Five Tricks to Get a Great Pet Picture!

Mar 21, 2018

In this day and age where every dog seems to have its own Instagram, being able to take a great picture of your dog has never been in higher demand. Every dog is a celebrity in the making and capturing your dog’s personality in a great picture will give you memories for a lifetime. Below are some tips and tricks that we use to get great pictures of our pups for our Instagram, Facebook and other social media!

Dog Play Toy

1. Take a Lot of Pictures

For every photo we put on our Paw Commons Instagram, there’s five more that were left on the chopping block. Unless your dog is Tyra Banks (not saying it’s impossible; in fact, that would be incredible), you are almost never going to get a perfect shot right away. And that’s okay! Taking lots of pictures gives your dog room to be their best and goofiest selves and to capture moments that you might not have been able to capture otherwise. Is your pup camera shy? Taking plenty of pictures is the only way to get them used to having a phone or camera trained on them (especially if you’re using a camera with a shutter). Soon, being a model dog will be a way of life for them!

Dog Beauty Shot

2. Don’t Be Afraid to Use Props

Best case scenario: your dog is incredibly photogenic and loves to pose and please you. Unfortunately, most dogs have a lot more on their mind (food, sticks, butt scratches, etc.) than sitting pretty. Because of this, some of our best portraits are shot with the use of aids, cookies, and toys. Our dog trainer, Christie Branch, is known for using the small squeaker from a toy, placing it in her mouth and blowing through it to create an attention-grabbing sound. If this is a little advanced for you, you can’t go wrong with a tasty cookie! Be sure to place it at the same level as your shutter to create the illusion of eye contact.

Dog Posing Props

3. Know Your Subject

Do you have a wild puppy or an older senior dog? A slow basset hound or an energetic husky? Catering to your dog’s personality will almost always result in a better picture that’s truer to you and your pup. Is your puppy king or queen of the action shot? Keep in mind that you might want to take those kinds of shots before he or she goes on a long hike with the family. If you’re having trouble ever getting your dog to sit still, the opposite is true as well. Taking pictures after your pup’s walks or days of doggy daycare with us will finally allow you to get that picture that’s not just a blur of fur!

Christie with Dogs

4. No Flash Photography Allowed

Flash photography is, under 99% of circumstances, never going to lead to a great pet picture. For one thing, it’s incredibly jarring to your furry friend. It’s similar to when you take a photo of your friend group without telling them the flash is on and they all groan in synchronicity. The same exact thing goes for dogs… except they barely know what a camera is, much less what that blinding light it. Outdoor, natural light is going to be your best friend when it comes to taking pictures of your dog. Keep in mind you want the sun to be facing your subject, not behind them! Backlight will wash out your dog. If you do want to take indoor photos, don’t be afraid to open up all the windows or move some of your lamps into a more concentrated area.

Smiling Dog Selfie

5. Use Filters with Caution

It’s very easy when throwing up pictures on Instagram to click through the hundreds of filters that they have to offer. Granted, it is the easiest way to edit your pictures. That being said, over-filtering a photo is the quickest way to wash your subject out. The great thing about Instagram and other mobile photo-editing services is while they give you pre-made filters, they allow you to choose the percentage of opacity. We love using the yellow filters here at Paw Commons and setting them to about 30-40% for an extra “sunshiney” feel. For extra clarity, the “Sharpen” feature is fantastic for turning a slightly blurry photo into a crisp, detailed shot. Are you on an advanced level? Use the “Curves” setting in any photo editing program to make your own filter! Not convinced? Take a look at our Paw Commons Instagram to see how we use these tips and tricks in action to get fantastic photos of all of our furry guests. We wish you and your future Instagram star the best of luck in utilizing these tips and tricks!