5 Tips for Photographing Your Pet

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.

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

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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).

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Lunch

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!?!

88 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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 😉

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

  11. 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!

  12. 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! 🙂

  13. 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!

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