Taking photographs of your dog

by Darren Jamieson on November 24, 2009

We all think that our dogs are natural posers. The truth is that most dogs do love to pose; the only problem is that when the camera comes out they tend to stop posing and run away, almost as if they ‘know’ that you want to take a photograph of them.

Dogs aren’t like children, as children understand that when a photo is taken, they will be able to see it later, so they will pose (at least for a short while). Dogs are a law unto themselves, and trying to photograph them can seem like you’re photographing wildlife.

In a sense, you are.

It is possible to take great photographs of dogs though; you just need to know the tops tips for creative photography where dogs are concerned.

1 – No Surprises

The first tip is to let your dog get used to the idea of the camera. There’s not point waiting for your dog to strike that all important pose, before reaching for your camera. Your dog will know that you’re up to something, and will probably think it involves food or play. The pose will be ruined.

Have your camera with you for a short while before you want to take the photos, that way your dog won’t be surprised when you begin snapping away.

2 – Timing is everything

As with all creative photography, timing is key. This especially applies to dogs. If you want to take photos of your dog relaxing in a cute slumber, take him for a walk first. If you want him active and playful, take your photos before his walk.

3 – Coverage

Even the best fashion photographers working with professional models take several photos for every pose. Don’t expect to capture that perfect photograph of your dog in one shot. Your dog may blink, stick his tongue out, look away or you may have camera shake. Take lots of photos. You’ll stand a much better chance of capturing that one, all important, photograph.

4 – Sink to their level

Unless you’re a small child and your dog is a Great Dane, the chances are that you’re taller than your dog. Photographs from above won’t have that great quality that you’re looking for, so get down to your dog’s level. If they’re sprawled out on the floor, you should get down on the floor as well. Try to have the camera level with them.

5 – Get up close and personal

There’s nothing worse than thinking you’ve captured the perfect shot, only to find that your dog is a spec in the middle of the picture. Your dog’s face is full of expression, so get close to them and take photographs that fill the frame with your dog. You want to capture their eyes, their tongue and feel the wetness from their nose.

These are just a few tips for creative photography with your dog. If you have any more ideas, let us know here.

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