4 Easy Dog Photography Tips (Phone-Camera Friendly!) 

 best dog photography tips

Hi, dog-loving friends - Kayla from Together Theory here, and I'm so excited to be guest blogging on The PocoPet's blog today.

I'm here to share my very best tips for snapping amazing pics of your pup!

Most often I work as an elopement photographer in Portland, but my second passion is photographing dogs. I know how to work with a dog that’s camera shy, or even one that just won’t sit still. We've all been there!

Getting a beautiful photograph of your wiggly pup may sound like a daunting task- but photographing pups isn’t as hard as you think. 

With just a few tweaks, you'll be photographing your dog's true essence in no time at all!

And, good news: you don’t need a fancy camera to get great shots of your furry friend. Modern cellphone cameras are so high-quality, you’ll get amazing shots from your device, too. 

I’m going to share my four best tips to quickly elevate your dog photography game... 

So get ready to take great pictures of your dog with your phone!

1. Energy work

best-dog-photography-tips-3

My first tip for photographing your dog might be one of the most crucial.

Have you ever brought your dog outside to try to get a great photo of them posing peacefully in nature… only to wind up with a dog that just won't sit still?

I know I have!

Before you even open your camera app, first let your pup tire themselves out. Take them for a long walk, let them run a few laps around the backyard, play tug-of-war with their favorite toy.

Then when it’s time for pictures, they’ll be more likely to stay where you pose them.

2. Angles are everything

This tip may be hard on the knees, but hear me out: the angle you choose is crucial to the outcome.

You know when you shoot a photo of your dog doing something adorable, but it just doesn't turn out the way you were expecting?

There's an easy fix for this: lower your phone to be eye level with your dog.

Like I said, you may end up getting some squats in! However, the improvement in your photos is 100% worthwhile.

3. Pay attention

best-dog-photography-tips-2

It may be hard to get your dog to look at the camera, but when they do, it makes for a far more connected photo.

This point is definitely easier when there are two people working together, but it's still possible solo.

Whenever I photograph dogs, I always make sure that the pup’s owner is willing to help me get their dog to look my way - but that’s not always necessary.

Here's how to get your dog to look towards the camera:

  • If you’re using treats, make sure to hold them right next to your camera, or directly above your head. 

  • Loudly repeat words which make your dog’s ears perk up: bone, walk, treat, etc.

  • Wave their favorite toy right next to your camera

  • Make a loud noise, like a clap or a whistle - that will get their attention!

5. Light up their life

best-dog-photography-tips-4

Owners of black dogs- listen up!

With every kind of photography, lighting is crucial.

It's the difference between a photo where you see your dog’s face clearly and one where they just look like a big, dark shadow.

The trick is to shoot photos during the day, while there's plenty of natural lighting. If you’re able to go outside, do it!

Then, notice which direction the light is coming from, and make sure it’s lighting your dog’s face (instead of putting it into shadow).

Lighting can be tricky when there’s harsh sunlight, (like at noon on a sunny day), so if too bright, stand under trees or in the shade of a building. The lighting will be less harsh.

If you’re inside, make sure your pup is facing the window, rather than away from it. Use the light from the window to light their face. This will also help avoid losing details in the face, especially if your pup is black or brown. 

Check out an example of this in the image below: my dog was in the same exact spot on the couch in these two photos, and they were taken minutes apart - the only thing that changed was where I was positioned.

Notice how in the first photo, the light is coming in from the window on the side and hitting her face, but the second the light's coming from behind - and all of her facial features are lost! 

easy dog photography tips

There you have it - my very best tips to improve your dog photography!

I hope they help you capture the love of your pet in photographic form. 

Now get out there and take some great photos of your pup!