As some of you may know, Chloe and I tend to get a bit snap-happy where our doggy guests are concerned. We’ve spent plenty of time getting great shots of our canine pals (and some not-so-great shots of blurs that kind of resemble a dog…) In this post, we share some photography ‘Do’s and Dont’s’ for capturing your doggy at their best.
Like most things, there are easier ways to photograph your pet, and ways to make things more difficult for yourself. I don’t know about you, but I’m all for making life easy, so we’ll start there:
Doggy Photography Do’s
Get your dog comfortable with the camera
First and foremost, it is much easier when your dog isn’t scared of the gadget you’re using to take photos with (or in some cases, trying to chew it thinking it’s a treat…) Let’s be honest, you don’t want a photo of your dog looking scared, or the inside of their mouth as they try to eat your camera/phone.
Get them used to you holding your camera whilst you make a fuss of them. Give them a few treats to help them see the camera as a nice thing. Have some practice sessions; take a few quick photos, praising/treating them when they stay still or give you a good shot. They’ll be pro-posers like these boys in no time…
You know your dog best. There will be something they just can’t resist. Stealing socks? Drinking out of the toilet? Rolling in leaves? A small pile of dog treats left mysteriously unattended in the middle of the living room?
Get creative and you’ll find something too tempting for your pup to pass up. Once they’re engrossed in whatever trap you’ve laid for them it’s lights, camera, action!
Give us a smile!
This one works every time. Take Fido for a quick walk or play a few rounds of fetch. Make sure you get them good and excited. Direct them back to where you want your photo (bonus points for setting a trap!) By now, your little buddy should be panting up a storm, tongue dangling in the breeze with a particularly soppy look. Get snapping! (Don’t forget the water bowl too!)
If you just can’t get them to sit still long enough for that perfect snap, it’s time to initiate stealth-mode. Lose the shoes and sneak up whilst they’re sleeping. If you can catch them snuggled in a bed, on the sofa or under a blanket, all the better!
If you pull it off, fantastic; you’ll have a sleepy shot worthy of framing. If not, at least you’ll capture the expression as your buddy realises they’re busted!
It may seem like a lot of effort, but trust me – it’s worth it. Get down on the floor, at your dog’s level. This enables different shots due to the angle, whilst also helping to put your dog in a more playful and cheeky mood (always good for capturing moments of mischief!)
When all else fails, go for the treats and/or toys. Want Rex to keep his eyes on the camera? Get something worth watching! Whether a tempting treat or their favourite toy, hold it next to the lens. You’ll get a great shot of your pooch looking attentively at the camera every time.
If you’re a gadget fan, you might enjoy using a pet selfie-stick (oh yes!) They work wonders if your dog loves a tennis ball
Maysie’s recommends: “Smart phone attachment selfie stick for pet”
If your dog is too small for tennis balls, or they just aren’t their thing, try taping a treat on your camera/phone, just under the lens. Simple, but effective!
Doggy Photography Don’ts
I’m not such a huge fan of telling people not to do things, so here’s just a few simple pointers to keep the photo experience fun and safe for your doggy pal:
1 – Don’t use too much flash. It can stress out our canine friends.
2 – Don’t spend ages taking photos. Get a few good snaps and then let them have a break for some play/treats.
3 – Don’t make them do things they don’t like. If Fluffy doesn’t do outfits, don’t put them on her. If Bud doesn’t like puddles, don’t go for a splashy action shot. It’ll only stress them out, the photo will be lousy and show a miserable dog anyway.
So there you have it! All you need to be able to get some cracking pics of your pooch!
If you’d like to share any tips of your own, or have any questions, please use the comments section below. Feel free to send us your favourite doggy snaps – we’re always keen to see a happy canine! If you have a particular question or theme you’d like to see covered in another blog post – do let us know.
– Dave @ Maysie’s Pet Care