8 Tips for Better Dog Photography

Are you ready for your next dog photography shoot? Get eight expert tips that will help you capture the personality and spirit of your furry subject with ease. Plus, learn how to help camera-shy dogs relax, keep hyper pups engaged, expose for light and dark colored canines and more when you join pet photographer Anthony Helton’s online Craftsy class, Dog Photography: Sit, Stay, Click.

how to photograph dogs

1. Discover your subject’s level of training

If you are photographing a puppy or a dog with very little training, you will need a different strategy than if you are working with an older, highly trained dog. Before your shoot, have a conversation with the owner and find out if your subject can obey commands, such as “sit” and “stay.”

how to take photos of dogs

2. Decide who will give the commands

When you meet with the owner, find out if their pup takes commands from strangers or only from its owner. No time for a meeting? A good default is to let the owner give commands and handle discipline. Designating one person to give commands also avoids confusing the dog with too many voices.

better dog portrait tips

3. Bring treats

Treats are one of the best ways to make fast friends with your subject. They also keep food-motivated dogs engaged and hyper dogs in one place. Treats are essential for most pups, but make sure to get the owner’s approval before feeding the dog and ask about any dietary restrictions your furry client may have!

how to photograph running dogs

4. Smell first

A dog’s strongest sense is smell. Before getting to work, spend a few minutes allowing the dog to smell you to let him know that you’re friend, not foe. Remember, many dogs perceive aggression and react defensively if you walk right up and immediately start petting them. Move slowly and take time to become friends. If you are conducting street photography, always ask permission before petting or photographing a dog.

5. Use visual and audible cues

In addition to great hearing, most dogs also have good eyesight. Use sights and sounds to grab your pup’s attention when you want them looking toward you. A clapping, snapping or puckering sound may do the trick, as well as a wave of the hand or a few fingers.

how to get a dog to look at the camera

6. Be patient

Dogs can be similar to young children as photography subjects. Remember, your photo is not their first priority. Dogs are naturally curious and will want to move around. If they aren’t doing what you want, give them a moment to run and then try to re-focus them.

7. Get low

Don’t be afraid to get a little dirty! Some of the best shots are taken at eye level with these playful pups!

low angle dog photography

8. Play

The most memorable and genuine photos of dogs often come during their naturally playful moments. Throw a ball around or use a favorite toy to create great photo ops and keep you on your toes!

dog action photography

Now that you’re armed with clever tips for capturing your best canine shots yet, take your photography skills up a notch with new strategies that are sure to leave your clients begging for more! Enroll in the online Craftsy class, Dog Photography: Sit, Stay, Click. Comprehensive instruction from professional pet photographer Anthony Helton, learn how to conquer challenging indoor and outdoor lighting to showcase your subjects’ best features. Then, explore the principles of composition for artful, balanced images that amaze. Even get lens and shutter speed techniques to capture energetic, fast-moving dogs with crystal-clear focus! Anthony will also reveal his tricks for making post-processing adjustments, including removing unsightly leashes, to photograph any dog at their free-spirited best! With Craftsy, you can watch your HD video lessons anytime, anywhere, with lifetime access to your online class. Plus, Anthony will be there to answer all of your questions, and offer helpful advice on your photos.

How do you bring the best out of your canine subjects?

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