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  • Writer's pictureAmy Elizabeth Fine Art

How to Take Great Photos of Your Puppy

5 Tips to help you get the best photographs of your puppy.

Everyone knows puppies are the cutest, but if you thought dogs were hard to photograph, puppies are on a whole different level. Capturing your puppies first moments in life is so important, as they grow up so fast. Photographing animals has many unique challenges, from getting the expression that you want, or getting them to listen to your instructions. With puppies you can add in the issue of their boisterous energy and short attention spans, creating quite the challenge to get a great photo.

Whether you are a competent photographer with a DSLR and all the gear, or a new puppy owner wanting a photograph in order to commission a pet portrait from me, these tips will help you in getting the perfect shot.

1- Use Natural Light

Using natural light when photographing puppies means you do not need to worry about the flash scaring them. Being outdoors is a great way to get lovely natural lighting, and has the added benefit of improving the background of the image. The ultimate lighting is a bright but overcast day, this means there are no harsh shadows from bright sunlight.

2-Let Puppies Play Before the Photo Shoot

You might not believe me when I say this, but about 20 minutes before I took this photo of my dog Monty he was running round the garden with the scarf in his mouth. What was the difference between this situation and getting the photo above? I spent the intervening time playing with him. Puppies have a lot of energy, if you let them play for a little while before you try taking photos you will have a more calm subject that is far easier to photograph.

3-Get Down on Eye Level

Unless you have got a great dane, the chances are that your puppy will be a little guy. We all know what they look like from above, as that is how we see them. What makes for a better photo is seeing them from their perspective. It might not be the easiest thing to get down on the ground to take photographs, but it does make all this difference in the quality of your photos. Make your photographs more unique by getting down on the ground to their height. It is guaranteed to add an extra level of cuteness to your photos.

4-Be Patient

One of they key aspects to almost any kind of photograph is patience. The difference between a good, and a great photograph can be a matter of a few seconds. Just a little movement, a small head tilt or expression as puppies play can make a huge difference in the end result. Now we all have digital cameras and smart phones rather than film cameras, you are not restricted by how many photographs you can take. It definitely pays off to have a little patience, and make sure you are ready to hit the shutter when the perfect moment strikes!

5-Use Props

One of the main reasons why puppies are so adorable is because they are so small. One way to show their size in photographs is to use props to show scale. In the photo above Monty is lying with his alphabet ball, this photo is one of my favourites of him as a puppy, there is something about the ball that gives the photograph more depth. There are plenty of things you can use, wether it is toys, clothes or things like flowers, give them a try and see what photos you can get.

6- Wait Until They are Sleepy

You know what is easier to photograph that a moving target? One that is asleep! There is quite frankly nothing cuter than a sleeping puppy, and as long as you are quiet, they can be a lot easier to photograph. Even if they are not quite asleep, a tired out puppy will be a lot easier to get a great picture of.

Once you have got some great photographs of your puppy, you may want to turn them into a piece of artwork for your wall. I am a pet portrait artist based in Derbyshire, who works from photographs of your pet to create realistic portraits in pastel pencil and coloured pencil. Whether you have a puppy, adult dog, horse, cat or gerbil, check out my website, or contact me with any queries you may have. Pet portraits make an excellent gift for the animal lover in your life, I also offer gift vouchers so recipients can commission a portrait in their own time.


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