Pet Photography Tips – How to Capture Fido in All His Glory

Isn’t it a mystery how your dog seems to realize every time you pull your camera out? This must be attributed to the steady ears, the angled head and fixed positioned of their paws.  Or do they really think, why is my human pointing that thing with the flashy light at me again?

I mean you can’t blame the poor fella for having the insecurities, with that crazy messy dog hairstyle, and doggie breath, it is understandable.

Here are a few pet photography tips & tricks we have learned along the way to help you grab the best shots of your favorite Pet.

The Treat Trick

This is the most classical way of getting dogs to do whatever you want. This technique may sound shallow and easy to apply, but to your amazement, there is more to it than just waving treats for the poor fella to follow.

Your first goal is to make him comfortable and happy. This is achieved by handing him some free treats, just to let him know that you have them. This procedure will make the dog feel at home and ease up as he intends to get more. Then keep some of the treats ready in your hand whilst taking the shots. You will be able to capture plenty of tail wagging photos here.

The position of the treat is also another determinant, keeping it on top of the camera lens will make the dog’s eyes face directly to the camera. This trick is crafty, as the eyes are focused on the treat, but at the same time, they are stuck on the camera lens!

Irresistible challenges for your dog are also another lure to perfect shots

Setting up these challenges is another go to method we use for that perfect pet picture.  These techniques are commonly known as dog photo traps, and they are not to be confused with the National Geographic Methodology.

Some of these action shots can be taken by setting up several types of traps in the house. They may include drinking out of the toilet (classic), an open screen door, smack dab positioned open bag of dog food in the middle of the kitchen among others. These are things your dog cannot resist to do when set up.

Dogs also love chasing dried leaves that are being blown by the wind and some cool shots can be achieved while they are doing that.  Setting this up is not a hard task. We will get the dog near a pile of leaves and then find someone to help us get them airborne when no wind is present. Surely this will get him on the go and allow to capture some great actions shots.

The use of colorful blankets, backgrounds and toys is also another simple way to capture good images

Simple background for instance is an easy way of getting those pet photos. A blank background will bring all the attention to the dog. This can be achieved by a blank wall,  or a one-colored blanket should be used.

To brighten up the photos and to boost the dog’s image, the use of colorful rugs will do the trick. Toys, with their vivid color can  also be added to compliment the picture.

How to Make Your Dog Smile

Without a doubt a career in pet photography can be very rewarding if done right. So making your dog smile is another way to get those cute images to improve your pics and impress your clients. They work like magic every time they are applied. A quick sprint around the yard, of the house will do the trick. Throwing some toys around for them to chase is also a mood booster for the dog.

Then he is brought back to the picture taking position, be sure to capture very apply images of the dog. Your dog should be panting and breathing hard and giving you that big cute incessant smile. Snap away, I wouldn’t waste time in taking those shots.

Candid photos; captured when the fella is not aware that you are capturing him

Three methods have been suggested to acquire these types of photos from your canine friend. Not using flash is an added trick. If you are taking indoor pictures, setting the camera to high ISO, sport mode and any other mode that allows you to take low-light condition photos is applied.

The Sneak Attack Approach:  start by taking off your shoes to maximize the silence in the room or environment. Maintaining the camera on your face to avoid a lot of movements. Dogs are known to have keen senses, so being keen and grave silent will assist in the trick.  Sneak around the corner and snap away!

The selfie stick: another perfect way to capture candid images. Camera extender or selfie stick is a hand-held extendable pole mounted device you can mount a phone or a digital camera too. These tools are perfect to take shots around corners, over fences and under tables. Capturing candid images with these tools is very easy, as the dog will never be aware of your presence. Analogy to sending a drone to capture the image for you.

Get on Your Dog’s Eye Level

Probably by now all the captured photos have your feet present. This is because all of them have been taken from a top view scene. Getting down to the dog’s level will enable you to acquire a wider and varied range of shots that might not be captured from top.

Being on their level also allows dogs to be more comfortable around you. Maybe you wouldn’t even have to apply some above mentioned tricks to get him in the mood. To add, being on their level reduces the master/ follower hierarchy. You and your dog will see each other as equal, and you know the result when all is cozy and comfortable. Perfect shots!

Get Them In a Relaxed Mood

This will require patience on your side. Can be achieved by after walk moment when the dog is tired and only wants to relax. These conditions will allow you to capture your dog in sleeping and lounging positions.

Make a Doggy Composite

This involves taking the close up features of your dog. These are areas such as tufted paws, curly tails, and shiny round nose. These images are then put together to make a composite, which most of the times appear sharp. Framing them and hanging them on the wall will be a good mastery of art.

We hope you have found this article on pet photography helpful.  If you are looking for some more very useful photography tips head over to and see what they have to offer.  With over a thousand posts on photography they are certain to have something useful for everyone.

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