• 5 Tips for Photographing Your Pet

    June 7, 2011

    The other day, I received an email from a reader asking how I manage to take such great photos of Murphy. She said she struggles with getting good shots of her dog, and asked if I would write a blog post with some helpful hints. Obviously, I love snapping pictures of Murphy, so here are my tips for photographing your pet!

    1. The best camera you have is the one you have on you.

    You might have heard this one before on CNC, but it’s my most important tip for snapping quality photos of your pet. Unless they’re asleep, dogs (and most other animals) don’t sit still for long, so I always have my point-and-shoot camera or my iPhone within arm’s reach to snap a quick photo of Murphy “in the act.”

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    2. Use natural light whenever possible.

    Flashes. Ick. They’re harsh and unflattering (even to pets!), so I avoid using the flash on my camera as much as possible and take photos of Murphy outside or in well-lit rooms of the house.


    Plus, snapping a photo with the flash on makes Murphy look even more alien-like. GAH! Demon dog!


    3. Get up close and personal.

    Some of my favorite photos of Murphy were taken up close. I fill the frame of my camera with as much as the pug as possible, which makes my photos more interesting by capturing his unique (pug) features (wrinkles, budging eyes, etc.)

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    4. Get down low and experiment with angles.

    Positioning myself down low on Murphy’s level helps me to better capture his doggie experience. Similarly, I like to experiment with different camera angles. I like to shoot from the side, above, below, and behind the pug— usually, I’m pleasantly surprised by the photo that I capture!

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    5. Use treats. They work!

    Some of the best photos I have of Murphy were taken with the help of a little bribery. Pugs (and most dogs) live to eat, so a treat in my hand always gets his attention. I also like to ask Murphy if he wants a treat, which usually receives the classic pug head tilt/very interested face (as seen in the first photo of this post).



    Today’s lunch was a falafel salad of sorts made with broken up falafel, carrots, edamame, black eyed peas, and Annie’s Goddess dressing. I just mixed it all up and added it to bed of romaine lettuce. Mmm! Good lunch.

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    After lunch, I enjoyed two Apricot-Pistachio Bars. I’ll share the recipe on Cookie Friday! Keep a look out for it!

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    Is today flying by for anyone else!?!

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    { 84 comments… read them below or add one }

    Jamie aka "Sometimes Healthy" Girl June 7, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    These are some great pics of Murphy. He’s so adorable! I wish I still had a dog because I’d love to have a pet as a part of my blog :-). Right now, I just photograph pics of other people’s dogs…but I can still use your tips for that! Can’t wait for the bars recipe.


    Lisa (bakebikeblog) June 7, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    Great tips Tina!


    Molly @ RDexposed June 7, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    Those cookies look so good and healthy!


    Justeen @ Blissful Baking June 7, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    Murphy is the perfect model! :)


    Miranda @ Working Mom Works Out June 7, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    Hahaha! He has so much expression in his face.


    Nikki @ The Worth Of My Sole June 7, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    I came across your blog through the web of blogging and have loved reading it. I am running my first half marathon this saturday and reading about your running experiences and race recaps have helped me out a lot! I have also started a brand new running blog to document my new found love. theworthofmysole.blogspot.com.

    Thanks for sharing your life. It is very inspiring.


    Alaina June 7, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    Aw, those pug pictures are too much! Murphy is so cute. :-)

    I love anything with pistachio’s so I’m sure I’ll be making these soon.


    Alyssa June 7, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    It also helps to have such an attractive and photogenic subject!

    Both of my kids were home sick today, so the day has kinda been crawling by for me, lol!


    Tiffany @ Simply Shaka June 7, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    Thanks for the tips! I am always in need of some tips for taking better pics of my pooch and unfortunately, most of the pics I take of him make him look drunk.


    Serena June 7, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Thanks for the tips, these are so useful!


    The Healthy Engineer June 7, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    Hahahah! That “demon dog” photo is so funny!!


    Tina June 7, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    I love the expressions on his face! You always have really great pictures of him. Too cute.


    Gladyxa: Happily Curvy June 7, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    Aww I love Murphy! I thought people were a bit crazy when they always where shooting their pets but now, as a newbie pet owner, I too love to photograph my Lola. Natural light is the best and when you get low, on their level, their personality really comes out.


    Amanda Jewell June 7, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    Looking forward to that recipe! I love taking pictures of my husky! He is the biggest goofball in the world! If you were to look in my camera roll on my iphone there’s about…. 100 pictures of him 😉


    BroccoliHut June 7, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Great tips! I am lucky to have a dog who seems to like being photographed–she always seems to pause just long enough for me to capture a good shot!


    Michelle @ Crazy*Running*Legs June 7, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    This tips are also true for photographing small children :) Honestly, the biggest difference between children and dogs is that kids talk back!


    Emily June 7, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Love your tips and love Murph pics :)


    Hannah June 7, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    I have so much trouble taking pictures of Sasha! Thanks for the tips!


    Pure2raw Twins June 7, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    I can’t wait till the day I have a dog to take pictures of!!! I have a feeling I just might go a little over board when it happens :)


    Katie @ peacebeme June 7, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    this is a good post, I always have trouble taking pictures of my dog and I always wondered how you got such good shots of Murphy. Maybe another key is to just take lots of photos and find a good one? That’s all looks delicious, I have been craving salads like no other!


    Shannon @ HerDogBlog June 7, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    Great post, Tina! I would add that you should always gauge your dog’s behavior before, during, and after a photo sesh. If your pooch isn’t into it, it’ll show in your pictures! Walk away for a few minutes and come back later with a happy, bouncy demeanor. You might be surprised at how much that helps your photos!


    kirstin June 7, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    These cookies look delicious! I can’t wait for the recipe to come on Friday!


    Allie June 7, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    Awee! Murphy is adorable! Thank you so much for the tips. I love how you’re really able to capture the expression in his face. I always have the hardest time taking pictures of my dog because he’s always moving or I end up using the flash which makes him look like a demon dog. I’ll really keep these in mind when I’m trying to photograph him next time!


    Nicci @ Nifty Eats June 8, 2011 at 12:42 am

    Murphy is too cute.


    Khushboo June 8, 2011 at 1:26 am

    I’m still yet to make your Monkey Bars. It’s on my to-do list this weekend! Those and Jenna’s vegan dark choc peanut butter cookies!


    Skinny Fat Kid June 8, 2011 at 9:50 am

    You do have awesome pics of Murphy! Most of the ones we have of Izzy are of her sleeping because that’s the only time she’s sitting still!


    Ryan @ EatSaveTravel.com June 8, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Excellent tips Tina! I’ve been thinking of writing a post about this for a while now. I just posted up a few photos I took of my Jack Russell yesterday. I think he might need to be added to your blog dogs post. 😉 Check them out here: http://bit.ly/mJUwr5


    Katherina @ Zephyr Runs June 8, 2011 at 10:52 am

    I love the treat shot of Murphy – you can tell he’s got an agenda! Good tips. Hopefully my boyfriend and I are getting a cat in a month and I am doubtful that bribery works on moody cats most of the time but we’ll see! :)


    Roz June 8, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    Murphy is adorable!!!


    Lauren @ Sweet and Twisted June 8, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    My husband never believes me about the flash!


    Lacey @ Lake Life June 8, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    Thanks for the tips! I love your Murphy photos and now whenever I see a pug I ALWAYS think of Murphy :-)


    Lisa Barringer June 8, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    I love those pictures of Murphy!! Those are great tips on taking pics of your pet!!! I agree that the best pics are taken at different angles or when they are ‘caught in the act’. Good post!


    Kristina @ spabettie June 9, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    oh my GAAH, Tina! Murphy is So Dang Cute!


    Dana May 15, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    Murphy is so stinkin’ adorable!


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