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A girl cuddles with her dog.

Tips & Tricks

How to take the best photos of your dog

24th August 2022

Full action, a quiet portrait, or a funny snapshot: dogs provide a variety of photo opportunities. We reveal what's important when it comes to taking great dog pictures – including tips for photo equipment.

Photographing dogs is a very special challenge, because there are, let's say, more intelligent models than dogs. With the right tricks and image ideas in your head, however, beautiful photos can still be taken with your smartphone - the kind you'll enjoy about for a long time to come. We've put together seven example images to reveal how they were created.

1. Colour and location

A white dog stands in a poppy field.
Look for special places that put your dog in the limelight – this is best achieved outside.

When the fields begin to bloom, it's the ideal time for a photo trip with your dog. The more black or white there is in your dog's fur, the more they will stand out in a colourful environment. In principle, this type of shot can be achieved with any camera or smartphone. If you like the blurred foreground in our example, choose an open aperture or add the effect later using image editing software.

2. And... action!

A girl plays with her dog in the garden.
When it comes to playing and racing around, it all depends on the moment.

When it comes to dogs and children outside, the action can happen very quickly! In order to freeze those fast movements in a photograph, a very short exposure time is necessary – and for this, you'll need a lot of light. Otherwise, the camera will automatically choose an exposure time where motion will be blurred. Set your camera or smartphone manually instead and choose a shutter speed of 1/500 - or even better - 1/1000 of a second.

3. Playing with perspectives

A dog with an open mouth, photographed from below with a wide-angle lens.
Use a special focal length and an unusual perspective to make your photo stand out from the crowd.

Wide-angle close-ups of faces are usually frowned upon, as they can distort facial proportions rather unfavourably. On the other hand, this can make for some funny shots. While you may not want to have this kind of photo as an official portrait of yourself, it makes dog photography a lot of fun! Many smartphones today have a wide-angle mode you can use to achieve this look.

4. A selfie with your best friend

A young woman photographs herself and her dog.
Selfies with a dog are especially successful when both of you are relaxed, for example, lying down on the ground.

Whether it's spontaneous or elaborately staged, a selfie is always a good idea. With pets, the same rules as usual apply. Pay attention to ensuring you have a quiet, uncluttered background. Try not to position yourself directly in harsh sunlight and look directly into the camera lens. Angle your photograph from above as this will prevent you from having a double chin in the photo. The best pictures will come from you going to your dog, who has already found a relaxed position.

5. You and your dog

A woman sits with her dog on a jetty and hugs him.
A quiet moment between two: the photographer took the photo at just the right moment, when the dog looked at the camera.

The best pictures are often created simply from being in the moment - when the photographer does not disturb the scene, but instead photographs candidly and unobtrusively. People will usually immediately try to pose for photos, smiling and looking into the camera, which disturbs the natural moment. However, you can also experiment with this - in this example, the fact that the dog has noticed the camera is a welcome contrast to the woman's peaceful pose and reinforces how sweet the moment is.

6. A dog's life

A small dog on a surfboard tries to get a ball in the water.
Taking pictures of animals playing their favorite game is not easy – but the effort is worth it.

Whatever your dog likes to do the most, you should capture it photographically, even if it is perhaps a bit more demanding! This is the best way to capture your pet's unique personality.

7. Capturing the details

A dog on white ground from above, only its hindquarters and tail can be seen.
It doesn't all have to be in the picture. Reduced shots with blank backgrounds and a focus on a single aspect can be amazingly powerful.

Consider the idea that you don't always have to focus on the whole face. There are many great ideas for cute detail shots, including a paw in your own hand, a panting tongue, a single eye, their muzzle up close, or the pads of their paws from below. Detail shots require you to deal with your subject. You may have to deliberately pose them for this kind of image - so make sure that your dog is comfortable and happy doing so.

Top tip: the best photo equipment for animal photos

If you take most of your photos spontaneously with your smartphone, that is absolutely sufficient for most situations. For more difficult animal shots, you'll succed much better with a real camera with an interchangeable lens. With a zoom lens will give you more flexibility when choosing how to crop your images. A telephoto lens will ensure beautiful shots from a distance, where the background becomes wonderfully blurred and the focus will remain fully on your dog.

Now it's your turn! Put your beloved four-legged friend in the limelight and take some unique photos with 'wow' factor. Immortalise your most spectacular snapshot as a piece of Wall Art for your home, or design a unique Personalised Phone Case, the perfect companion when taking a long walk with your dog! We hope you enjoy trying it out.

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