Let me guess, your camera roll is FULL of pictures of your dog? And probably more than half of them are blurry, or your dog looked away at the last second. And you find it's nearly impossible to get them to pose for a photo?
As a dog parent myself, I know what it’s like to constantly snap photos of them to try to capture their unique facial expressions or behavioural quirks... even though your phone storage is bursting at the seams! Oops.
It's definitely more challenging to take posed photos of your dog on your own. When you hire a professional, it's easy as pie. For situations where you can't have a pro with you, here are 3 easy poses for a dog photo shoot out on the trail.
This is one of my signature poses. I LOVE creating artwork of dogs up on stuff. Really, putting your dog on top of anything will make them feel like that specific spot was made just for them! Even if your dog doesn't have a solid "stay", they're much more likely to stay still on a log/rock/stump then they would on the ground.
First of all, make sure the spot you want to put them up on is large enough for them to stand comfortably on it. Also, don't put your dog up on anything that's too high. As a general rule, I don't recommend putting them up on anything that's taller than they are. When you put them up there, stand right beside them while you open the camera on your phone, once you're ready to go, take a step back and snap your photo. You have to be quick!
If they're staying pretty well, you can use a treat to get them to look at the camera. For more ideas of what to bring to your dog photo shoot, check out my blog post on 5 must-have things to bring to your photo session.
This seems like a pretty obvious pose, right? But you probably know that getting a dog to sit still for a photo can often be harder than it sounds - especially if they are full of energy, very excited, or nervous.
If your dog knows "sit", you're in business. In that case, put them in a sit and step back. (Pro tip: Take a few steps to the side so you can photograph your dog at a 45-degree angle to avoid getting a full shot of their um, private areas). Crouch down to eye-level, make a high-pitched squeaky sound to get them to look at you, and snap the photo really quick! They'll only stay still for a second.
Photographing your dog at eye-level immediately creates a better, more engaging photo.
Dog doesn't know sit? Just go to one side of the trail, and you take a seat right on the ground and do nothing. If you have some time to wait, your dog will likely get the message that it's time to sit and do the same. When he does, get your camera ready, lean back as far as you can to get their full body in frame, and snap the photo.
Dog just won't sit? Head to the next tip.
I love posed photos, but there's something special about candid photos, too. It all depends on what kind of story you want your photo to tell.
Candid photos are great for capturing your dog doing something really goofy that maybe they only do when no one is watching, or when they come across a certain thing when they’re out for a walk (e.g. they like to pounce on piles of leaves). Each dog is different and has their own personality, so candid photos really help to show their uniqueness.
You may also just want to allow your dog to control the photo shoot and pose naturally - behaving how they usually would if they didn’t have a camera focused on them! This is the most easy-going, relaxed method.
Just hang out with your dog and take some photos along the way! Make a squeaky sound here or there to get them to look at you right before you snap the photo. And remember to always try to photograph your dog at eye-level.
Just like humans, dogs express a lot of emotion through their eyes, and you’ll be all too familiar with the puppy dog eyes I’m referring to. Whether your dog is looking straight at the camera, up at you, or looking off into the distance, this will make a super engaging photo and have you saying “awww” every time you look at it.
This will require you/your photographer to be pretty close to your dog, and will also not require that much energy from your doggo, so maybe save this pose for the end. Saving it for the end of the shoot will also allow your dog to feel more comfortable around the photographer and more likely to pose all up close and personal.
There are things that you can do to make your professional dog photo shoot easier, for example, having them know the basic commands like ‘sit’ can be pretty helpful. BUT, your dog does not have to be trained in order to have a successful shoot. I explain more about that here in my post about why your dog doesn’t have to “behave” to get perfect photos.
Your patience also plays an important role. Your dog photo shoot should be fun for your AND your pup, and you want them to feel safe and comfortable and enjoy themselves. You shouting at them or getting angry is not good for anyone! For more tips on how to prepare for your pet photo shoot, check out the blog on 8 helpful tricks to prepare for your professional dog photo shoot.
If you’re wanting to learn how to take better photos of your pets on your phone, make sure to sign up for my freebie which will walk you through it step by step - the form to grab it is below!
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