Photography Beginners: Taking Photos of Your Pup

Hello Furriends! If you’ve been following me for a while, you may have seen an improvement on my photos from a year ago to today. My hooman is an amateur photographer and has been learning on the go. Here are a few simple things we’ve learned about photography along the way that you can do to improve your photos.

Improve your pet photography
Photo from over a year ago vs. Recent photo



One of the most important things when taking photos of your pup is to make sure they’re happy and having a good time. Some dogs respond well to toys and attention, but I respond to food and treats! My favorite treat right now is Dr. Dalton’s Simply Chicken and Simply Beef treats. They are crunchy and can be easily broken into smaller pieces. With all the pictures I take, I end up getting lots of treats, so it’s important that I’m getting healthy, natural treats. These 1-ingredient, high quality treats are perfect and have no additives or preservatives, just beef, chicken, and/or pork. And for one week (3/16/18-3/22/18) you can get 10% off when using my code, SMOOSHYMOOSHY2018, plus free shipping if you purchase 2 or more products.

Use treats or toys to increase focus
Sitting pretty for my favorite Dr. Dalton’s Simply Beef treats

Lighting, Lighting, Lighting

Another important photography essential is good lighting and this is something that won’t cost you any money. I can’t tell you how many times the hooman has made me redo photo shoots because she didn’t plan right and the lighting didn’t look very good. The best lighting is natural, indirect lighting, meaning not directly in the sun. We’ve found that the best times to take photos is on a cloudy day or in the evenings before and during sunset. If you shoot when it’s bright and sunny out, try to be in an area with some shade.

Lots of my photos are taken indoors with a plain background too. We have found a couple spots in our home near big sliding glass doors that gets some nice sunlight. We have to time our photo shoots so there aren’t any weird shadows from the trees outside. There are tons of articles out there that talk about lighting depending on how advanced you are, so I’d suggest just googling it like the hooman does.

Photography lighting
Use natural light



Most people want their dog to “smile” in their photos. Me? I don’t like to smile and the hooman thinks it’s adorable. But if you want your doggo to smile, try exercising them right before taking photos. Play fetch or have a quick 5 minute play session. Your pup will need to pant to keep cool, which is when they “smile”. Also, make sure you have your motivational treats on hand for photo shoots. Use food, treats, or toys to get your pup’s attention and looking at the camera. How many takes do you think it took to get a shot of me actually catching this Dr. Dalton’s treat?

Get your pup to smile in your photos
Use playtime to get a smile


Get Down and Dirty

It’s best to get down to your pup’s level. Taking photos standing above your pup is great, but why not get down on the ground and get your doggo’s perspective? Check out my self control and focus with this yummy Dr. Dalton’s treat!

Photograph from your dogs level
Practicing patience


Keep it Clean

Simple is better…usually. Don’t clutter your photo with too many things and props. Your pup is the star! Make sure they stand out and don’t get lost in the photo. I love taking photos in front of a plain white background so I shine like the diva I am! For white background photos, we actually use a piece of plywood painted white and an old white sheet on the ground. How simple is that?

White photography backgrounds look clean
Use a clean white background


Don’t Overuse Photography Filters

With all the filters easily available on Instagram and all the photo editing apps out there, it’s easy to get carried away with filters. Just take a look at my old posts! Guilty! Over processing and filtering isn’t really necessary, unless you’re going for an artsy, creative look. The hooman almost always does some post-processing to adjust the exposure and brightness in photos, but she doesn’t use Instagram filters anymore. If you want to use the filters, you can adjust them to not be as strong or harsh and this will just soften your photo.

Keep it simple


Touch Ups and Editing

Of course there are tons of photo editing apps out there, but we’re just giving you some quick, easy, and free photography tips here. First, you want to crop and rotate your photo so it’s nice and level. Next, you usually want to brighten up your photos. You can quickly use your iPhone photo editing to do this or any photo editing app (We like to use Adobe Photoshop Fix for iPhone or Android). The hooman usually adjusts the brilliance, exposure, contrast, and brightness of my photos.

Limit the use of photo filters
Dr. Daltons natural, simple treats

That’s it! This should be enough to get you started editing your photos. Once you see how much better your photos look, you might want to delve deeper into the world of photography. I can’t wait to see if any of you use any of my tips!

And don’t forget to use my special code SMOOSHYMOOSHY2018 for 10% on Dr. Dalton’s treats for one week (3/16/18-3/22/18)! Thank you Dr. Dalton’s for sponsoring this post.