8 Pet Photography Tips for Great Dog Photos

As a dog owner, you love to fill your phone with photos of your furbaby. Here are eight practical pet photography tips to help you take your photos from good to great!

1. Get on their level

The most engaging photos are taken when we view the world from your dog’s eye level. Take a look at how changing my viewpoint changes the feeling in each photo of Camber:

2. Look for the light

The time of day and lighting conditions have a big impact on the look of your photo. In most cases, you would want to avoid using flash or ceiling fixtures as your main source of light. Instead look for soft, even lighting both outside and indoors:

Seek out big shady areas or shoot during golden hour (the few hours after sunrise or before sunset).

Watch out for full sun during in the middle of the day as you’ll get undesirable, harsh shadows and squinty eyes.

Fluffy dogs such as Pomeranians, Huskies, and Shiba Inus will look great with some backlight. This is achieved by shooting into the sun to create a rim light around your dog. Just make sure there is enough light in back of you to illuminate the front of their body.

If you are indoors, position your dog facing any large source of natural light such as a big window, sliding glass door, or under a covered patio.

3. Feed the model

Control your dog’s attention by holding a treat near your camera’s lens. Every dog is different and sometimes a favorite toy, sticks, or unusual sounds work better to capture their attention.

4. Use a fast shutter speed

A blurry dog detracts from the overall photo even when you managed to capture a cute expression. If you are using a smartphone, using your burst mode setting will help in getting a sharp photo.

5. Focus on their eyes

The eyes are the window to the soul and definitely my favorite feature of a dog. Since so much emotion and personality is conveyed through their eyes, I make sure to get them tack sharp in my photos.

6. Remove distractions

Be mindful of what is in your surroundings before taking a photo. This can be an eyesore and take the focus away from the star of the photo, your dog!
7. Get creative.

If you typically photograph your dog at home or at their favorite park, there are several things you can try to create variety:

Change up the scenery with a new location
Capture a silhouette at sunset
Look at your pet from different angles to get dynamic shots
Enhance your photo by using subtle props. Flowers or colorful leaves can easily add a pop of color to your image
Look for bold colors and unique backgrounds

8. Have fun!

Always make photo time a positive experience. Capturing dogs at play will get you some fun shots. Don’t get frustrated if you aren’t getting the shot, your dog can pick up on your energy! If you notice any signs of stress or anxiety– whimpering, ears pinned back, tail tucked, excessive yawning– just take a break. Go for a walk together, throw some toys around, and try again later. You are much more likely to get a great photo if you both are genuinely having fun! Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect, some of the best photos are the candid “in between” shots you don’t plan for.

If any of these pet photography tips has helped you improve your photos, please tag me on Facebook or Instagram in them. I ‘d love to connect and see your pet photos!