As most dogowners I love taking pictures of my dogs but its not always so easy. Through the years I have discovered some easy and simple ways to take better dogphotography.
“My dog will not stay still on command”
Not all dogs wil stay still on commando and puppies especially can be difficult to keep calm long enough to take a picture. Have a toy or a treat in your hand for the dog to focus on while you are taking the picture. You can also let the dog play with the toy or trow some treats on the ground. Most often pictures where the dog is playing and being natural are much better than pictures of it “posing”.
If the dog starts using calming signals whenever you try to take a picture you should not bend over the dog and rather keep your distance and sitt down. The camera will seem less scary for the dog that way.
On the picture below you can see Balder with a tennisball in his mouth. I have trown the ball in advance and had the camera ready when he comes back. I trow the ball again and can take another picture when he comes back again. This way I get to take my pictures but Balder also gets his reward and learns the camera is safe.
How to make the dog not look into the camera
While hiking I often find beautiful scenary as in the picture below. To make the picture a bit different I usually take a picture from behind the dogs while they are “enjoying” the landscape. This is much easier than many people think; place your dogs where and how you wish, give a “stay” command and trow a rock, stick or other small object away from the camera while taking the picture. Presto! The dogs are looking at what you threw and away from the camera.
I usually trow treats as the small object and give the dogs their realease command after taking the picture. This way they receive a reward after doing the stay.
Different perspectives = different pictures
When taking pictures, try out different perspectives to see what suits the motive best. If you use your camera from above (down towards the dog) the dog will look smaller and a little inocent. It will be opposite when taking the picture from below (up towards the dog), making the dog look bigger and giving it a proud look. For a balanced picture where the dog has its natural propositions I would take the picture at the dogs heads hight.
As you are trying out different perspectives you should also notice how light effects your picture. Different perspectives causes the light to enter the picture in different ways. I have no fixed answer on where the light should come from but personally I dont prefer direct sunlight or to little light. At the beach and on the mountains there is usually enough light while in the woods it may be a bit dark. Make sure you find the light, it makes a big difference.