10 Dog Photography Tips for Better Pet Portraits

Photography is a noble and long cherished artist hobby and profession. Photographers express their creativity through the pictures they take. Among them, one of the most gratifying is animal and pet pictures.

Photographing dogs is even harder, because of their erratic behavior almost all the time. There are certain tips and tricks you might want to employ, to get better pet portraits. After reading this article, you will be able to make great custom pet portraits.

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Pet and photography

Pets are animals, and just like us follow some sort of patterns. They will often respond to a stimulus predictably if you plan it out. There are certain times you might want to tackle the photo depending on what the pet’s routine is. 

There are even photographing angles that often work well with dogs. And even some supplementary training can be given for it, so it can pose for you when you need to take a picture. 

1. Photograph in a set time and places

A dog will be asleep at noon in the hot summer months, taking a nap. Or at night when it’s tired. It will be most active after it’s awake and rearing to go. Will be playful when you are free to entertain it. 

Or sit quietly, pondering about the truths of our universe. They might have an energetic reaction when you take them on long walks or to the park. 

All of these moments are especially tied with the timing of the day or season. You will find it much easier to take pictures you want if you find the associated time a dog behaves in a certain way.

2. Theme your photos

The theme of a photograph can express a story that is otherwise dull and quite lifeless. Without a particular theme to your photographs, they won’t have any coherency. It will be hard to depict what you want the photo to convey.

You can induce them to behave and play out for you artificially, by using toys and food. 

For example, if you want to take a shot of your puppy gorging on food, just give it a bowl of food and let it eat up. If it’s hungry, it will splatter food everywhere. This can happen naturally, or you can splatter bits of food around the bowl while it’s distracted. 

This can show that it devouring food, as opposed to eating it subtly and at a brisk pace. 

An easy way to theme a photo is to associate it with a keyword. 

3. Lighting

It gives mood and adds to the atmosphere. Some people can understand the intricacies of lighting, and how it can pan out on instinct. But most people don’t understand lighting, leaving pictures to feel out of place or shoddy. 

Lighting is also a complex subject matter. It’s a beginner’s problem to start and ends up being one of the weaknesses of professional photographers. Lighting can be very powerful if used properly.

For example, you can make throw a ball for your dog to fetch in two different places. Indoors and outdoors under the sun. 

The sun’s yellow light makes everything happier, while indoor lighting is white on average or any other unnatural color. 

You will notice a huge difference in mood when you take a picture of it. A yard will feel more natural and have vibrancy and color that might not be present indoors. 

4. Shutter speeds and motion of a dog

A dog is very often jittery.You will probably have missed some golden shots because, you are off by a beat. 

You might get lucky shots, but most of the time it will be an incoherent blurry mess. 

The best way to get around this is to use a fast shutter setting in the camera. Most cameras these days are equipped to take photos of the fast-moving object in vivid detail with crisp sharpness and great exposure.

5. Phone cameras

Phones are now slowly replacing DSLR cameras so you can take pictures on the go and in the moment. Their cameras are getting to really high quality with great functionality and portability.

It’s best to buy a high-end phone to take pictures of your pet. That is if you are not doing professional-grade photography. 

6. Color correction and hue

Colors are vital to any photo, and will fill in the emotions associated with the photo. There are black and white pictures too.

Red color make things more romantic, angry or even scary. Green might be highlight or associate with greed. Blue emplies coolness while white make things more pure and gives contrast. 

Shallower colors are easy on the eyes and brighter color objects are most often noticed first. 

7. Eyes and expression

Capturing the expression of dogs is often what you want from their pictures. Focusing on the eyes is vital to capture any expression of a living being. Dogs are very expressive, so use that as an advantage. 

8. Keep taking photos

Taking multiple photos with different angles and in different lighting will help you sift and choose the best out of them. This is a very tried and true method of  photographers. Most often they will choose one out of thousand of pictures that suit their taste.

9. Treats for good pets

Reward your dog or pet with treats after they behave well for the shooting. At the end of the day, your dog is your subject in the picture. You will need to convince your dog that this is a worthwhile venture for it too. 

10. Breaks and patience

Take break inbetween shooting pictures and playing with your dog. Sometimes this will help you out of mental blocks that stagnate your imagination.

Have patience, its the most important aspect of photography. A steady mind will often bring out the best out of your pictures. Wait for the right moment and snap.

To Conclude

Photography is as hard as you can assume it to be. Keep patience and learn as you go, it will eventually work out.

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