How to Get Posed Pics with Your Dog

by Sundays

With these dog photography tips from an expert, you’ll soon be preserving those special moments like a pro.

A perfectly posed photo of your dog is one of the most elusive prizes for any dog parent. Whether your goal is a solo glamor shot of your pup or a family portrait together, there’s something about taking a picture that can turn even the most charismatic canine shy.

So, what’s a dog person to do? We reached out to photographer Scott Hubbard to get his expert tips on capturing your dog on camera.

Tips to take better pictures of your dog

Scott’s technique for capturing a pup’s unique essence is a mixture of the right tools and an open mindset.

Treats and toys

“Try using these as a way of reward and to also help with posing,” Scott suggests. “A fun tip is to place their favorite toy below their nose and raise it above the camera and shoot. You can also capture some fun action shots by throwing a toy or treat as well. Just make sure your camera or phone is in burst mode!”  

Understand your dog's personality

Scott says knowing your dog is a key part of capturing special moments. “This is a no brainer! We all know the inner voice our pets have and their silly quirks - use that as inspiration and capture their story!  We as owners know our dog best and that will translate in the photos you take.” 

Communicate with your pet

Don’t discount your bond with your pet, Scott reminds us. “This is huge! Tell your dog how handsome or pretty they are and praise them for sitting and looking at the camera. Your dog is a work of art and deserves to know that!”

Get on their level

“Getting eye level with a dog is a great way to emphasize your dog's facial features and make your photos pop,” Scott offers. “Our iPhones have this incredible feature called portrait mode that will add depth of field to your photos and really emphasize their beauty!”

Be patient and have fun!

Scott’s most important tip? “Capturing good photos of your dogs takes time and isn’t something to be rushed! Staying calm and keeping a good energy will help your pup relax quicker and will enable them to be photographed naturally.”  

Tips for better photos with your dog

What happens when you step into the frame with your pup? Scott recommends some classic photography techniques and a healthy dose of patience. 

Use as much natural light as possible

“Natural light is your greatest friend,” Scott observes. “This could be a soft sun beam coming in through your window in the morning or a reflection from a sunset. Always pose towards the light! Using LED lights or any other light your home has will give your photos a yellow hue to them!” 

An extra pro tip from Scott? “The best time for photos is a time called “Golden Hour” which is when the sun just barely sets. It’s the best time because light is soft, forgiving, and looks the most beautiful on camera.”

Find a clean background

A minimal background is your secret weapon to a great dog photo. “Nothing is more distracting than a messy or busy background. If you’re in a situation where the background can't be fixed, lower your phone a tad and use more of the sky!”

Toys and treats

“Yup! You guessed it! One of my favorite techniques is getting your dog's favorite toy, posing for a selfie, and tossing the toy past the camera,” Scott says. “Your dog will look directly at the camera (or run off). Or you can always place a small treat on top of your camera peaking your dog's interest towards the camera!”

Timer Mode

Just like with humans, Scott suggests that a photo timer is a dog photographer’s best friend. “Use your phone's timer mode in situations where you want to get more creative with backgrounds. This comes in handy when you're on a hike or walk and there's a pretty sunset or view. This will make for cute candids and unposed moments (My favorite).”

Don't force photos!

Pup comfort is a key element in successful dog photography, Scott notes. “Instead of you bringing your dog into your space, go into theirs! Forcing your dog for a photo will make them uncomfortable and create blurry photos!” 

Scott’s dog photography suggestions come back to something all pup parents know: Everything is more successful when you are effectively communicating with your dog. This might require patience, distractions, or bribes (or some combination of all three!). Just remember: You got this!

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