Ahead of Crufts, we’re sharing our top tips to help improve your pooch portraits and take better photos of your dog – so grab your camera and your four-legged friend and let’s get creative!
If you’re capturing more than one dog in a single shot then you’ll need to move fast – a speedy shutter speed will help you freeze the action, and be sure to make use of your camera’s burst mode to capture as many shots as you can, as quickly as possible. This’ll leave you with a lot of images to review afterwards, but you’ll be able to pick out the one with precisely the right combination of expressions for an unforgettable photo.
The eyes have it
Whatever level you’re shooting at, make sure the eyes of your dog are in focus – position the focus point on their pupils, half-press your shutter button and recompose your picture until you’re happier with the composition. They say the eyes are the window to the soul for a reason, you know…
Try an environmental portrait
If your dog loves a special place more than anywhere else, why not capture them in their most-loved location? Get down to their level for a dogs-eye-view of the scene, and try composing the picture so they’re looking into empty space. Place your dog on the “thirds” lines within the frame for extra impact.
If the usual approach leaves you cold, try a new perspective or creative lens – like an upside-down-fisheye-view of your four-legged-friend, or placing your camera at the bottom of a hole!
That’s the great thing about digital photography: you can delete your experiments and try again until you’re happy with your work.
Mix it up with monochrome
Sometimes a moodier look is what you’re after – especially if you’re trying to capture the soul of your dog. Placing them in the centre of the frame and using a monochrome filter (either during capture or applied afterwards) can help you make the most of a cloudy day or dramatic shadows
Introduce their favourite toy
If your hound has a toy they just can’t be without, capture it on camera for posterity (before they destroy it!) – using something they love can also be a way of attracting their attention towards the camera.
Set out early
If you’re planning to capture a special portrait of your dog, why not make a day of it? Set your alarm clock and head to the hills with your hound and your camera for a trip planned around a few key photo opportunities. Look for framing opportunities
On your marks…
If your dog’s a speedy sort, you could try an action shot – head to a secure spot, then have a friend take them away from you (within sight!) and call them towards you. If their recall’s up to scratch they’ll come running towards you: giving you and your camera a chance to practise your continuous AF and reaction times! Again, burst mode comes in handy here – but the good thing about dogs is that they’re pretty much always excited to have another go, if you missed it the first time…
Share your work!
If you’ve captured a great shot of your dog, share it with us on Instagram or Facebook – or why not set up your dog’s own Instagram account where you can show off your new dog photography skills and get ideas from other dog accounts? We can’t wait to see what you’ve captured…