Introduction: How to Take Amazing Dog Photos

About: Your local sugar loving teenager.

Let's face it: your dog is the cutest being on the planet. Everything it does is adorable, and you want to save this adorableness for all of eternity. Sadly, the dog won't cooperate. It has no clue what you're doing, and won't stand still! ARGH! But there is a way to take quality photos.

In this instructable, I will be sharing some tips and tricks on how to make your dog look as good in photos as it does in real life. Also, I will share lots of photos of my dog, Rogo.

Step 1: You Will Need:

  • A camera. I will get into the best settings later.
  • Basic photography knowledge. I suggest looking at audreyobscura's photography class.
  • A dog or a cat. This is mostly about dogs though.
  • Treats.

Step 2: Getting Your Camera Ready.

Dogs are constantly in action. Because of this, your camera needs to be at a high shutter speed. The only issue with a high shutter speed is that it doesn't take in as much light. To combat this, I normally take photos outside. This is better for the doggo anyways.

Now, if you are not super experienced in photography and don't know how to change the shutter speed, your camera might have an action or sports mode. This basically does what I was talking about without all the work. Or use a smartphone. Those take pretty good photos too.

Step 3: Buttering Up Your Dog.

Before a photo shoot, I suggest walking your dog or just giving it some exercise. This makes them less likely to goof off and get bored, and it makes them more likely to smile. Get some treats ready. You will want them.

Step 4: Photo Time!

Regular photography rules apply to taking photos of doggos.

  • First of all, take lots of photos. You never know when one will be good or one will be bad. Sometimes you can capture a perfect moment. I once took one of my dog licking his nose and it was only there because I got lucky on the timing.
  • If you want your dog to look at you, use the treats. Treats have the bonus of making the dog behave, look at you, and even perform tricks.
  • Get down to your dog's level. If you take everything from human level, the photos won't capture all the facial expressions, and you can't get one of those nose close-ups.
  • A big thing with dog photography is that you don't want to force the dog too much. Yes, your dog would look great with his paws on the table looking at the food, but they might not want to do that. Do not put too much pressure. Sometimes I just follow my dog around the backyard with a camera, taking photos of everything he does. It still looks cute.

Step 5: Advanced Posing

Okay, you've got some great photos of your dog, but you really want a photo of your dog wear a chef's hat and sniffing a cupcake. You've been waving treats around and the dog won't focus! Yes, the dog doesn't want to do it, but you really really want to do it! Here's what to do:

  • Get a friend. One person takes photos, the other one makes sure the dog behaves.
  • Stick treats underneath/in things. Instead of just holding them, put treats in a bush or underneath a container. Since dogs have a better sense of smell than us, they will want to sniff out whatever it is and their full attention will be pointed at what you want for a bit.
  • Hold things in place. That photo with the pirate hat? There's a string in the back attaching the hat to my dog's collar, you just can't see it.
  • Be patient. If you really want a photo but your dog really doesn't, take a break and come back later. You'll get a photo eventually.
  • This works better if your dog can follow basic commands. We're talking sitting, staying, maybe even lying down. I have my dog trained to grab things out of my hand. Poses are easy when your dog know what position to be in.

Step 6: Editing.

Not all photos are perfect. I normally edit a lot of the ones I take indoors by upping the exposure a bit. The editor I used was the default one that came with my computer, but you can use other ones like Adobe Photoshop. A lot of this depends on your editor of choice. Learning even the basic ropes of one will really improve your photos.

Step 7: Use!

Okay, now you have all these super awesome dog photos, but what will you do with them? Here are my suggestions:

  • Frame it! That way you can see your dog pretty much every day.
  • Create an Instagram account. Top Instagram pets can get thousands of dollars per sponsored post. Here's my dog's account @rogodog.
  • Give the photos out to your family. My mom does that with her children so people can see how we've grown. Dogs are like children.
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