Learn how to take great pictures of your dog

How To Take Great Pictures Of Your Dog
Cooper in the yard with his frisbee

"Oh look, I took the cutest best picture of my dog, first shot!" - Said no one ever.

Taking great photos of your dog can be challenging. They're excited. They're wagging their tails. They're moving all around. They're jumping. Oh, They're peeing.

You know what though, these are all great moments of activities that you would want to capture. (Except for the peeing obviously, weirdo). How do you capture those moments and get somewhat of a good shot that you can post on social media, or better yet print out.

Patience. Lots of patience. Practice. Lots of practice.

Chances are you will be taking photos with a smartphone. It's always available and near by. The good news is that you can take lots of photos this way. It will afford you lots of practice, you'll have to figure out the patience thing. Here's some tips to practice with.

Get your dog tired out

Dogs are active by their very nature. This is amplified when they are puppies. Trying to get a dog to sit still AND look at the camera at the same time, easier said than done. First step is to get them nice and tired. Try taking them for a walk. Or play some good old fetch with them in the yard. (Or house if mom allows it!) As a bonus you might be able to get some extra shots in during this time. A tired dog is a good dog they say, this is true for dog photography.

Camera, meet dog. Dog, meet camera.

Help your dog become comfortable with the camera. Start by letting him sniff the camera (or your phone) and let him know that it's an OK item. The moment they are done sniffing and move away from it, reward them. Treats, head rubs, whatever works. The idea here is that you want them to know the camera is not going to attack them.

Get on all four paws yourself

Do you know why most selfies look horrible? The angle at which people take them, it's not very flattering. The same is true of your pup. Except your dog doesn't take it personally (at least I don't think they do). Even the shortest of people are much taller than their dogs, so taking a photo of your dog while standing will produce some weird angled shots that just aren't very good. In the very least, try kneeling down or sitting in a squat position. For the best shots, get all the way down on the floor. You might be surprised how nicely you can frame them up this way.


It helps to have a little help sometimes. Have a partner nearby hold the squeak toy or the treat while you can concentrate on getting your dog in focus.


Do dogs even really smile? I think so. Dogs can be so expressive. You really can tell when they are sad, happy or upset just by looking at them. An actual smile though? Ok, it's a bit of a stretch, but we know they do smile, sort of. So how do you do it? Start with the first tip, get them tired. Do it again though. Get them tired and then do a couple quick sprints with them. This will get them panting quite a bit and be more likely to open their jaws up to show off their pearly whites.

Be a creeper

Some of my favorite photos are of my dogs when they are sleeping or just chillaxing on the couch. Try this out first thing in the morning before they get up off their beds. (or couch like mine). If you have a good zoom on your camera you can accomplish this by letting them be in their own element and then patiently waiting for the right moment to come. Leave your smartphone's camera open for this and with it zoomed in, that way it's all set up and ready to go.

Do you have any helpful tips for taking photos of your dog or any pet for that matter?

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