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We’ve all been there, trying to get the perfect picture of your faithful companion but nothing seems to be working.  First they are moving and then they’re facing the wrong way and now they’re in shadows.  This article will outline a few tips that will help you capture your furry friend in their best light giving you pictures to last a lifetime.

Like us, dogs need to be relaxed and comfortable and ready to have their picture taken.  Do you remember when you were younger and your mom wanted to take your picture but you weren’t in the mood to do it?  Dogs are the same and they need to be ready and excited to have their picture taken.  You can help encourage this by starting off by just enjoying some time together, maybe play with their favourite toy, go for a walk, or play in the backyard.  All these things will help not only encourage a happy mood but also burn off a bit of extra energy which can distract a dog when you’re asking them to pose for a photo.

Credit: Lloyd Robert Photography

Just as important as the subject of your photo is knowing your camera itself.  Does it do well inside or outside?   Can it capture images in low light or do you need bright light?  Are you able to adjust the setting or shutter speed to allow your dog to be moving but the image not blurry?  Be sure to take some time and learn your camera, from there you will be able to choose the best setting to capture the best images.

Before beginning your photo session keep in mind what you’re dog is able to do, avoid asking your dog to do something that is either difficult for them or outside their comfort level.  You can keep things simple by asking them to sit or lay down in different places (on the stairs, in front of the garden, by a tree) or if they know a few tricks you could ask them to do a trick instead such as sitting up on their hind legs or holding something in their mouth.  If you’re able to capture movement easily try throwing a ball or Frisbee and capture your dog in mid-air or while they’re running around playing.  It’s extremely important to encourage your dog the whole time, give them praise, scratches, and treats throughout the photo session and encourage them to have fun.

For some dogs it may be difficult or they may be nervous initially if this is something they have done before.  Like people, they can be wary of a new situation or something out of their comfort zone.  If this is the case you can try including someone they know in the picture, maybe a friend or family member.  This can help increase their comfort level and ease any nervousness as there is someone familiar with them.  The person can either be part of the photo sitting with them or playing with them or outside the photo throwing them a ball or asking them to do a trick and then giving them a treat when they do.  If the person is going to be outside the photo be sure to check your framing of the image.

Every dog is different, some are performers and some are happy to let others have the lime light.  The most important thing when photographing your dog is to know your dog and understand when they’ve had enough photo time and are ready to do something else.  If you find you’re having a hard time getting the picture perfect photo there are many photographers that are familiar with working with both pets and people and can offer you some wonderful photos to last a life time.  Remember to have fun, enjoy the experience, and keep it positive and you’ll be able to enjoy the quality time you and your dog have spent together.

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