Did you know that dog owners take more photos of their pets than of their partners? And who can blame them? After all, who looks cuter when they’re snoring on the sofa, or licking their dinner plate clean? It’s a no-brainer.
But while most of us can’t stop snapping away every time our prize pooch blinks, it doesn’t mean it’s easy to get brilliant doggie shots. Capturing Fido’s full cuteness can be tricky – especially when he won’t keep still, or his fur blends into the background, or a squirrel runs by… Suddenly the moment is lost, along with that shot at “dogs of Instagram” fame.
But don’t fret – because we’ve got all the tips you need to take brilliant pics of your dog, without fancy equipment or software. Whether you’re trying to capture a frame-worthy pet portrait or just a funny pooch shot for your social feed, we have some great tips and tricks to help you take great doggie snaps.
The most sure-fire route to the perfect pet pic is to make sure your dog is relaxed and happy. Like humans, dogs have their own body language, so you’ll be able to tell how contented they are by reading the signs. “Be aware of body language that indicates when they are not happy – like lip licking, yawning, turning their head away from a social interaction,” says Rosie Bescoby, a pet behaviourist who runs Pet Sense, a service which helps pet owners understand their animals. “By recognising the signs that your dog is uncomfortable, you’ll be able to change the situation to make them happier,” she says.
An important prerequisite to a brilliant doggie shot is to make sure he’s calm – so give him a bit of exercise before you start snapping. A dog with pent-up energy isn’t going to make a good model, so you need to get him in the right mood. Look for a softly wagging tail and a lolling tongue. “A happy tail wag tends to be floppy and the whole tail wagging from side to side”, says Rosie. If your dog seems to be panting, give him some time to quieten down. “Tongues lolling out the side also indicate loose, happy, relaxed dogs.”
Once you’ve got your pet relaxed and happy, you can start snapping. Try experimenting with different angles to help you get more interesting shots. One of the best things you can do is get right down on your dog’s level. Lie on the floor if necessary – you’ll instantly make your photo more appealing and feel more personal, and it’s a great way to capture your pet’s true personality.
A simple way to make your pet photos look better is to get rid of clutter and distractions. When was the last time you saw a professional pet photo with an old coffee cup or a pile of newspapers in the background? To avoid losing your dog in the picture, try to use a contrasting background so that it makes your dog stand out. If your dog has light fur, for example, choose a dark background. This will really help your dog’s colours stand out.
Your dog’s eyes are the most expressive part of his face, so for a really engaging photo, focus on them. Try to get your dog to look at you, perhaps by holding out a treat in front of your phone or camera, or by making funny noises. You may feel a little silly, but the end result will be worth it. And if that doesn’t work, try moving around to where your dog is looking instead of trying to direct his gaze towards you.
If you find your dog simply won’t pose nicely, just have a cuddle and take a selfie with him. It’s the easiest way to control where her head is facing! Give your dog a big hug and fill the frame as much as possible to get the best pic. Close-ups work really well as they’ll show the bond between you and your pet without any distractions.
Lighting is crucial for a good pet shot. Natural light is always best when you’re trying to capture true character. You might need to experiment by getting your dog in several different locations so that the light falls on him in the right way. Avoid using a flash as it can be very unsettling for animals – unless you want a snap of a red-eyed monster!
You don’t need us to tell you that fun is the key word in doggie world, so keep moving. You want your dog to feel like a game rather than a chore. This will mean you’ll capture his ears up and tail wagging, resulting in happy photos. You might even get him to smile! By making it fun, your dog’s attention span will also be extended, making your life easier and giving you plenty of opportunities to capture that perfect shot. The real trick to taking good pictures of dogs is to shoot a zillion of them. So just keep snapping!
The golden rule for wonderful pet pics is to print them out and show them off! Pet photos were invented to be blown up on glorious canvas.
For something different, try a wood panel -it’s long-lasting, durable and extremely tactile – an ideal gift for anyone who loves your pooch as much as you do!
Of course, there are all sorts of other ways to show off your pet pics. Need something more cuddly and totally irresistible? Put your pooch on a cushion. Want to look at his little face every time you have a cuppa? Then make him into a mug!
You can see the full range of brilliant Jessops Photo accessories by visiting https://photo.jessops.com/
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