Take happy pooch pics like a pro

July 14, 2014 at 5:36 am

Love to take some great shots of your beloved pooch to show your friends and family? These tricks and tips will help you start snapping like a pro.

It’s easy! Once you’ve mastered the on/off and auto switch, today’s good quality cameras in mobile phones and point-and-shoots can help you snap ‘OK’ shots without a lot of experience or technical knowledge. However, with a few simple tricks of the trade you can turn those ‘OK’ shots into ‘great’ ones.


There are plenty of places to practice your skills with dog photography. Start with a location familiar to your pet like your house, backyard or local park. No matter where you are, the number one tip of pet photography is patience! Taking your time when you take photos means you end up with a relaxed subject, who is more likely to do the poses and expressions you know and love. Remember your pets have feelings too and you can’t force or rush them to do what you want. Learn as much as you can about your pet’s behaviour and habits, and spend time with them before you start snapping.

Do they tilt their head when you make a certain sound? Do they do tricks on command? If so, these are fabulous things to capture with your camera.

Work at their pace to ensure they feel comfortable, safe and happy. If you have their favourite toys and treats on hand you can increase the chances of your pet enjoying their photography session and create lots of interaction with you, meaning more wonderful to catch in a photo.

If things are not going the way you’d like, put the session off for another time when your pet is feeling more playful. It’s worth it! Happy dogs make the best photos.


Think about what you want to shoot and why that angle or scene might be interesting. Don’t rely on your camera to do all the work. It is just a tool and the photographer is the storyteller. Do you want to do a close up? Full body shot? Have lots of background in the picture? These are all things to consider and then experiment with. Taking lots of photos is easy with a digital camera, so you can keep trying until you get the look or feel of a shot you like.


Think about your pet’s point of view. Pets are closer to the ground than we are, so think about getting down to their level. By crouching on your knees or lying on the ground you suddenly see things from their perspective. Take photos from their eye level to create fun and interesting angles that add a whole new dimension to your photography. You can even sit them up on a bench to get them off the ground, which allows you to aim for creative angles.


Wait your pooch is asleep and take an ‘up close’ shot from their height. Move back for a wider angle shot or move around to shoot from a different side. If your dog is feeling playful, throw a ball, lie down and take shots as he or she runs it back to you.


Sometimes the most interesting images are off-centre. Think about trying different angles and other effective ways of framing your pet within the borders of the picture. Perhaps focus on the nose or the feet for an interesting perspective, or angle the horizon so it’s not in the middle of the frame.


Think about your background and the objects that surround your subject.

  • Interesting elements that fill the whole picture can make a great shot
  • Unwanted objects or clutter can be distracting.

Aim to shoot in front of uniformly coloured backgrounds or objects you’ve planned to be in the shot. Make sure things like poles, chairs or brightly coloured objects positioned directly behind your subject do not ruin the shot.


Take lots of photos. One of the best things about digital photography is that you can take as many shots as you like at no cost and delete the ones you don’t want later. While you may not want to take loads of photos of the same thing, you can experiment with lots of different shots, subjects and styles and watch your photography skills improve.


Try new things and don’t give up! It’s OK if you don’t get the perfect picture the first, second or third time. Keep trying until you are happy.

Remember to have fun. Taking pictures is a great way to express yourself, enjoy it!