So you’re a proud pet parent that subconsciously jumps at any chance to show off your perfect pooch (us too). Phone or camera in hand, we love catching all of the moments where our fur friends show off their immeasurable cuteness. Here are 10 tips for how to bring out the photogenic flair in your pup’s portrait and show off how posh they really are.
Familiarize Yourself with Your Equipment.
Whether you’re using your camera phone, a little point and shoot, or something with fancy lenses, knowing what you’re working with -before- you’re trying to capture that perfect moment can make all of the difference. Does your phone have settings for great action shots, or quick lighting settings for indoor versus outdoor photos, focus shortcuts for blurring a background. You know, figure out what bells and whistles you have going on. Familiarity with the settings and a working knowledge of your camera’s options and features will help you make split second decisions on how to capture great candids, or frame that ideal pooch portrait.
Most of us don’t shoot film anymore, so don’t be afraid to take a ton of shots so you can pick out the very best one. Sometimes those wiggle worms know just when you’re about to take a shot, so maybe that perfect moment is captured after a few clicks. If your camera has a “burst shot” or “rapid capture” setting that takes several pictures in a row for just this sort of reason. This is also a great way to snag pictures of kids, or bypass the blurry movement that ruins an otherwise great picture. If storing lots of pictures is an issue, just delete the ones that you don’t absolutely love and just keep the best ones. Plus, we’re totally giving you permission to have a kazillion pictures of your dog. Not that you needed permission, but hey, now you have a reason to back up your photo hording.
Watch your pet. You know them better than anyone. If you see them doing something photogenic you’ll want a picture. You can’t always have your phone out poised at all times to capture any moment (our battery life alone would just be a disaster). You can keep their habits in mind, though and be at the ready and anticipate some of those good opportunities. Getting a burst of pictures while they are playing can collect some options to pick from. When they come home from daycare and their feeling mellow and cuddly after their day full of playing hard with their pals you can probably expect to get some good pictures of them chilling out and looking unfathomably adorable.
Get Their Attention
Squeaky toys, a training command, a treat, or any number of techniques can come in handy to grab your pup’s attention. Once you have them engaged, some really great photos can follow. Think about what really gets your dog’s attention and use it as your secret weapon to get them to focus on you.
Get in there
Capture great angles and make your photos more unique and dynamic by getting down on your dog’s level. Instead of shooting from up above them always, try getting on the same plane as your pet or considering changing up the camera perspective to mix it up and make your images stand out.
Considering the background can really take a photo to the next level. If the background distracts from the adorable, lovable, heart warming fur ball that is the real star of the photo, that can be a real bummer.
Use the Buddy System
If you have help, sometimes it is easier to get your dog to focus where you want them to. Then you can get in there and grab the best shot, while you do your own focusing on the camera and grabbing your goal pictures. Your buddy can use the squeaky toy, or whatever trick you go for to get their attention and you can really get in there and find the best angles without your pup getting distracted as much by what you are doing.
Make it fun
Engaging a dog’s play drive before getting them to focus makes the activity more fun for both of you, and can result in that precious pup-smile that makes our hearts melt.
Touch it up
Pick your favorite method to crop, touch up the light balance and contrast, and even add a filter if that’s your thing. A little post-processing can make a good photo amazing.
Try new things and get creative with your photos. In the age of technology, it’s pretty easy to just take loads of photos and try out different angles and effects and tactics to really break the cycle of the “10 feet across the room, looking down over the dog, with the flash on” picture we’ve all seen a billion and one times. There’s nothing wrong with that kind of picture. A cute dog in a photo is always worth looking at, but it’s certainly more fun to get creative with it. Especially since you know you want to show off all of those pictures of your four legged babies.