top of page
  • Writer's pictureAmy Elizabeth Fine Art

Pet Photography Tips- 5 Ways to Get Your Dog to Look at the Camera

Do you struggle to get photos with your dog looking at the camera?

I remember times when I have begged Monty to look at me. I’ve asked nicely, said his name over and over again, clicked my fingers above my head, and done a few more slightly mad things, just to get him to look at me! It can sometimes be in vain as he would suddenly develop "cloth ears" and not pay the blindest bit of attention to me.

However, I found there is a better way. A way to take photos, with your dog looking at the camera. All without looking and acting a little bit mad.


One of the best ways to guarantee your dogs attention when taking a photo is to make a noise. The key thing is to make sure you're making the right noise for your dog. Some noises your dog will be familiar with, such as the sound of the doorbell, this might get his attention, or it might make him bark like a lunatic. The key is to get a photo that grabs his attention, but doesn't get him over excited or barky.

What I find is easiest whilst my hands are full with the camera and treats, it is best to use my voice to make noises. For Monty I find making a weird squeaking sound can be quite effective. When Dogs hear a noise they find interesting they often cock their head, which I find makes for a very cute photograph.

If you want you could use a squeaky toy, or there are even apps that have a variety of noises to play. You might need help with an extra person to handle playing these noises, if you do this make sure they are stood near you so your dog looks in the right direction.

When is the best time to make the noise?

Exactly on when you are ready to press the shutter button on your camera is the best time to make your dog look at the camera, with any luck you will capture is interest for a moment of two so you have the chance to take a couple of pictures.

2- Toys

What better way to grab your dogs attention than something they love to play with. This can combine with noise if his favourite toy happens to have a squeaker in. Unless you are wanting an action photo I would try not to get your dog too over exited, dogs that are moving quickly are far harder to capture on camera. Have fun and swap around what toys you use to see which one works best for getting your dogs attention.

3- Treats

I bet you could have guessed this one right?? What better way to get your dogs attention than with a little bit of bribery. Let your dog have a chance to see what you have got for them, then hold the treat up where you want them to look, then maybe even ask them to sit. Once they are in position snap away and after reward your dog for all their hard work in helping you get the perfect photo.

4- Get them used to the Camera

This is especially for if you are using something like a DSLR camera to get a photo of your dog, they can look a bit funny to dogs so they might not be fully comfortable. Let your dog take a sniff (without them getting wet nose marks on your lens) so they can relax and pose for you.

5- Patience

They always say never work with children or animals, and its definitely harder to get a photo of a dog, than a person who you can politely ask to pose for you.

Some days you will find that it just doesn't happen and you can't get the shot you want, and your dog won’t look at the camera despite all your efforts. It may be that there are too many distractions. Remember, taking photos of your dog is supposed to be fun! If you get frustrated, your dog will realise and become more anxious. If this happens just put down your camera and try again another day. Theres alway another time to try again where you will be able to get the perfect shot of your pet.

Turn your photo into a custom portrait that will be a special reminder of your pet.

Got the perfect photo using my tips, and want to turn it into something even more special? I can turn your photograph into a custom pet portrait in either pastel pencils or coloured pencils. Whether you have a dog, cat, horse or gerbil, using photos provided by you I can turn it into a timeless piece of fine art. I am a pastel pencil and coloured pencil artist based in Derbyshire. I specialise in creating realistic pieces of art from photographs of your pets.

Check out a selection of my previous work here.

Alternatively keep in touch with me via my instagram page.

Already decided you want to commission me for a custom pet portrait? Then get in touch with me via email.-


bottom of page