5 Tips for Taking Great Photos of your Dog (even with a cell phone)

Jul 29, 2021 A Dog’s Life

Make boring, out of focus and pitch dark photos a thing of the past with our tips for photographing your dog. We chatted to specialist dog photographer Emma O’Brien to get her expert advice on taking great dog photos, even with a cell phone.

1. Get down onto your dog’s level

Shooting portraits at your dog’s eye level will immediately transform your pictures. You can do this by lying on the ground, or elevating your dog slightly above you by putting them onto the couch or a box. Emma recommends checking for anything distracting in the background of your picture and composing your photo so that your dog takes up most of the space in the frame. 

2. Check your lighting

Full sun, either shining on or behind your dog, creates hard areas of shadow and very bright patches of light. When you try to take photos in full sun, you’ll most likely end up with over (too bright) or under (too dark) exposed photos. Taking pictures using soft, even light (with no patches of sun or shadows) instead will solve this problem. You’ll find even lighting in shady areas of your garden, by windows or doors that face away from the sun and just before sunrise or sunset. Shooting in the same direction as the light will also help you get great shots. 

3. Use portrait mode

Want to get that professional sharp subject, blurred background look without using a DSLR camera? Simply select portrait mode on your phone. Once you’ve composed your shot, use your touch screen to put the focus point on your dog’s eyes and you’re all set.

4. Capture your dog’s personality

The best dog portraits not only look nice, they also convey personality. If your dog loves playing ball, try holding his or her tennis ball just above your phone to get their attention when you take your shots. Looking for the perfect head tilt? Use a squeaky toy or treat packet to capture your dog’s best inquisitive look. It’s not always easy to photograph a dog on your own, so ask a friend to help position your dog or hold toys and treats for you. Then you can concentrate on the photography.

5. Be patient

It might take a few tries to get your dog to sit still for a photo, so be patient. Dogs have no understanding of what we’re doing when we take photos or why. Teaching your dog a few basic commands, like sit and stay, can make photographing them far easier and will help you get much better pictures.

We’d love to see some shots of your dogs. Share them in the comments below and tell us what makes your dog so special