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Tips for photographing your dog with a phone camera!

brown and white collie lying with his head in the floor

We all love getting those phone camera snaps of our dogs, they can capture great memories when your dog does something unusual, or goofy, or even when they're just sitting there looking pretty. Although these quick snaps retain a memory, there are a few things you can do to make those snaps look a little bit better.

Clean it! - Firstly, wipe your camera lens! There's nothing worse than getting a great photograph of your dog, with a big smudgy fingerprint in the middle! We've all done it, in fact I'm a bit of a devil for it when using my phone, so clean the lens, a soft tissue, a cloth for your glasses, or the hem of your t-shirt... just give it a wipe!

Education - Learn about your phone's camera, do a bit of reading, or even watch a YouTube video on how to adjust settings on your camera. Learning how to tweak those settings or knowing how to use the different types of features on your phone camera's app will be worth its weight in gold when you're photographing your dog... or anything else.

Natural light - Don't head outside at midday in full sun. Bright sunlight can cause harsh shadows and overly bright highlights, which never looks good in a photo! If you are in full sun, then move to somewhere with a little shade, but not dappled shade, bright points of light all over your dog shining down from in-between tree's or leaves can make them look rather spotty (and if you don't own a Dalmatian, you don't want your dog looking like one!)

Shutter speed - If you have the option to adjust your phone camera's shutter speed, then set it to around 1/500 of a second or higher if it doesn't make the image too dark. Dogs are always moving, and a slow shutter speed just won't capture a sharp picture!

Focus points - When pointing the camera to photograph your dog, tap the screen on your dog's closest eye. A phone camera has a habit of trying to focus on the closest thing to the lens, which will be your dog's nose, but it's always the eyes you want sharp and clear (unless of course you're specifically taking a photo of your dog's nose!)

two cute small dogs,  jack russel and yorkshire terrier running down a dirt path

Background blur - If you're not keen on the background, use 'portrait mode' if your phone camera has it. This will artificially blur the background a little. This separates the dog from the surroundings and can make your dog photos look so much better (unless of course you want the background to show, like if you have some stunning scenery behind)

How low can you go! - Get down on the floor! You'll always see us dog photographers sitting or lying on the ground, this is because you want to be level with your dog's eyes, sometimes even lower is better. Try it, use your phone camera and take a photo of your dog while you're standing up, and then get down low and take another. Which one looks best?

Patience - Stay calm, dogs are animals with their own personality, and just because you want to take their photo doesn't mean they will want to sit still. If you start stressing because your dog won't do as they're told, your dog may become anxious and misbehave even more. Hold a treat or your dog's favourite toy to keep their attention, and then lavish them with praise.

Edit - Do some basic editing to your dog's photo after taking it. Adjust the white balance a little, auto white balance is a great feature, but it doesn't always get it right. You may need to up the exposure a bit if the photo is too dark. Try playing with the contrast, shadows and highlights, if you don't like the finished photo, you can always revert to the original. Snapseed is a great little app for editing photos on your phone.

You will rarely get camera phone photos of your dog to look like a professional photo, but the tips above should make them a lot better!

If you fancy a professional photoshoot of your dog, then take a look at our packages

or drop me a message, and we can have a chat about what kind of photos you would like of your dog.

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