At last count, there are just under two thousand photos of our dog in our iPhoto album. I know, I know. We don’t have kids, so we take photos of our dog. But, those photos did come in handy when we decided to write a book; we were able to source the photographs ourselves.
Anyway, those near couple thousand photos have all been taken with our digital camera; a ‘point and shoot’ Sony we bought at WalMart for our wedding – in 2005. Megapixels? It’s got…some, yeah. We haven’t used fancy equipment or lighting. And we’ve just recently upgraded to using our iPod to take photos because our digital is showing signs of wearing out. Charger anyone? To be fair, we’re using the set of rechargeable batteries that came with the camera, so they don’t exactly owe us anything.
We’ve followed a few simple rules to get some great shots of our dog – every time. I grew up in a camera family, so I picked up a few tips as a child. But these tips are easy, and for everyone, so here goes:
5 Easy Ways To Get Great Photographs Of Your Dog
1. Have Your Camera With You
Seems like a no-brainer. But, the best things happen when you don’t have your camera, right? Of course, in the world of smart phones, this one isn’t that much of a problem anymore. But, regardless, keep a camera close by.
2. Go Low
Our best photos are taken on our dog’s level. When photographing from above, the dog’s head can look too small for its body, and when shooting from below, you just get too much jowel and/or nostril. Not flattering. Crouch down or get on your belly. Set the camera on the ground to keep it still and press the button. They get used to you doing this. And dare to fill the frame with the dog.
3. Get Outside
Ever wonder why so many photos of dogs end up on those ‘fail’ websites? It’s often because they have that haunting eye halo or red eye effect to them. Flash is often needed indoors and flash leads to red eye, particularly with animals. Head outside and take your shots in natural light, especially in the early morning or late afternoon when the light’s coming in at an angle – your shots will look more natural and have a fantastic warmth to them. Those two effects can take a photo from looking good to looking amazing!
4. Avoid Distracting Backgrounds
It’s best not to photograph Fido next to the cactus plant. He’s going to look like he’s sprouting cactus needles. Of course, if you’re outside, this can be easy – fields, parks, beaches, trails all provide natural backdrops that don’t compete with the dog for focus in the shot.
5. Act Natural
Some of the best photos are taken when dogs are doing something ordinary – just going about their business; running, chasing, digging, sniffing, etc. Those are the moments you want to capture. So follow your dog around for a bit. It’s kind of like stalking, but it can pay off with beautiful photos. Personality is king here. And the more the merrier – capture your dog mid-play with other dogs, your kids, or friends and family; that’s when you get the really good stuff.
So that’s our round-up of tips that have worked for us. Five easy ways to get some pictures that might just be worth a thousand words.
Let us know if you try them. Good luck and happy snapping!
What do you do to get great photos of your dog?