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Tips to Take Great Pictures With Your Dog!

Written by Adaptil, published on 1 February 2021

Smile, camera, action! Are you hoping to take some perfect pictures with your pooch? Well, perhaps your dog won’t smile and pose on demand, but there are many ways that you can capture your pet’s beautiful character, with a little patience and a few tips!

It has been said that dogs can smile, and when they open their mouths and pull back their lips, letting their tongues lap over their teeth, it certainly looks like a big grin, and it often occurs when their tails are wagging and they appear happy - so why not call it a smile!  

But you don’t always need a smile to take a good photo of your dog!  

Tips to Take Great Pictures With Your Dog

Know your dog!

All dogs have different personalities, so try to capture this in your photos. Get to know their body language; think about where and when they look most relaxed - is it lying in their safe space, is it exploring the garden or is it lying beside you on the sofa with their head on your lap?

How do they enjoy their exercise? Do they like chasing a ball or frisbee, or do they love playing with other dogs in the park or are they in doggie heaven when they are playing with their food puzzle?

Some toy dog breeds, like a Bichon Frise or a Maltese, might lend themselves to being decorated with ribbons and bows, but some dogs get stressed and uncomfortable with this, so it’s probably best to focus on capturing their natural beauty.

Knowing your dog’s frame of mind, when they are in their happy place, and how they are going to behave in certain situations, will help you take some magical photos at the right time.

Be prepared, camera always at the ready!

These days it’s easier than ever to take good photos;  you don’t always need a swish camera, as most mobile phones have excellent camera facilities where you can take anything from still shots, to slow motion pictures, panoramic views or even time-lapse photos.

  • Your pooch doesn’t need to be posing and looking directly at you.  In fact, taking a photo in their natural pose, perhaps sleeping or pricking up their ears when they are alerted to a noise, will probably catch their character better.
  • Try time-lapse video;  taking a short time-lapse video of your dog playing or maybe sniffing around looking for a treat can get some amusing results.
  • Taking a selfie with your best friend will undoubtedly give you a shot that you want to frame and put on your desk!
  • Snapping photos whilst they are playing can give you some great action shots too.  Take lots of photos and you will be sure to get that ‘special’ one!
  • If you want to take photos in a specific pose, like sitting or begging, choose a time of day when you know your dog will be less active. Get someone else to help by standing beside you calling their name or offering a treat to get their attention.
  • Always praise and reward with a nice treat - otherwise they won’t be so co-operative the next time.

Think about what shot you want

Photos outside:

Do you want an ‘all action’ shot, a closeup of your dog’s lovely face, or one of them in their favourite spot?

If you’re taking a closeup, photos taken at the same level as your dog will have more impact, so make sure your lens is at your dog’s eye level.

If it’s an all action shot you want, think about the lighting too. An overcast day is better, but if it is a bright day, try to take photos later when the sun is lower, or head for shade where you won’t get shadows. Keep the sun behind you if possible.

To keep your dog as the focal point in the picture, make sure the background is uncluttered - for example, if you’re in a field, take the shot using the grass as the background, rather than lots of trees behind - but use the surroundings to frame and complement your dog.

If you are planning to drive to a particular location to take a photo with your dog, ADAPTIL Transport can help your pooch stay calm and confident throughout the journey.  

Photos inside:

If you’re taking photos indoors during the day, get as much natural light into the room as possible.  Flashlight can unsettle dogs, but if you need to use it because there’s not enough natural light, try to get your dog used to the flashes first by taking a few around the room, before directing the camera at them.

When doing a close up shot of your dog’s head and face, make sure you focus your camera on his eyes - or you may get a lovely shot of his nose and his eyes will be out of focus!

Have fun!

You are more likely to get that great shot if you are both having fun.  Give them lots of praise and make a fuss of them, and of course have some lovely treats to hand to reward them for good behaviour!

Try and do your photoshoot away from doggie distractions, but make sure you are in a safe place, especially if they are off the lead.

You may want to consider a little help from ADAPTIL! An ADAPTIL Calm diffuser plugged into the room where you want to take photos can help your dog stay calm and adapt to unusual situations. An ADAPTIL Calm On-the-go-Collar will also help them adapt to different situations, like a photoshoot, when outdoors. 

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