Puppy Photography Tips | 16 Tips for Capturing the Best Moments of Your Pups!

By: Danielle Harris

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Many of you have been asking how I get such great photos of our dogs and puppies!

I’m here to give you some tips that work for us!

puppy photography
French Bulldog standing for pose – Iphone,
May 2023

Puppy Photography Tips:

If you’re a pet lover, you know how special the bond between you and your dog can be.

Puppies are especially adorable, and their playful, curious nature makes them perfect subjects for photography.

Whether you’re a professional dog photographer or just an enthusiastic pet owner, there are a few tips and tricks you can use to capture the best moments of your furry friend.

Choosing the Right Camera and Lens

The first step in capturing great photos of your puppy is to choose the right camera and lens.

While you can certainly use your smartphone or a point-and-shoot camera, investing in a DSLR camera will give you more control over your photos.

A wide-angle lens is ideal for capturing your puppy’s playful antics, while a telephoto lens will allow you to get close-up shots of your pup’s face.

We do have a DSLR but I prefer my iPhone, using portrait mode and for videos we use cinematic.

These days people are switching from big bulky cameras to their phones. Which offers easier portability and quicker access.

Puppy Photography
Puppy Photography – Iphone, 2022

Setting Up the Perfect Shot

Before you start taking photos, it’s important to think about the setting.

Choose a location that’s comfortable and familiar for your puppy, such as your backyard or living room.

You can also use props like toys, blankets, and treats to create a fun and playful environment.

Keep in mind that puppies have short attention spans, so it’s important to work quickly and be patient.

puppy photography
Puppy photography- Iphone, March 2023

Lighting and Composition

Lighting and composition are two of the most important factors in creating beautiful photos.

Natural light is best, so try to take photos during the day or in well-lit areas.

If you’re taking photos indoors, make sure to turn off any overhead lights and use lamps or natural light sources instead.

A good ring light is my best friend as well as natural sunlight. If I’m shooting at night, of course I use overhead lighting but I prefer sunlight and my ring light.

When it comes to composition, try to get down to your puppy’s level and experiment with different angles and perspectives.

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French bulldog Puppy photography
Frenchie puppy photography
newborn puppy photography
Meatloaf (Duke) – Iphone, October 2023
French bulldog Puppy photography
Frenchie puppy photography
frenchie puppy with french fries
french bulldog puppy with french fries

Fry Day is the Best Day, Chippin- Iphone – 2024

french bulldog longer snout
French bulldog Puppy photography
Frenchie puppy photography
Frenchie puppy wearing a gold chain
french bulldog puppy wearing a gold chain

Scooter – Iphone – 2024

French bulldog Puppy photography
Frenchie puppy photography
French bulldog puppies sleeping on a couch
Frenchie puppies sleeping on a couch

Innocence is Bliss- Iphone, 2024

French bulldog Puppy photography
Frenchie puppy photography
frenchie puppy with new years eve
Happy New Year – Iphone 2023
French bulldog Puppy photography
Frenchie puppy photography
Frenchie puppy wearing a pearl necklace
Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Iphone 2024
French bulldog Puppy photography
Frenchie puppy photography
frenchie puppy in a santa sack with gifts
Santa’s Sack – Iphone, 2023

Capturing Action Shots

Puppies and dogs are full of energy, so photographing dogs and capturing action shots can be a fun and challenging task.

To freeze motion, use a fast shutter speed and continuous shooting mode.

You can also try panning with your puppy to create a sense of movement in your photos.

Remember to be patient and keep shooting until you get the perfect shot.

You can also take Videos and screen shot!

puppy photography
Puppy Photography, Dog Portrait – Iphone, 2023

Getting the Perfect Portrait

While action shots can be fun, it’s also important to capture your puppy or pet’s character and personality in portrait shots.

To get the perfect portrait, focus on your puppy or pet’s eyes and use a wide aperture to create a shallow depth of field.

You can also experiment with different backgrounds and props to create a unique and interesting portrait.

If you’re using an iPhone or phone camera like me, portrait mode is my go-to. You can then edit the focus of the background after you’ve taken the photo.

French bulldog Puppy photography
Frenchie puppy photography
Puppy Photography- Iphone, August 2023
French bulldog Puppy photography
Frenchie puppy photography
Frenchie in the snow wearing a winter jacket
Let it Snow – Iphone, 2024
French bulldog Puppy photography
Frenchie puppy photography
Frenchie wearing a hat and jacket
Just Got my Rabies Shot- Iphone, 2024
French bulldog longer snout
French bulldog Puppy photography
Frenchie puppy photography
Frenchie in the snow wearing a winter jacket
Flurry on my Face – Iphone, 2024

Editing and Enhancing Your Photos

Once you’ve taken your photos, it’s time to edit and enhance them.

There are a variety of photo editing software programs available, from basic options like Adobe Lightroom to more advanced programs like Photoshop.

The Apps we use:

puppy photography 
photo editing apps
Photo Editing Apps
Puppy Photography
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Photo Grid – Collages, layering, watermarking

Photoroom – removing or changing backgrounds, making watermarks

PS Express – editing photos and adding filters such as black and white, light leaks(Overlays), and adding themes.

Experiment with different filters and effects, but remember to keep your photos looking natural and true to life.

We ONLY edit backgrounds (if I’m feeling fun or making a banner for advertisement), exposure, saturation, vibrance, and sharpen. I NEVER edit the dog in terms of “fixing” flaws such as feet or length of dog. I want my dogs to be authentic and true to photo.

Puppy Photography Tips
Puppy Photography Standard Edit, – Iphone
Left is original, Right edited: Notice more vibrant colors, darker black, whiter white

Tips for Taking Photos of Puppies Outdoors

Taking photos of puppies outdoors can be a fun and exciting experience for pet photographers.

To get the best results, choose a location that’s safe and secure for your puppy.

You can also use the natural surroundings to create interesting and dynamic photos.

Remember to keep your puppy on a leash or in a secure area to prevent them from running off.

Additionally, avoid taking photos in harsh sunlight or shadows, and instead aim for early morning or late afternoon when the lighting is softer and more flattering.

French bulldog eating grass
Puppy Photography
French Bulldog Strawberry Shortcake – Sit Pretty Command, DSLR Camera, 2022

Dealing with Shy or Uncooperative Puppies

puppy photography
Puppy Photography – Iphone, 2022

Not all puppies are natural models, and some may be shy or uncooperative when it comes to taking photos.

To help your puppy feel more comfortable, try using treats or toys to keep their attention.

You can also take breaks and give your puppy time to relax and get used to the camera.

We use treats or squeaky toys. I’ll squeak the toy with my mouth(if its new, unused or freshly cleaned) or chin, or we have someone walk in the distance to give them something to look at.

puppy photography
Puppy Photography- Iphone, Bubble Machine Prop, 2022

Creative Ideas for Puppy Photography

There are countless creative ideas for pet photography and capturing stunning photos of your puppy.

Try using props like hats or sunglasses, or experiment with different locations and camera settings too.

You can also incorporate other pets or family members into your photos to create a fun and dynamic scene.

Puppy Photography
French Bulldog Luxury Bag Photo Shoot – IPhone, 2022
Weekly Puppy Development
French bulldog Puppy photography
Frenchie puppy photography
Fall Puppy Photography, Meatloaf (Duke) – Iphone, 2023
Frenchie
 French bulldog
French bulldog Puppy photography
Frenchie puppy photography
French bulldog puppies lined up for photo
frenchie puppies lined up for photo
puppies lined up for photo 
puppies wearing a crown
Meatloaf (Duke) – Iphone, 2023

Incorporating seasonal props makes for a fun photoshoot. For meatloafs shoot I purchased chicken hats and sewed the rims up to turn them into pirate hats. I added a toy pirate ship with pirate figures, Zuke’s fall treats, and some halloween squeaky toys to make for a fun halloween dog themed photo shoot.

Preparing Your Puppy for a Photoshoot

Before you start taking dog photos though, it’s important to prepare your puppy for the experience.

Make sure they’re well-rested, fed, and have had a chance to go to the bathroom.

You can also groom your puppy and make sure they’re looking their best for the camera.

Safety Tips for Puppy Photography

When taking photos of your puppy, it’s important to keep their safety in mind.

Avoid using any props or accessories that could be harmful or uncomfortable for your puppy, and always supervise them closely to prevent accidents.

Finding Inspiration for Puppy Photography

If you’re feeling stuck or uninspired, there are plenty of resources available for finding inspiration pet photography tips for your puppy photography.

Check out pet and dog photography blogs and social media accounts, attend workshops or seminars, or simply spend time observing and playing with your own puppy.

New Born and Young Puppy Photo Shoots

puppy photography
French bulldog Puppy photography
Frenchie puppy photography
French bulldog puppies lined up for photo
frenchie puppies lined up for photo
puppies lined up for photo
French Bulldog Puppy Litter Photo – IPhone, 2020
french bulldog puppies for sale near me
French bulldog Puppy photography
Frenchie puppy photography
French bulldog puppies lined up for photo
frenchie puppies lined up for photo
puppies lined up for photo 
puppies wearing a crown

French Bulldog Puppy Litter Photo – Iphone 2024

Whelping your beloved pets is an experience of it’s own. Sharing your pups with the world is special.

You want pet parents to make sure they look their best even at their young age.

It’s easier than you’d think to capture these little babies, but not all in one shot.

puppy photography
Puppy Photoshoot – Iphone, 2021

The photo above took a very long time to get and so far the only time I’ve EVER been able to get a whole litter photo in 4 years.

Tools:

a nice blanket, faux sheep skin rug, or white backdrop sheet

Your lap or a nice dog bed

A pillow (to use as support under the blanket as needed)

Ring light

Camera phone with a portrait photography mode (our preference) or a fancy camera

Make sure your camera lens is clean before you start. You don’t want blurry pictures!

When I’m taking pictures of new borns I put a blanket or backdrop sheet over my legs, sometimes a pillow under it. Sometimes I don’t even use a blanket!

I put a ring light behind me, over my shoulder or to the side. And make sure you also have plenty of natural bright light.

The ring light has multiple settings. I don’t use the cool or warm but more of a natural light setting.

If they tolerate it, I have them lay belly up so you can see the face, cute belly, and paws.

Sometimes it takes time for them to fall asleep, as laying on their back can be uncomfortable for them if they’re not doing it on their own(posed). You can still get cute photos if they don’t want to lay on their backs, like the halloween photo above.

Patience is key.

Sometimes all it takes is a little belly rub to calm them down and set them into a nice sleep.

Then Start Snapping away! Move your camera in different angles to get the best shot.

puppy photography
puppy photoshoot – Iphone, 2020

Believe it or not, this photo was taken on a black butterfly chair in portrait mode. I selected the background and made it as black as I could, reduced the texture and clarity, blurred, and added vignette. That’s it!!!!!

Finishing a Photo

When I’m done, if taken in portrait mode, I adjust Depth to further focus on the subject or if the subject is part of the background, I make sure the photo is totally clear then work in PS Express.

PS Express. There, I will adjust exposure, contrast, and temperature on the whole photo or certain parts of the image. I select the background area, adjust texture and clarity to make sure the pup or dog stands out, Sharpen the subject if needed, and increase vibrance and saturation.

You can blur or add vignette to the photo but I prefer to work with the background areas directly.

If you’re unhappy with your background you can use PhotoRoom.

Instant Backgrounds are only available on the Pro Version. But I promise the paid version of all apps I’ve discussed are WORTH IT if you do it right.

puppy photography
PhotoRoom Background Edit, 2022

Click “start from photo”, it’ll remove the background then click instant background. It gives you a crazy amount of options to choose from, including white fabric! It will add in shadows and depth for you, really showcasing your photo while still maintaining the authentic image!

Because the backgrounds are created for you, based on the angle of the subject, the background options change with each image you edit. You can favorite the backgrounds you like so you can go back and use them again.

puppy photography
PhotoRoom Background Edit, 2021

Logos and Watermarking

Always add logos or watermarks to your photos and videos! Nothing is more frustrating than finding out someone has taken your content and is using it on their social media, website, or blog.

If someone hasn’t watermarked photos and we want to use the photo on a blog, we always ask the owner directly and or credit the owner.

We have some images on our stenotic nares blog that I got from someone in a Facebook group who was happy to donate the images for education.

But most people aren’t that honorable, ESPECIALLY on Facebook. That’s how scammers get away with fake profiles.

Check out the quick video below on how to make a basic logo and adding it to your photos. You can add a logo, your name, social media handle, all, or just one of the options. It’s up to you!

You can also change opacity to make it less visible so it blends in and doesn’t distract from the image itself while still protecting your images.

Our logo was originally a solid circle but I edited it how I wanted it in the PhotoRoom app.

I like things that have irregular shape. I feel like it flows better without the blunt edge of the Circle. I can also edit the background glow on it to fit my needs since PhotoRoom saves all your projects. For example if I want to be festive for Christmas, I can change the glow to red or green.

Make sure you put the logo somewhere it can’t be cropped out! And if you’re putting it on a video, make sure it’s through the entire duration of the video.

I use Videoleap to make videos – combining clips and adding images to videos but you can also edit videos in PhotoGrid just not nearly as in depth.

Conclusion

Capturing beautiful puppy photography can be a fun and rewarding experience.

By following these puppy photography tips, you’ll be able to capture stunning images photograph dogs that you’ll treasure for years to come.

Check out our puppy photography tips and idea list.

FAQs

puppy photography
Puppy Photography – DSLR, 2022

How do I get my puppy to stay still for photos?

Getting a puppy to stay still for photos can be challenging, but there are a few things you can try.

One trick is to use treats or toys to keep their attention, or to have someone hold them while you take the photo.

You can also try using a tripod or stabilizer to keep your camera steady while you take the shot.

What’s the best time of day to take puppy photography?

The best time of day to take puppy photography is early morning or late afternoon, when the lighting is softer and more flattering.

Avoid taking puppy photography in harsh sunlight or shadows, as this can make your puppy appear washed out or unflattering.

Do I need a DSLR camera to take great photos of my puppy?

No! You don’t necessarily need a DSLR camera to take great photos of your puppy.

While a high-quality camera can certainly help, you can also use a smartphone or point-and-shoot camera to capture stunning images. We use our iPhones!!!!!

The key is to focus on composition, lighting, and other elements of photography, regardless of the equipment you’re using.

puppy photography
Howling at the Moon, Rolo – Iphone, 2023

Can I use filters or editing software to enhance my puppy photography?

Yes, you can use filters or editing software to enhance your puppy photography.

However, it’s important to use these tools sparingly and with intention.

Avoid going overboard with filters or other effects, as this can make your puppy photography appear artificial or over-edited.

How can I make my puppy feel more comfortable during a photoshoot?

To make your puppy feel more comfortable during a photoshoot, try using treats or toys to keep their attention.

You can also take breaks and give your puppy time to relax and get used to the camera.

It’s important to be patient and avoid getting frustrated if your puppy isn’t cooperating, as this can make the experience stressful for both you and your pet. If you find yourself frustrated, stop, and come back another time.

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