How To Take The Best Pictures Of Your Dog To Use For A Painting

We all know how hard it can be to take a pic of our pups. They never want to look at the camera or the phone! Flashes look horrible. Natural lighting can be so dark that you can’t tell where your dog ends and the sofa begins.

It’s so hard to capture their unimaginable adorableness with a simple camera or phone! How can you take the best pictures of your dog like the professionals do?

Never fear! Here are some of my favorite tips:

Get Down On Your Dog’s Level

If you stand over your dog and look down, every shot you take is going to look like everyone else’s. And your painting is going to look like the dog is looking up from the floor.

Take a knee, sit, crouch, or do whatever you have to do to get eye-to-eye with your dog.

Enlist Help

A friend with a squeaky toy will come in handy if you want a head-on shot or a regal profile. However, keep your dog’s personality in mind with this tip.

Some dogs get amped up really fast when their toys are around, so it can have the opposite effect of what you intended.

Squeak the toy once right above the camera, not continuously. That gets their attention to look directly at the camera. 

Time It Well

If you’re looking for action shots, have your photo shoot before the daily run.

If you want a serene portrait, make it after.

Let Your Dog Get Used To The Camera

The click and flash of a camera can rattle dogs at first. Let your dog give the camera a good sniff, then start casually shooting the surroundings.

If you’ve got a film camera, you can do this before you load the film. Once your dog’s gotten used to the camera and starts doing their own thing, begin taking pictures.

The idea is to keep things natural and relaxed. What not to do: Grab a ton of treats, abruptly shove the camera in your dog’s face, and repeat, “Mommy’s gonna take your picture!” at a high pitch.

Take Lots Of Pictures

This is the first rule of photography, no matter what the subject.

The more you take, the better your chances of getting a few amazing shots. 

Turn Off The Flash

Most amateur photographers do best with warm, natural sunlight. To avoid washed-out pictures, shoot in the mornings or evenings, on slightly overcast days, or in the shade on a bright day.

For indoor shots, you’ll probably need a flash. You’ll get a more natural-looking shot if you use an off-camera flash and swivel it upward so the light’s bouncing off the ceiling.

If it’s day time, open the curtains and let the light flood the room.

Pay Attention To Background

Simple backgrounds, like a white sandy beach or green trees, make your dog stand out.

If you’ve got a point-and-shoot camera, have your dog at least a dozen feet in front of the background so they’ll be more in focus than whatever’s behind them, and of course, watch for tree branches that look like they’re growing out of your dog’s head.

Pay attention to color, too–no black backgrounds for black dogs, brown backgrounds for brown dogs, and so on.