If one thing is sure, trying to get the perfect picture of your pup is much more complicated than taking photos of other people. They can quickly become distracted, avoid looking at the camera, and have trouble sitting still. But it would be a crime not to try and capture your dog’s unique personality that you know and love.
To help you excel at dog portrait photography, we’ve compiled a few practical tips and tricks.
Pick the right time
Expecting your dog to sit still for its “close-up” right after playing with its favorite toys or doing the zoomies is an impossible task. Because dogs are often filled with energy, it’s essential to catch them when they are relaxed or sleepy.
For example, grab your dog for a quick photography session when they’ve woken up or after a long hike. When a dog is tired, it’s much easier to have them hold certain positions. But if you want a wild and dynamic action shot, the best time to initiate a photoshoot is when they feel the most energetic.
Carefully plan the photography session
Since dogs are unpredictable, thoroughly planning the photoshoot will increase your chances of getting “the shot.” Before grabbing your furry model, conceptualize a theme and jot down the specific poses you want to capture so that you don’t forget at the moment.
Also, collect some treats that will bring out their excitement and expressions and any props you want your pup to pose with.
Pick a comfortable spot
This is a crucial tip, especially if your dog can become anxious when exposed to new things or places. If your pup is anxious or distracted, you won’t be capturing its true personality. Instead, you’ll be taking photos of a frightened dog that’s ready to go home. For the best dog portraits, head to your backyard or a nearby park that’s familiar to them.
Think about shutter speeds
Because dogs move around so much, it’s wise to use a camera that offers fast shutter speeds or pet mode. Many digital cameras feature pet mode, but DSLR and mirrorless cameras are the best options for pet photography. Depending on your camera, there might also be a setting that detects animal faces.
But a fast shutter speed or burst mode will allow you to capture a range of poses without moving your finger from the shutter button. You’ll have a ridiculous amount of cute photos to choose from.
Try lots of different angles
Whether you’re getting down to their level, shooting them from the side, or above, it’s a great idea to explore all possible angles. Because most pictures of dogs are taken from above, a photo taken from their level can capture a whole new side of your dog.
Reward your pet throughout the shoot
Most models get paid, so it’s only fair that you pay your furry model—in tasty treats. By rewarding your dog, they will be much more likely to cooperate. So give them treats throughout the shoot, as it will help them stay focused and engaged.