Hey guys! In this Instructable I'm going to show you how to take great photos of your dog! Most of the stuff in this Instructable will work for other pets too. We will go over some basics, like shutter speed, how to get your dog's attention, posing, lighting, and stuff like that. I hope you enjoy this Instructable and it helps you take good pictures of your pets!
Step 1: Shutter Speed
Shutter speed is important for action shots. The shutter speed determines how long the shutter is open for, and how much light hits the sensor. You will need to set a fast shutter speed to reduce movement blur. 1/1000 of a second should work, depending on how fast your dog is. If you're photographing your dog sitting still, 1/125 of a second should be fine.
Step 2: Lighting
Lighting is a key factor in photography. You can be creative with it and get a great photo, or it can ruin your photo. Thee are several options you have when it comes to lighting, and I'll list a few of them here.
Silhouettes (which I'm relying on autocorrect to spell) make interesting photos if you do them right. Silhouetting a dog in front of a sunset makes a beautiful photo.
Backlighting is a fun option too, either by putting the sun behind your subject in a way that it peeks out behind them, or in a way that it lights up the edges of the dog.
* Even lighting
This type of lighting is most common on a cloudy day when the sun is hidden behind a cloud, or indoors. This can be good for a basic photo shoot, but doesn't really leave too much room to be creative since there are no shadows.
* Sun in the dog's face
You get lots of wiggle room with this one, as it lets you play with shadows. It lights up a portion of the dog, and hides other parts in shadow.
Don't be afraid to play around with the type of lighting you have, as you can get some pretty cool photos that way!
Step 3: Personality Counts
Another important thing to include in your photos is the dog's personality. If your dog is obsessed with tennis balls, go outside with a few (don't forget your camera!) and play with him! Natural behavior makes natural-looking photos. Get to know the dog you're photographing, and capture some of his personality in your pictures. The owners will thank you for it.
Step 4: Look This Way!
Sometimes getting a dog's attention is hard. There are so many better things to sniff than a camera! Just look at that squirrel! Anyway, here are a few simple ways of getting the dog's attention.
*Call her name
This is pretty simple, but only works for a second until the dog gets bored and finds something more interesting to look at.
If you have a food-driven dog, bringing along a few treats can be helpful. Put one as close as possible to the lens without it getting in the shot, and voilà! She looks strait at the camera!
This is what works best for me. Grab one of the dog's favorite squeaky toys, squeak it and as soon as she looks at you, press the shutter.
Step 5: Background
Something else to think about when photographing dogs is the background. You will probably want something interesting, but make sure it's not too distracting from the image. Setting up an actual studio is an option, with a solid color cloth in the background, but I prefer going outdoors. You could go to a field, go for a hike in the woods, or just go in your backyard.
Step 6: Props
Feel free to use props in your pet photography too! If a dog looks extremely cute carrying around his teddy bear, you should certainly try to include that in your photo. Tennis balls, stuffed animals, owners, and toys are great examples. I know other dogs aren't really props, but you can get some nice shots of dogs playing together too.
Step 7: You're Done!
I hope you enjoyed this Instructable! Have fun photographing your dogs! Feel free to check out my other Instructable, "How to Clicker Train Your Dog".
Thank you for reading!