How To Take Better Photos Of Your Dog: Unleashing the Master Photographer in You

How To Take Better Photos Of Your Dog: Unleashing the Master Photographer in You

Have you ever asked yourself "How do I take pictures of my dog that stand out?". In this article we'll go over our favorite tips and tricks to help your photos stand out from the pack.

Let's face it, our dogs are more than just pets, they're family and what better way to show off our furry family members than with stunning photos? Whether you're positing your dog pics on the 'gram or hanging frames on your wall, as any dog parent knows, getting the perfect shot of our pups can be a bit of a challenge. Don't worry, at BigPawShop.ca, we take lots of dog pics and we got you! with a few simple tips, you'll be taking Instagram-worthy photos of your BFF (best furry friend) in no time.

First things first, let's talk about camera settings. Whether you're using a fancy DSLR or just your trusty smartphone, it's important to understand the different modes and settings available to you. For example, using a fast shutter speed will help freeze all that wagging tail action and prevent blur, while a wide aperture will create a shallow depth of field and make your dog stand out from the background like a supermodel on a runway. There are some great (and free) resources available from dog photographer like Jessica McGovern over at That Photography Spot to help demonstrate a shot like this in action!

a photo of Gwen the Malinois running toward a frisbee thrown by her dog-mom

Now, let's get down to your dog's level. This will give you a unique perspective and make your photos more interesting. Plus, getting down on the ground also allows you to capture your dog's expressions and details more clearly. Trust us, your followers will be able to see the difference between a photo taken from above and one taken from eye level. Here's an example of an eye level shot vs a "snapshot" photo taken from above. This isn't a golden rule but more of a tip to try and see if it works for you! 

a photo comparing an eye level photograph vs an awkward top down image of a dog

Lighting is key for great pet photography, and natural light is always the best option. One of the best times to take photos of your dog is during the golden hour, which is the period of time just after sunrise and just before sunset. During this time, the light is soft, warm and has a nice golden color that will make your dog's fur look beautiful and will add a nice "glow" to the overall image. Additionally, the low angle of the sun during the golden hour can create interesting shadows and highlights on your dog's fur and face, giving depth and dimension to the image.

Another benefit of shooting during the golden hour is that you can capture sun flares in your images. Sun flares are created when sunlight is directly hitting the lens of the camera, creating an effect that can add a unique and creative touch to your photos. To achieve this effect, you will want to position your dog so that the sun is behind them or just outside the frame of your shot. You can also use different lens filters or post-processing techniques to enhance the sun flares.

Here's an image of our Branch Manager, Lucky running in the park at sunset for an example of that:
BigPawShop's Lucky running in the park at sunset

Another great tip is to capture your dog in motion. Whether they're running, playing, or just wagging their tail, motion adds energy and personality to your photos. Try to anticipate when your dog is about to do something interesting and press the shutter button at the right moment. Think of it as a game of "Where's Waldo?" but with your dog as the star. 

Here's a shot of Barry (trying) to run after the camera! Isn't he just adorable?
a photo of Barry the beagle running toward the camera

Now, let's talk about posing. It's not just humans who can strike a pose, dogs can too! Try to position your dog in a way that highlights their best features and makes them look their best. For example, if your dog has a beautiful coat, position them so that the light hits it just right. Or if your dog has a specific trick or feature you want to showcase, like a cute overbite or a talent for catching frisbees, make sure to capture that in the shot.

This photo of Lucky was featured on Pinterest's "Today tab" for striking a pose!

an image of Lucky striking a pose

When it comes to editing, there are a ton of options out there, from basic editing apps on your phone to more advanced software like Lightroom or Photoshop. These programs give you more control over how your photos look and can help you fix common problems like red-eye, glare, or poor lighting. Just remember, with great power comes great responsibility. Don't go overboard with the editing, you want to make sure your dog still looks like your dog.

Lastly, don't be afraid to get creative, use props or a fun collar to emphasize something unique about your dog. Don't be afraid to play with angles and perspectives, and experiment with different editing techniques. The more you play around with your photos, the better they will become. And remember, the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the process of capturing the unique bond between you and your furry best friend.

Remember these tips the next time you're out taking photos of your pup
and feel free to tag us on Instagram, we love seeing our communities dog pics! 


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