How I Met My Dog

Say "Milkbone!" 5 tips for taking fabulous photos of your dog

1. Scenery

Next time you take a walk or go on an adventure with your dog, scout out some photo worthy places. Looking for a good background and choosing the time of day with the best lighting for the place you’re in will set a great foundation for your photos. When you’re looking for perfect spots, get creative! Sometimes unexpected backgrounds or props make the best images. Try finding a sturdy fallen tree in the woods, a patch of dandelions in a field or a bright colored wall in your house to set the perfect scene. As you get better at taking photos of your dog, less prep can go into searching for scenery and you can embrace finding impromptu photo locations when out on a hike or taking a drive.

2. Toys and Treats    

Does your dog have a favorite toy that they can’t get enough of? Bring it with you to your photo session to use as a prop that will help focus your dog’s attention towards the camera. Waving, shaking, squeaking or tossing the toy is a great way to get your dog to look in a certain direction. If you have a toy obsessed dog, their favorite toy might elicit some crazy eyes in pics. If you’re going for a more relaxed look, stash the toy and try a sound to attract your dog’s attention. Noises that come from rolling or clicking your tongue are a great way to get your dog to look inquisitively at the camera. You may even get a coveted head-tilt if you’re lucky. 

Having treats to reward your dog with at the end of the photo session is essential. Positive reinforcement is key to keeping your dog interested and excited about what you are doing. 

3. Getting your dog to smile    

A quick play or exercise session is a sure fire way to get your dog to smile in photos. After exercise, our dogs are much more likely to relax their mouths and let their tongues hang out. 

4. Change your perspective     

To get unique photos, try changing the angle and height from which you take your picture. Squat down until you’re at or below your dog’s eye level or try finding a way to make yourself taller and attract your dog's attention upward to get a different view. Tilt or turn your phone or camera to see how a new layout changes the image.

5. Take a ton of photos 

Click like lightning! Don’t be afraid to take tons of photos. If you’re using a phone or a digital camera, it’s easy to delete pictures you don’t want to keep. Waiting for the right moment to take a picture of a dog often leads to missing the perfect shot by a fraction of a second. Keep clicking while you make noises, toss toys and change angles. Try asking your dog to sit and stay while you walk far enough away for them to run to you. Crouch down to their level, steady your camera and then call your dog back to you. Keep your finger on the shutter button while your pup runs towards you. Flapping ears, smiling mouths and wind swept fur are three ingredients that always make hilariously awesome photos.

Set the Mood

Dogs respond directly to the energy and mood that humans output. If you want your dog to genuinely enjoy an activity like a photo session, stay positive and use an upbeat tone of voice to let your dog know they're doing a great job. 

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