You love your pooch. He’s a valued member of your family, so it’s only natural that you should want to immortalize him on camera. But professional pet photographers aren’t always in the budget. 

Luckily, you can take great, creative photos of your canine companion right on your smartphone. Here are some tips to help you snap pictures four-legged family member that you can cherish for a lifetime. 

Prepping Pup

You want your dog to feel comfortable and happy. Give him a good workout before your shoot so he’s panting or “smiling” for the camera. Shine up his collar and tags, but don’t worry about clothes for your dog if you know he doesn’t like to wear them.

Also remember to stock a stash of toys and treats. Is your pup a sucker for tennis balls? Will he do anything for a cookie? Use what he likes to get his attention. Move the treat wherever you want him to look, and reward him often. Or, capture him in action by tossing a ball for him to chase. 

Light Right

Whenever possible, shoot outside in the natural light, and aim your pooch toward the sun. Low light will only slow down the shutter speed on your phone, resulting in blurry photos. This is especially true for energetic pups who never sit still. 

If you must shoot indoors, try to do it near a window in a well-lit room. Aim any indoor lights at the ceiling to illuminate the room and your pet evenly. Also, be sure to turn off the flash to avoid overexposure and the dreaded white eye. 

Beautiful Backgrounds 

If you’re outside, nature will usually provide a beautiful background without doing anything! Parks, wooded areas, and large, open fields or yards are great locations for pup pics. If you’re snapping indoors, remove clutter and try to frame your pup against a clean, clear, background (but not right against a blank wall). 

Great Angle, Great Shot

Get down on the ground with your dog and capture him on his level. You’ll increase his comfort with the situation and probably get some pretty great pictures. Also, focus on his eyes. They’re incredibly expressive! Use the manual focus mode on your phone to ensure your camera makes his eyes the focal point of the shot. 

Use Your Smart Phone’s Features 

Even with proper lighting, a great location, and a happy, cooperative pet, you can waste the potential for a great photo session by using the wrong camera settings or features. Here are some good to knows.

  • For clear, crisp images, use the front lens of your smart phone’s camera, and move closer to your subject instead of using the zoom feature, which tends to degrade the quality.  

  • If your subject appears fuzzy at first glance, try tapping the screen to re-focus the image. 

  • For active animals, the burst mode on your phone will be your best friend. Simply hold down the shutter button to take multiple shots in quick succession, maximizing the potential of capturing at least one good shot. Your phone will automatically group the images into a file in your Photos where you can select the best ones. 

  • You can also use your smart phone’s camera panning feature to capture them in live photo action. Just hold your phone steady in portrait or landscape position, and follow your pup’s activity with your phone while snapping a picture. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll get a short video of your furry bestie doing what he loves best.

Before you know it, your photo session will go by in a flash, it will have felt like more of a play session and it will win you some frame worthy photos, no pro necessary.

Tags: Camera, DIY, Dogs, Photo, Picture, Smartphone

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