Photographing Your Dog


Virginia H's dog Puzzle - holiday photo for 2008

Photo by Mike Baird


What is the difference between a snap and a professional photograph? It’s not just down to the equipment you use it’s also about experience and preparation. You too can take professional standard photographs of your dog by following just a few tips from a professional pet photographer.


If you are going to take a professional standard photograph of your dog, then you need to make sure he is well groomed, his eyes are clean and there is no matted hair around the ears. Good dog grooming is vital if he is to look his best, if you don’t normally take your dog to a grooming parlour, invest in some good quality dog clippers and give him a trim around the ears and toes. If your dog wears a dog collar continuously, then the fur around the neck will be flattened and will look unattractive in a photograph, so make sure the dog collar he is wearing looks great, check out the Red Dingo or Rogue Royalty Dog collars for that something extra special.

What type of photograph

Now your dog is looking great, you need to decide what type of photograph you are going to take. Will it be a posed photograph, or one of your dog in action? This will largely depend on the equipment you are using and you will achieve much better shots if you know the limitations of your camera. Phone cameras for example are less efficient at capturing movement without blurring the subject.

Stay Calm, Don’t Force It

Don’t force the situation. Try and take the photograph at a time when your dog is already doing the activity you want to capture. If you want to photograph him jumping for instance, try to take the photograph during his normal play or exercise time, don’t just take him out for a photography session because he will sense that something is different and behave differently which will be frustrating for both of you.

Get On Down

If you are trying to get a portrait style photograph of your dog, always try to be at the same eye level. With small dogs, this can be easily done by standing them on a table or chair during normal grooming. But if you have one of the larger breeds, then it’s down on the floor you go. If the photograph you are after is in the sitting position then you sit, eye to eye with your dog, if he’s lying down, then down you go, eye to eye with your dog. This will obviously cause some curiosity so be patient and let your dog sniff around you to figure out what you’re doing, if you ignore him he’ll lose interest in you and go back to sitting or lying down.

Stay Focused

If your camera allows you to have different focus points always focus on the eyes of your dog and experiment with different angles to see if you can capture his character in a quirky way. Try to avoid using the flash function because this can cause green eye, the canine equivalent of the human red eye.  Happy snapping.