5 non techy camera phone tips for taking a better photograph of your dog

Three whippets on a tree stump. An example of how the wait command can help you take better photographs of your dog.

Teaching your hounds the wait command can really help improve your images.

  • Okay, I’m cheating slightly as this one doesn’t even involve a camera! By teaching your dog a basic wait command, it means you can take a few steps away from your dog and frame the image without having to rush. It’s a super simple process if you don’t already know it – all you need to do is ask your dog to wait while you are standing still, wait a few seconds and reward, build up the seconds, then eventually take a step back and repeat. 
    Before long, you should be able to take a few steps back, and if you progress, even walk away.
  • Watch your background. How many times have you taken a lovely portrait of your dog only to find he has a tree for a hat? This is such a simple one but can make a huge difference. Before you press to take the photograph, check: is there anything accidentally growing out of your dogs head – a lamppost, a bin, a bush, a doorframe?
    Can you move around slightly to make sure that the background is clear. Same with horizon lines (where the earth meets the sky), is it cutting through your dogs head?
  • Get down to your dogs level – if that means lying down, give it a try, as long as you are able to get back up again, I have to admit, I’m finding this harder. A crouch down will do the job as well. This way you get the image from a dogs eye view. Maybe take a photo from your normal level and then as low as you can so that you can see the difference.

Photograph of a whippet with horizon line of fence cutting through it's profile.

Example of getting down on your dogs level and checking the background.

Photograph explaining how to get down on your dogs level to take better photographs of your dog.

This image feels cleaner – no lines cutting through the hounds head.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • I’m still surprised that people don’t use or even know this – most camera phones now have a portrait mode. As long as the background isn’t too fussy, like a huge holly bush for example, the camera is smart enough to pick out what’s closest to it and blur out the background. Some even let you adjust the level of blur which is pretty amazing.
  • This is my favourite – look for the right light, it really can transform an image. For example, it’s pretty difficult to get a lovely image in bright sunshine at lunchtime in summer, most people have their dog facing the sun, which makes the dog squint and because of how bright it is, the colours become really saturated. Which, if you like that, great! What you could do instead is something simple as finding the shade of a tree or a building and having your dog facing outwards will give you a really soft, even light. 

I’d love to see how you get on! You can follow Fur & Fables on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook either tag me in your image or pop it on my page. 

I also run a Furdography for Beginners course on Facebook through the winter months, again, its non techy and you don’t need a fancy pants camera . It’s a lovely community with lots of feedback from me and encouragement from the rest of the group. If that’s something you think you’d be interested in,  sign up for my newsletter to be among the first to hear when registration opens.

Or if you prefer, I also offer 121 bespoke lessons, set in the gorgeous West Sussex countryside. Learn more about 121 lessons here: Bespoke Photography Lesson

Most of all, have fun, get creative.

Bye for now,
Kerry

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