How To Take Great Photos Of Your Dog

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Happy First Day of Spring!

While browsing at the library recently, I came across PhoDOGraphy: How to Get Great Pictures of Your Dog and I immediately grabbed it and checked it out. Like most dog owners, I am obsessed with my dog and his face takes up 90% of my camera roll, so this book is quite topical for me personally.

But let me back up: I don’t think Spencer has ever been formally introduced here on Words for Everything, despite the fact that he has made more than a few cameos. Since I know he would prefer a formal introduction, here you go:

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Spencer T. Turner

Born: December 3, 2008
Breed: Rat Terrier
Temperament: Loving, Loyal, & Endless Energy
Likes: Walks, Toys, To Eat Everything, and To Be Told He’s Beautiful
Dislikes: Being Picked Up, The Rain, Being Ignored

Spencer is a hunk with low-maintenance fur and no bad angles, so obviously you would think he’s incredibly photogenic no matter what, right? Wrong. See for yourself:

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This is how the majority of our photoshoots end up: with him noticing something nearby (like a cozy blanket) and nibbling on it. Like most dogs, he just can’t sit still for long, and like most terriers, his energy is off the walls and if he’s not eating something he’s barking about wanting to be eating something.

In PhoDography, Kim Levin suggests some good tips for photographing your dog, such as: going outside

  • focusing on one specific body part of the dog (feet, nose, ears)
  • capturing their profile or their entire body
  • the infamous head tilt

I think Spencer and I have pretty much mastered all of these categories, don’t you?

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IMG_0586IMG_0669I have found that letting your dog exist on their own is the key to getting good pictures. They’re dogs, right? They will do cute things on their own regardless of whether or not you’re even in the room.

With Spencer, I wait and watch as he does his thing and oftentimes he will just look over at me with so much love in his eyes and that’s when I snap the picture.

You know your dog best, and chances are you’ll know which parts of his/her personality will shine through and that can be captured easily.

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You could probably get more professional looking shots with a Big Expensive Digital Camera but I have found that with the right lighting you can get pretty decent shots with your iPhone.

Don’t ever force your dog to do something unnatural just for the sake of a photo. All jokes aside, this is not cool to do, ever. Like I said, let them do their thing and give them their space. The right moment will present itself to you.

What About You?

What are your best tips for taking photos of animals? Tell me in the comments!

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