Photographing your dog – five top tips

Everyone loves fab pictures of their favourite dogs. People keep asking us for our top tips for photographing their dogs so we thought it would make a good blog post.

1. Make it fun

Dogs are like children. They get bored quickly and don’t like being bossed about. If you make the session into a game your pet will enjoy it and you’ll get the photos. Have plenty treats too. Dogs love rewards and if they know there’s a treat coming that helps. A small squeaky toy is ideal for attracting attention. Keep it in your pocket and give it a squeeze (but not too often). Your dog will usually look at you with an inquisitive look and you can snap it straightaway.

Puppy photography by Andrew Collier Photography A border collie puppy leaps out of her kennel.

2. Get down to your dog’s eye level

If you get down to your dog’s eye level you’ll get great eye contact and the dog in the photo will look back at the person viewing it. You’ll probably get dirty but it’ll be worth it. And you might get sat on and licked but that’s all part of the game!

A boxer dog looks over the gateTeddy the boxer peers over the gate to see who’s calling.

3. Grooming and brushing

Just like humans, dogs need a bit of need a bit of a make over to get the looking at their best. Matter in the corners of the eyes should be cleaned off. A clean, shiny, well brushed coat always looks better. So if your dog tends to matted fur or is a breed that needs regular clipping it’s best to take the photos a few days after a visit to the groomer.

Pet sessions with small dogs using props that are readily availablePet sessions with small dogs using props that are readily available

4. Keep things moving

Don’t spend too long trying to take each shot. If you don’t get what you straightaway move on to something else and come back to it later. So, if you a picture of your dog sitting and looking into the camera and he isn’t interested then try some actions shots with a ball or a favourite toy. Get a friend or family member to help out so you can get them to stand away from the camera and throw a ball back to you. The dog will usually run back to the camera. Then you’ll get those fab shots of the dog running towards you, ears flowing. After a while the dog will be tired. Stop the session, have a cuppa. At this point your dog will probably have a rest. Then you can go back to a shot of him sitting and looking into the camera. Your dog might prefer to peak over the gate or sit in a favourite chair so keep an eye out for these places as photo opportunities.

Red setter photography by Andrew Collier Photography,em>A red setter bounds through a spring meadow in East Lancashire.

5. Find the right light

You need just enough light but not too much. Soft natural light is best. On a very sunny day, find some shade to work in. Dogs squint in bright sunlight just like humans. In the shade your dog’s eyes will be open and bright and the colours of your dog’s coat will stand out. If you can do the photos on a day with a bit of cloud you’ll have much more flexibility about where you can take photos. But even on a sunny day you’ll find shade somewhere in your garden, indoors or even somewhere along your favourite walk.

Fox red and black labrador puppies surrounded by Autumn leavesFox red and black labrador puppies surrounded by Autumn leaves

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