Whether it’s stopping your furry friend from sniffing the camera or hoping they won’t turn away while taking the snap, there’s a lot of behind-the-scene work that goes into an adorable doggy photo. To celebrate National Dog Photography Day, a movement started in 2018 by pet photographer Kerry Jordan, here are 10 tips from experts at tails.com to make your next pooch photo the envy of all your social media followers.
1. Don’t be afraid to bribe
Dogs are easily distracted, but if you’re a dog owner you know the best way to make sure all eyes are on you is by using treats. If you want your dog to look directly at the camera for their picture, don’t hesitate to use small treats (to make sure you don’t overfeed them!) to gain their attention.
2. Smartphone attachments
If you find that your hands are a bit too full to bribe with treats, or you’re trying to get a cute selfie of you and your dog, there are plenty of clever attachments for your smartphone on the market. These include the classic selfie sticks (we all made fun of them, but you can’t deny they come in handy) and specialised attachments that hold dog treats or a tennis ball.
3. Get them to smile
If you want to capture your pup’s award-winning cheeky grin – get them excited! Taking them for a quick five-minute run around the garden or playing with their favourite toy is bound to get them smiling in no time.
4. Take lots of pictures
Dogs can’t keep still, that’s a fact we all know as dog lovers. If you have an excitable puppy or a fussy dog, you might have to adjust your photography to them. Instead of trying to get them to sit and pose, follow them and take lots of pictures at once! You’re bound to get one (or 10) good ones.
5. Faster shutter speed
We believe that every dog owner should be able to capture amazing pictures of their dog, no matter what equipment you have – so we don’t want to get overly technical. However, if you happen to have a DSLR, a faster shutter speed will ensure you get the clearest, crisp images of your pooch in its natural state.
6. Avoid flash
While using automatic flash when photographing your pet is still considered safe, it can still disorientate or scare your dog – especially if they’re naturally nervous. Using flash can also cause overexposure leading to flat photos.
7. Get down to their level
If you want to work your dogs' angles, get down on their level. Get down on one knee (or all fours) to take your dog’s photo from their height. Seeing eye-to-eye might even get them to stay still for a little longer.
8. Know your pet
The best photos of your dog will always be when they’re doing what they love most – and you, more than anyone, will know what that is. Capture your dog's personality, rather than your dog themselves. If your dog loves nothing more than lying in a comfy spot most of the day or couldn’t think of anything better than chasing a ball around a field, catch them then!
9. Know your limits
You know what your dog likes and dislikes. While those photos of dogs in fancy dress, sunglasses, or a woolly hat are adorable, if you know that your dog wouldn’t be up for getting dressed up – don’t do it. The best pictures will always be when your four-legged friend is at their most comfortable.
10. A good background is everything
When capturing any kind of photo, a good background is one of the most important factors to take into consideration. If you want to capture your dog’s personality, take them to their favourite park or field if you're after an outdoor shot. If you’re inside, surround them with some of their favourite toys or catch them in their most-loved spot – whether it be in their bed, or on the settee in front of the TV.