Get 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.
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.
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.
Upload your pup’s picture at Woof Report– we’ll feature a new Best in Show dog each week in our email newsletters. We can’t choose yours without a photo!
Originally published July 2008, reviewed and updated October 2016.