Dog Photography: How to Get a Good Picture of Your Dog

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"Say cheese!" Okay, maybe not "cheese." Your dog may find that word a little distracting-but then again, that immediate snap to attention may be exactly what you need to get a great photo of your pet.

Your dog may always look picture-perfect. But that doesn't mean getting a good photo of him is easy. For example, doggy may be sitting pretty, as if posing for the camera, but just as you're about to press the shutter, he gets up and walks away.

Here are some hints to help you capture your dog's personality in a photograph, especially one suitable for a holiday greeting.

Choose a setting with plenty of light: We've all ended up with what would have been great photos, if only the flash had not turned little Fifi's eyes cloudy and red. To avoid this "alien" look on your pet, find a bright or well-lit area to set up your scene so that no flash is necessary. Then, if you're indoors, make sure any extra lamp light doesn't shine directly at your pet's eyes when you take your shot.

Take a minute to set your scene: Find a place where your dog will sit comfortably, such as a usual hangout. If you prefer a different setting-next to the Christmas tree, for example-then clear a nice spot where you'd like him positioned and lay out a little bedding so that he will want to hang out there. Next, tidy up any mess that will take away from your photo. You might also want to give your pet a quick brush or clean any discharge from the eyes, etc.

Get down to your pet's level: Instead of standing, get down on the floor or even with the couch where your dog is positioned so that you can take the photo straight on, rather than from an angle. This way, your pet will appear in a more natural position, and your photos will take on a more portraiture look and feel.

Stabilize the camera: Several newer cameras have stabilization features that help keep your pictures crisp and clear even if you sway or shake a little while snapping the photo. If yours does not, however, there are a few things you can do to steady your camera and avoid those blurry shots. The first and most obvious choice is a tripod, but if you do not have one available, try using a nearby coffee table, the fireplace hearth, or a stack of books. Set your camera so that your picture is framed the way you want it, then patiently wait to click until the opportunity is just right-i.e., when your pet is facing the camera and giving you that look you love.

Grab your pet's attention: Don't want to wait around all day for that perfect shot? Try a little incentive he cannot resist. Like the word "cheese," props such as a favorite toy or treat can be used to get and keep your pets attention right before you click. Quick tip: Try balancing the treat on or near the camera so that his attention is focused in the right direction. Of course, this trick can also quickly work against you by rousing your pet to run to your side and leave the scene you so carefully constructed, so be ready to click fast and don't delay once you set that plan in motion.


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How to Spoil Your Dog

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Training Tips with Treats


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