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Want to brush up on your photography skills while you are staying at home? There’s never been a better time to learn to take better photos of your pup! I have years and years of experience in both pet and people photography. From taking photos of my cats & dogs growing up to taking photos of my sweet Sassy girl now to taking photos of families for profit! I’m sharing all my best tips on pet photography today!

Get down on their level.

Photos from above are fine, but check out the difference in angle on these shots. The one where I got down on Sassy’s level is definitely better than the other one from above. It looks much more natural.

Focus on your dog’s eyes.

If you are using a smartphone (I have an iPhone 8), be sure to tap your pets eyes so that they are the focus. Using portrait mode on iPhone is a great option also! Many of the photos I’ve taken on there look like I’ve taken them with my DSLR camera.

If you are using a camera, focus on your pup’s eyes before you hit the capture button.

Engage your pup with treats and squeakers.

Need your pup to look at you? Use a squeaker toy or one of their favorite toys or treats that they recognize to get your dog’s attention. Sassy is super camera shy. She can tell when I’m taking photos. I have to do this all the time so she will actually look at my phone. She does better with my camera because I use it less and she’s more interested in what that gadget is. 🙂

Get excess energy out.

Take your pooch in the backyard and get those zoomies out. Running out energy equals getting a calmer pup which makes for better photos. Also, panting naturally looks like smiling so it makes it look as though you are capturing a big smile from him or her.

Limit distractions.

Turn off distracting tv, close blinds if you are indoors, and make sure you are the only person around for your dog to look at. Distractions = a recipe for photos where your pup isn’t looking at you.

Use a great background.

Limit distraction in the photo by using a solid colored background or a neutral background. A fence or wall behind your pup, your pup posing on your neutral colored couch, and backgrounds that are primarily green (grass, etc.) are all great ways to get a background that isn’t too busy and takes away from your cute dog.

Use natural lighting.

Natural lighting is best for pet photos. It brings out their eyes and coats perfectly. Observe the lighting in your house and around your house during different times of day to find the right time to take photos. Direct sunlight is never your friend. And you can always depend on the “golden hour” to provide just the right lighting.

Take advantage of burst modes.

Use your burst mode on your phone or camera and hold down the capture button. You will likely get your perfect shot in a burst and it usually isn’t the first or last photo. 

Be patient.

Above all, have patience with your pet. They take cues from you. If you are getting frustrated, they will get worked up. Once your pet has practiced taking photos with you, you’ll learn about their behavior so you can take better photos as well. You’ll learn what works and what doesn’t work, which, over time, will give you great shots!

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