Photographing Your Dog

Taking pictures of our dogs can be fun and frustrating at the same time. The significant thing about taking pictures of anyone or anything is that you have a forever memory of that very moment in time. I have been taking pictures for years and since I began doing this my perception of how I see everything has changed. Now if I see or experience a moment that is meaningful to me, I often want to capture it in a picture. Today with digital photography and a camera in cell phones we are taking pictures easily and all the time. However easy it is to take a picture getting a good picture of our dog can be challenging.

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When I take a picture of Jazz and Jive getting two dogs to sit still long enough to shoot a good focused picture can be a challenge. I of course I use TREATS! My dogs will do almost anything for a treat. I show them the treat and give them each one. Then I position them and ask them for a sit and a stay. After I shoot a series of pictures I give them another treat. They soon learn when the camera comes out treats are just around the corner.

Taking pictures of a single dog can be easier than two dogs. But with my two dogs always together I have to zoom my lens in to focus on just one of the dogs if they both want camera time. Remember they know they get a treat for doing this so they both want the time in front of the camera. Taking pictures of dogs inside can be tricky. Dogs eyes are different from human eyes and it is hard not to get the dog green eye when taking pictures inside. Jive is also one of those dogs who closes her eyes when the camera "clicks" to take the picture. I am not a professional photographer by any stretch of the imagination but I do know a couple things. One is to never take a picture directly into the sunlight. I position my dogs away from the sunshine coming in through the windows. I also take many pictures of the same pose just to get a good shot with clear eyes and of course Jive's eyes being open and not shut. You have to be fairly committed to wanting that good picture and really be patient and work to keep your dogs calm and motivate them to sit for the camera.

Taking pictures outside is always a safer bet with dogs. You will do better avoiding the green eye in natural light. Whenever I take my camera outside with the dogs they get excited and run and play as if they know I will be taking pictures of them. They also like to have me with them outside so they run and play with each other and with me. I love getting a good action shot. They move so fast it is really a lot of luck and being in the right place at the right time to get that super action shot of both of them. I also enjoy getting the candid shots of them just relaxing and doing what dogs do outside...resting, chewing on sticks, simply enjoying the fresh air.

Don't be afraid to experiment with your camera. Even if you are using cell phone try getting on the ground to the dogs level. Shooting a picture level with their face and body will often be a better and much more interesting picture. Taking an action shot can be tricky only because the dogs are moving so fast the focus on your camera may not be able to get a good picture. Even with my SLR camera I take multiple photos of Jazz and Jive running and will sometimes get lucky and get a really great action shot. Just keep trying and have fun. Taking pictures of your dogs can be so much fun for both of you and you will be capturing memories you will enjoy forever.

It is also fun to capture emotion in pictures of our dogs. My dogs (as all dogs) each have a unique personality and together they can create some endearing moments. This is a picture of Jive as a puppy literally five minutes after we brought her home and let her and Jazz romp in the backyard getting to know each other. I had to capture the moment she looked up at him and he at her. It was a heart melting moment for me.

Taking pictures of our dogs creates a sense of awareness about what they are doing. You are often watching them and thinking "That would be a great picture". I always have my camera or my phone near by so I don't miss capturing those great moments....after all they will only happen once. Experiment taking pictures of your dog and most of all make it a fun time together. Woofs & Smiles!