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How to take good pictures of your dog?

Updated on June 12, 2011
Fill the frame with your subject.
Fill the frame with your subject.
Try taking a picture of your pup staring out the window.
Try taking a picture of your pup staring out the window.

Step #1. Fill the frame with your subject - capture the eyes.

You have to capture the eyes of your pup in a meaningful way for the picture to turn out well. This doesn't mean looking straight into the camera. This simply means that one way or another, the gaze has to make sense. If the dog is not looking into the camera, what is it looking at? Are the eyes open? Are they in good focus? If the dog is sleeping, is it clear that it is sleeping, or does it look like a mistake, a blink?

Try this next time around: take one picture of your dog staring out the window. Take another picture of your dog looking straight into the camera, with their face taking up the entire frame.

Aim for plain background.
Aim for plain background.


Step #2. Get rid of the distracting background.

Good pictures are simple. The subject stands out, the background is plain. If there is too much going on in the background, the eye gets distracted and confused, the viewer doesn't know what to focus on, and the composition looks messy. If you want to take great pictures of your dog - make sure your pup takes up the most of the screen, and there is nothing distracting in the background.

Try this next time around: as a backdrop to your picture - just the grass (no bushes, no trees, no branches); just the floor tile, or just the wood floors (cut out all the walls from your shot, no dog toys, nothing around your dog but the flooring); just the snow (no foot prints, no fence, no rocks).


Portrait setting helps to sharpen the focus in the shot on the subject and dulls the background.
Portrait setting helps to sharpen the focus in the shot on the subject and dulls the background.

Step #3. Make is sharp.

Professionally made photographs look good because they look sharp. Hold your camera as still as possible when taking pictures. When you pup is sitting still - make sure your settings point to PORTRAIT set up. If your pup is running around outside - make sure your settings are fixed on ACTION.

Try to take a picture of your pup running toward you with the settings set to ACTION.

Remember that practice makes perfect. Begin to look at photographs in a critical way. Look at the pictures you don't like, and identify what went wrong. Recognize that having a proper amount of light will be one of the more challenging parts of this process. Most indoor settings will require a flash, and in some circumstances, built in flash is not enough. Your best bet, when starting out, is to practice taking pictures outside. Cloudy days are the best!


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    • Bukarella profile imageAUTHOR

      Lyudmyla Hoffman 

      7 years ago from United States

      Aw, thanks! :)

    • T.Campos profile image

      T.Campos 

      7 years ago

      Great hub! I have a million photos of my dog! I definitely agree with you that it's all in the eyes. My dog's eyes say so much about her in that moment. Voted up and awesome. :)

    • Sinea Pies profile image

      Sinea Pies 

      7 years ago from Northeastern United States

      You're right! Don't have one now but someday....!

    • Bukarella profile imageAUTHOR

      Lyudmyla Hoffman 

      7 years ago from United States

      It would help to have a camera that has a setting for taking one shot right after another, right after another, if you just click and hold. This way all the facial expressions are captured almost like a movie strip. You'll be able to pick out the best expression afterwards. :)

    • Sinea Pies profile image

      Sinea Pies 

      7 years ago from Northeastern United States

      My dog changes her expression as soon as she sees me with the camera. That cute-look goes away and the photo-op is gone!

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