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How to Take Great Dog Photos
Ten Tips for Taking Great Dog Photos
By Julee Meltzer
Have you ever taken photos of your dog thinking that they would come out terrific and then been totally underwhelmed when you look at the results? If the answer is yes, then I think I can help. As a photography teacher and dog nut, I am often asked how I get so many great shots of my dogs. The following techniques can help you get really great shots of your dog—inside the RV and outside in nature.
Familiarize your dog to the camera. In order to get natural photos of your dog, he must be comfortable with the equipment out. Let your dog have a close look at your camera. Turn it on and click the shutter several times until he's familiar with the sound. Also, hold the camera while letting your dog smell and sniff the camera (don't let him lick it!). Once your dog is comfortable with the camera being out, you'll be able to take all the candid pictures you want.
- Take a ton of pictures of your dog before your camping trip and during your camping trip. Assuming you're using a digital camera, take a lot of photos. However, there are two caveats to remember when taking a lot of digital photos: 1) make sure your battery is charged fully, and 2) make sure you have enough memory to store lots of photos. Also, make sure you don't keep all of the bad shots on your computer because photos can take up a lot of room on your hard drive.
- Get down.Just as with babies, a portrait photo always comes out better if you take it approximately at eye level. That way, the photo won't seem like you're looking down on your dog while he is in an awkward pose looking up. In fact, one of my favorite photos of my dogs is one that I took of them at the top of the RV steps while I was on the ground. They are looking down on the camera; it makes them look so regal! (The RV doorway is a great place for pet pictures, too.)
- Think about the background. Try to find an appealing and uncluttered background for your dog portrait. Simple is better. Also, make sure there are no trees or branches in the background. This might be hard to do on a camping trip at a wooded RV park. Otherwise, it might look like they're growing out of your dog's head. Also, you can use the portrait setting (or a large aperture setting) to blur the background and put all of the focus and emphasis on your dog's face.
- Look for the sun. Find the sun and put it to your back. This puts the sun on your dog's face and allows people to see more of your dog's features. You can also take some nice photos with the sun on either side of your dog as well. Another of my favorite photos of a side profile of my dog with a cactus behind. Her face is in perfect focus and the cactus is slightly blurred, so the silhouette is beautiful.
- Don't use a flash inside. If you can find another source of light inside your RV, you should use that instead of a flash. A flash can cause red-eye in dogs, too. Try using light from windows ...
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