8 Tips for better dog photography (without a fancy camera)
Before I start, I’m not claiming to be a dog photography expert here. Far from it. I wouldn’t know an aperture from an adapter ring. In fact, if a camera doesn’t have a little button that says “Automatic”, I’m lost.
Over the past three and a half years I’ve taken 1000’s of photos of Monty, my Labrador. Finally, I think I know what it takes to produce a decent photo of a dog using an inexpensive ‘point and shoot’ camera.
Get down to your dog’s level
This really applies to close-ups but it sometimes works well from a distance too.
You don’t climb a ladder every time you take a pic of a human so why take pics of your dog from above? We all do it and to be fair, I’ve taken some pretty cute photos of Monty from above. I think photos taken at a dogs level look much better though. More natural.
Clutter can spoil an excellent photo and it’s a real problem with photos taken indoors. Unless you really want that carton from last night’s pizza in your photo, move it out of the shot. Your pic will be much better for it.
Forget about the flash
Unless you really know what you’re doing when using a flash (I certainly don’t), don’t use it. Photos taken indoors, with a flash tend to look awful for some reason. Apart from the dreaded ‘red eye’, flash photography can look unnatural.
I’ve had some satisfactory results using a flash outdoors in semi darkness. However, I think this has been more down to luck than anything else.
I’m not saying don’t ever use a flash. If you happen to come downstairs for a drink in the middle of the night and find your Lab playing the violin whilst riding a unicycle around the kitchen, by all means use a flash 😉
If you have a particular shot in mind, chances are your dog will have other ideas. Be patient. Try to rush things and you’ll end up frustrated. Wait long enough and you’ll get eventually get that perfect shot.
Take a LOT of photo’s
For every good photo of Monty, I’ve probably also taken 20-30 really bad ones. Sometimes I’ll come back from a photography session with him and not have a single decent photo. It’s always disappointing but that’s just the way it goes.
My theory is, if you take enough photo’s, eventually you’ll get a great shot. Just keep clicking away until the battery runs out! 🙂
Don’t be afraid to take ‘action shots’
Action shots aren’t just for the experts. They are pretty hard to get but when you get the chance, go for it! Okay so you might end up with a camera full of photos of you dog’s tail but it’s worth a go. Some of the best photo’s I’ve taken of Monty have come about this way.
Use bribery to get what you want
There’s no way on earth I’d get Monty to pose for a photo without the use of bribery….usually cheese or sausage, he’s not fussy.
Just relax and experiment with lots of different angles and compositions. Don’t worry about making mistakes. Have fun!