You've Been Taking Pictures of Your Dog Entirely Wrong
Now we know how to make Fido's next portrait session so much better.
What better way to celebrate your canine pal than by taking some professional-worthy photos? Dog-mom to "fluffy sidekicks Kokoro and Chibi" and influencer Emily Wang shares some of her favorite photography tricks for capturing your four-legged friends on camera.
1. Do a little prep work.
Just like comedy clubs warm a crowd up with some jokes before the main act, so too should pet parents get their pup primed for the camera. "Use a squeaky toy, treats, make animal sounds, you name it," offers Wang. If your phone has a "burst" mode where you can hold your phone's shutter button down (the circle you use to take pictures with or volume-down button on an iPhone, or volume-down button on Pixel phones) to take pictures in rapid succession, use it. This will allow you to get that shot of your dog's adorable expression before it disappears in a blink.
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2. Break a quick sweat with your dog for a better portrait.
"Portrait mode is great for adding enhanced focus to your dog’s signature smile," says Wang. "If your dog knows how to bark on command, you can use that cue to get them to open their mouths while you shoot to capture a smile. Another way to get the tongue-floppin' smile out of them is to take them for a quick run or play a game of tug. An active dog is a happy dog and will likely flash you a huge smile right after play time."
3. Expose for what you’re shooting.
"Since Kokora is all white, it’s easy for her to get washed out in environments with lots of light," notes Wang, who shoots on the Google Pixel 2, which features an exposure lock to make adjustments a cinch. "Just tap on the camera viewfinder to focus on a certain point. Make sure to hit 'lock' at the top of the exposure slider so that if you or your dog move, the settings still remain," Wang advises.
4. Don't be afraid to change perspective.
We tend to take pictures standing up but crouching, sitting on your knees, and even hanging upside down off of your bed can yield photographic gold. "Get on the ground, upside down, whatever it takes to frame up the most interesting photo!" If your phone offers a gridlines feature, turn them on so you can line things up properly for the best shot.
5. Consider turning the flash off.
Flash may be your go-to mode for snapping pics, but for canine portraits, it can be a little ruff. Instead, natural light can really make your dog look amazing. "It might be tempting to turn on the flash, but try and manipulate the amount of natural light you have an let the camera do its magic. Often times, repositioning your camera just a little bit to adjust for where the light comes in will result in drastic differences when shooting," shares Wang.
Now that you're the Picasso of Puppy Photos, you may want to print your collection as a special keepsake. Google Photo Books will take the time-suck and stress out of organizing all your pictures by automatically selecting the best ones and laying them out in a ready-to-print book. Personalize your album by picking a size and cover design and adding a custom title. You may have missed the boat for this year, but now you'll have the perfect gift for dog lovers for National Puppy Day 2019. We think Rover approves of the terrier-iffic advance planning, too.