Have you ever tried to take a nice picture of your beloved pet, but just ended up looking back at a blurry, fuzzy mess? This will be ringing true for dog owners everywhere. Our dogs are well and truly one of the family, and they deserve to feature in a frame on your mantelpiece just as much as the rest of the household.
It’s no secret that taking photos of your dog can be a real challenge! They won’t sit still and run to lick your face as soon as you get onto their level. Sound familiar? The good news is there are a few easy ways to snap a good photo of your dog that don’t involve any fancy equipment, lighting or messing around with different camera settings. Here’s our top tips...
Familiarise your dog with the camera
Whether it’s your phone or a digital camera, some dogs may feel rattled by a lens in their face and a strange, new clicking noise. A rattled dog is never going to lead to a frame-worthy photo.That’s why it’s important to give your dog the chance to become familiar with your camera.
Let them have a good sniff around it and check it out before you start snapping. Take some photos and get them used to the click of the shutter, continuously rewarding them with treats the more they react positively. This could be just sitting calmly and being relaxed, or simply not reacting much at all. It will be much easier to take photos of your dog if they associate your camera with getting a tasty treat and soon they’ll love nothing more than performing in front of it.
Get your timing right
What kind of an image of your dog do you want to capture? If you’d like them to be sitting serenely and calmly for the perfect portrait, it’s best to time your photoshoot post-dog walk or after your dog has just had a good zoom around the garden. This kind of photo will be difficult to perfect if they are bouncing around and full of energy - but perhaps this is exactly the kind of fun, vibrant photo you want to create!
If you want to photograph your dog being their energetic, goofy selves then involve lots of toys and play to get your dog excited and having a good time. Be sure to select the ‘sports mode’ on your camera if applicable as this will help capture a sharp image of your dog in action.
Never take just one photo
Why take one photo when you could take hundreds?! Okay, maybe not hundreds... but the more photos you take, the more chance you have of being left with one that you love and that says exactly what you want it to - particularly if your dog is on the move.
Avoid stopping to look at the photo you’ve taken. You might just miss the perfect shot. Keep your finger on that shutter button and get snap-happy! There’s plenty of time to flick back through all the images once your photoshoot has come to an end.
Download some photo editing apps
It doesn’t matter if the lighting isn’t quite right in the photos that you’re taking. There’s a whole host of super helpful and simple photo editing apps that you can download onto your smartphone that will enable you to tweak and tune your photos to make them perfect. If you don’t take your photos on your smartphone, try and download them onto it from your camera. Most recent digital cameras will have this function but if not, you could email them to your phone or use Dropbox.
So, what photo editing apps should you download? There’s so many to choose from but our favourites are VSCO, Colourtone, Adobe Lightroom and ColorStory. All of these apps feature great lighting and colour editing features, along with endless filters and effects.
Capture your dog's personality
Above any lighting or filters though, you want to look back at your photos and see your dog's beautiful personality shining through. Think about your dogs biggest quirks and how you can translate this into a photo. If your dog rules the roost, try a photo of them sitting on the sofa with an air of grandeur. If your dog is a bit of a clown and loves their food, try putting a bit of peanut butter on their nose and capture them licking it off.
Whatever it is you love most about your dog, make this your focus to create unique and charismatic images. You know what they say; a picture speaks a thousand words. Face to camera portrait shots are great, but try and snap their signature expression or mannerisms, whatever they may be.
And to all of our Cotswold Dog Boutique customers - put your new photography skills to good use the next time you shop with us and share pictures of your dog with their new treats, toys and wears. We love nothing more than sharing your images on our social media platforms!