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!
Table of Contents
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.
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.
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.
Capturing Action Shots
Puppies 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!
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.
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:
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.
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.
Dealing with Shy or Uncooperative Puppies
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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)
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.
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 on the whole photo, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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