Everybody wants to take amazing photos of their pet. Today we are sharing our 5 top phone photography tips for dogs!
Here is the good news: you don’t need a fancy camera. Most cell phones take great photos, once you know the tricks of the trade. We are here to help!
Good photography is all about lighting and the story being told. Are you ready to learn how to take better photos of your dog? Let’s get started. 🐾
Dog Phone Photography 101: Lighting is Key
The difference between an ‘ok’ photo and a great photo of your dog is lighting!
If you are indoors, get near a window and put the window behind your back. The light coming into the window will help illuminate your pet and make their eyes shine bright!
If you are outdoors, here are some other dog photography lighting tips:
- On sunny, bright days find a patch of open shade. Avoid harsh shadows and squinting by finding nice spots under trees and next to buildings!
- On cloudy days, hold up your hand. Is it gray and dull? Turn your body around until the skin on your hand looks nice and warm. That’s where you want your dog to be when you take the photo!
- On snowy days, get out and play! The bright snow and clouds consistently makes for gorgeous, well-lit photos!
- Use natural light as much as possible. Lightbulbs put out color that will make your images look too warm, dingy, green or pink.
One exception is daylight balanced LED lightning, which can really help illuminate your indoor dog photos!
Train Your Dog to Stay for a Photo
All of this beautiful lighting won’t matter if your dog won’t sit still for a minute!
We recommend starting small with lots of positive reinforcement. Reward even the smallest ‘stay’ position and work your way up to stepping back with your phone in your hand.
You can also use a toy as a reward!
Teach your dog that in order to get the toy, they must SIT or WAIT! Practice this several times: sit, toy, sit, toy. Gradually increase the length of the sit, then reward with the toy.
Once your dog can sit and stay, politely waiting for their toy or treat reward, for 5 seconds, add the camera. Make sure to be fun, upbeat and positive.
When you are done taking photos (quickly, of course), say ‘FREE’ and praise your dog for a job well done.
When your dog is REALLY good at this, you’ll even be able to use the toy to get their attention. This is how you will get those adorable dog expressions!
Choose the Right Mode for Dog Portraits
We recommend portrait mode for the best dog photos.
This mode on most modern phones will identify your subject while blurring the background, giving your images a professional finished look.
If you don’t have portrait mode, play with ‘flower’ or ‘macro’ mode and see what you can come up with!
We also love to use wide-angle photos to capture the scenery and tell a story.
Don’t be afraid to stray from the auto button, especially once you’ve got your head wrapped around how to use light when taking photos of your dog.
How to Get Your Dog to Pose
There is almost nothing worse than taking a beautiful, well lit portrait of your dog to see that their body language is well, stressed.
Pinned ears, lip licking, stiffness, hunched back or shoulders, and tucked tails are signs that your dog is not wanting its photo taken.
Have a Great Dane Puppy?
Check out our positive socialization guide.
Friendly – Confident – Resilient
If you want your dog to perk their ears and look adorable in photos, follow these simple steps:
- Don’t overwhelm your dog! Asking for a photo when they are already stressed is a recipe for disaster
- Find a low-distraction area to work in
- Be gentle with pressure. Don’t scold, physically handle or get too excited around dogs that are nervous about having their photo taken.
- Remember that a little patience goes a long way
- Make kissing and squeaking sounds, or use a toy
- Say your dog’s favorite words, such as “treat” to get their attention (and be ready to click!)
- Use high-value treats and reward often. Make this a fun experience and part of your routine!
- Catch them in action, instead of asking them for a pose
How to Edit your Dog Photos
One of the biggest ways to improve your dog phone photos is to edit them!
I highly recommend the Adobe Lightroom mobile app.
You can use this app to adjust everything from the basics to individual colors, and you can even remove distracting objects from your photos!
This app does have a learning curve but it’s incredibly functional, fully featured and free of junk and ads, too.
Presets (in Lightroom) can help you apply a cohesive look to every image that you take, too. This will make your IG Feed look amazing!
Dog Iphone-ography Summary
If you follow this formula you will notice an immediate improvement in your dog photos!
Lighting – Pose – Editing – Patience
Want more phone photography tips for your dog? Here is another great article we found:
Have fun with the process, and don’t forget to share the story of YOUR giant breed dog with us!