published July 2010, reviewed and updated September 2016.