A few tips on how to take great pictures of your dog

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By Lauren Kolacki

  • When you prepare to take pictures of your dog, make sure you have plenty of space on your memory card. Professional photographers know that you rarely capture that perfect photograph with just one shot. Sometimes they shoot many, many photos before they find one image they’re truly happy with.
  • Don’t try and get your dog to pose. Not only can it leave you feeling frustrated because your dog isn’t cooperating but posed shots won’t capture the true essence of your dog’s personality. Candid shots of your dog running, playing, snuggling with the kids, or dozing in the sun are authentic and memorable.
  • Have some toys and treats on hand. Dogs (like kids) can get bored of having their picture taken, so it’s a good idea to break up the session with a bit of play. Be aware of the background. If you have a black dog, you don’t want to take his picture against a black background (unless, of course, you have an artistic bent and that’s the effect you’re going for!) And, as is the rule when photographing people, watch out for trees or signposts or anything else that could appear to be growing out of your dog’s head in a photograph.
  • Don’t feel you always have to get your dog’s entire body in the photo. Close-up shots can be very powerful and dramatic. If you have a zoom lens, don’t be afraid to experiment with it.
  • Avoid the dreaded red-eye shots by taking pictures in daylight so you can avoid using a flash.
  • Experiment with the digital photo filters featured in some apps, such as converting your photo to black and white. Black and white photos can be very emotional and dramatic, sometimes much more so than color photos.
  • Get down to your dog’s level. If your dog is sleeping on the floor, get down on the floor with your camera. These straight-on pictures make you feel as if you’re actually in your dog’s world, rather than just viewing it from above.
  • Of course, once you’ve selected your favorite shots, you’ll want to share them socially. Who knows, the shot you took of your adorable pup might become a viral sensation.