How To Photograph Your Dog: This tutorial is part of the “No Place Like Home” Campaign. We’ve partnered with some of our Licensing contributors to create these “conscious living” tutorials and Quests to encourage you to pick up your camera, maybe learn a new skill, and continue to do what you love despite these difficult times.
This tutorial was created by Iza Lyson, a 500px Ambassador and top Licensing Contributor based in Poland, who specializes in dog photography.
The Quest associate with this tutorial is sponsored by LowePro. Learn more about LowePro here..
Now’s the time to practice your pet photography skills! Snap some photos of your dog and submit them to the Pets at Home: Dogs Quest and you could win a prize pack from LowePro. We also put together a tutorial and a Quest for cat lovers.
Staying indoors can be a challenge, but there are a few perks. One being the opportunity to spend more time with our four-legged friends. While your furry companion may be used to running free outside, teaching them to sit and stay for your indoor shoot could be just the practice you need to take your animal photography to the next level.
Documenting your pet at home can add dimension to your skills, allowing you to play on a variety of concepts such as friendship, loyalty, and comfort as you work with the lighting and shadows within your home. Here are a few simple tips to help elevate your pet photography.
Take advantage of your space
Use this time in your home to your advantage. Try and capture authentic moments of your pet in their space. They are already familiar with the different areas within your home, which makes it great for ensuring your pet is comfortable. If they have spaces within your home that they gravitate towards such as their bed, a favorite couch, or right by their food bowls, photograph them there and how they interact with that space. This will help your pet feel more comfortable and natural, creating a more authentic and fun shoot.
Use their quirks
Since they are so comfortable at home, you can easily let their personality shine through. Spend some time watching your dog as they go about their day and keep your camera nearby. Be ready to capture the funny things they do—maybe they have a cute ritual after they eat a meal, or perhaps they sleep in a funny position, or as they play with their toys. But also catch those casual candid moments throughout the day—morning cuddles, an afternoon nap, after a bath or a long walk.
Play with the lighting
There is a lot you can do to experiment with lighting in your home. Spend some time watching the light as it passes through your windows—there may be some interesting patterns at certain times throughout the day that you can use in your photography.
“No Place Like Home” with Creative Photo Ideas to Try While You’re Stuck at Home
Use blinds, curtains, or even a mirror to create interesting lighting patterns that you can experiment with. Play with the lights and shadows in your house and don’t be afraid to move your dog’s bed, blanket, or use a toy to get them into the interesting light.
A flashlight or even a regular floor or table lamp can be a great way to experiment with lighting.
Create a backdrop
You can also create a home-made studio. Hang up a blanket, or use a colored wall as a backdrop. Use creative lighting from natural sources or from lamps in your home. You can also take advantage of props or other items in your home. Just make sure that your dog feels comfortable with the items you’re using – otherwise, you’ll be creating the same atmosphere that makes them nervous in the studio.
Always remember that snacks and toys can encourage your canine model to cooperate. Plus, no one likes to work for free.
Animal photography takes patience – but it can be a really fun activity for both you and your dog, plus you’ll walk away with beautiful photos of your beloved pet that you can cherish forever.
We want to see your pet photos! Submit your dog photos to this Quest on 500px. You can download the Premium Lightroom Presets here to use