How to take brilliant pictures of your dog | TeamDogs

How to take brilliant pictures of your dog

Two photographers share their tips


Posted 7 months ago ago

Whether it’s on your camera or mobile phone, capturing the perfect photo means more than simply snapping the best angle. From keeping you dog still to the best camera setting, our experts gave their advice on photographing your four-legged friends.

Colin’s top five tips

Colin, based in Merseyside, has been a photographer for 31 years with 25 years at the Liverpool Echo. In that time he has covered major news and sporting events with his career highlight being awarded the UK Regional Photographer of the Year in both The Picture Editors’ Awards and UK Regional Press Awards.

1.Know your dog

You know what brings out the best in your pet so look to photograph their expressions and manners to bring that image to life. Capture a cherished moment and show off their fun loving personalities.

2.Think good lighting and location

Make use of natural light in the great outdoors and shoot at your favourite beauty spot so it’s special to you and your dog. Get creative at a natural landmark near you for a magical memory.

3.Patience is key in keeping your dog relaxed and alert

Grab their attention, wait for a moment and if needed reward them with their favourite treat. Sometimes playing the waiting game reaps rewards so keep your camera to your eye at all times to capture that spontaneous reaction.

4.It’s a dog’s world...

Experiment and try different perspectives while taking pictures. Why not shoot on their level to get up close and personal to their eyes on the world. The use of a telephoto lens makes wonderful action shots and makes a simple portrait of your dog look stunning.

5.Remember photography basics

With active and energetic dogs, take pictures at a faster shutter speed to freeze the action for that perfect action shot. Think about your composition, perspective and beware of the backgrounds when taking your photographs to capture that stand out shot.

Martine’s top five tips

Martine has specialised in everything from newborn babies and animals to sports and media. She has travelled the world photographing her way around. She is also the only female paparazzi in Essex, so when you see your favourite Essex celebrities there’s a good chance she’s stood in the rain or cold to find them for you.

1.Always think about the final image

A few minutes looking at both your background and your camera settings will make a huge difference to the final image. 

2.Take a photo of the backdrop before you get your dog ready

Look at the image. Are there bins or rubbish in the background? If the shoot is inside, are there sun rays hitting the wall or shadows? Small things can ruin an image. 

3.Sellotape a dog treat to your camera 

When I want my dog’s attention I get his favourite treat and I give him one, then I put one on some clear sellotape and stick it to the camera! I let the dog see it and sniff the camera and then move into position – your dog will focus on your camera intently with an eager face waiting to be snapped. 

4.Stay level with your dog

All too often we stand up and point our camera at our dog. However you will only get the top of your dog rather than his or her features. If you want to capture floppy ears and grinning face then crouch down and take your image face on.

5.Raise the shutter speed

Unless your dog is the most docile dog in the world you will only get a few seconds to get that image that you want, so keep your shutter speed high. You can amend your ISO to compensate for the reduction in light, but without that high shutter speed you will get blurry photos. Understand the importance of aperture. If you would like just your dog’s face to be in focus and a soft blur around them then you should look at F2.8 to F3.5.

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