Photographing Dogs


Is it just me or have cats completely taken over the internet? Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against a feline friend but I am definitely more of a dog person when it comes down to it. I think the reason for the lack of dog pictures compared to those of cats on the internet is that dogs are just a whole lot harder to take pictures of! If they aren’t running away from you they are licking the camera lens.

I admit to being one of those people that is constantly trying to take pictures of my pets but out of the hundreds that I take only one or two are actually decent enough to tell that the subject of the photograph is a dog and not a blur or some kind of demon.

There are a few standard “bad dog pictures” that I’m sure everyone has at least one of their dog.

Demonic Dog Pictures

These are probably the easiest of horrible dog pictures to get. Glowing eyes are a must for a picture to be classified in this category. If teeth are bared in what you know as a doggie smile but other onlookers might translate into aggression, even better.

Tongue Pictures

I have no idea why licking the camera lens always seems like a good idea to some dogs. You pull out your camera and get it ready then boom! They are all up in your face and licking the lens. Whenever this happens I’m just thankful that humans generally don’t have the same response when confronted with a camera.

Dummy-Doggie Pictures

These kinds of pictures always turn out so goofy but they always make you love your dog look like he completely lacks intelligence. If you happen to have one of these pictures of your dog, his tongue will usually be hanging out to the side and looking longer than normal.  His eyes might look a bit bulbous or his body might be twisted into some weird dog pretzel. If you end up having to show these pictures to someone, you almost always say, “He’s smarter than he looks”.  

Hind End Pictures

Some dogs are always on the move, especially when you are trying to photograph them. The dogs that run away from you are inevitably the most difficult to photograph because not matter how you view the situation, a picture of your dogs hind quarters in neither flattering nor pleasant to look at.

How do you avoid such horrible pictures of your favorite pooch?

It’s highly unlikely that you will ever be able to avoid horrible pictures of your dog all together but there are a few things to keep in mind before entering a photo shoot.

Light Matters

The first thing you need to be aware of is the lighting. You’re dog obviously lights up your life so why not return the favor in a more literal sense?  Ample lighting is a must when trying to photograph a dog, especially if he has a solid black face. If you happen to be indoors when taking pictures, make sure to open up all blinds and curtains to offer as much natural light as possible. If there isn’t a lot of natural light available go ahead and turn on the overhead lights.


Don’t think you and your dog are above bribery. Getting your dog to do exactly what you want and sit still at the same time while you are trying to take pictures can be just as difficult as herding cats so use your dog’s weaknesses (treats?) to your advantage.  It may be necessary to work like a broken record and continuously repeat commands in order to get the photo you want. Persistency will eventually pay off!

Camera Ambush

If trying to manipulate your dog into posing for pictures turns out to be more frustrating than either of you can handle then don’t be afraid to ambush your dog with the camera when he is least expecting it. Perhaps his midday nap is the perfect time to snap a few pictures?

Author Bio:

Ron Rutherford is a writer with a passion for nature and a soft spot for Thai food. He currently freelances for Havahart Wireless, which specializes in progressive and humane wireless dog fences .

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Ron Rutherford is a writer with a passion for nature and a soft spot for Thai food. He currently freelances for Havahart Wireless, which specializes in progressive and humane wireless dog fences.
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