In recent years, owing to the surge in social media platforms allowing photo sharing, numerous individuals might have encountered increased chances to capture images of their cherished canines. Nevertheless, several may still feel unaccustomed to frequent camera usage, leading to challenges in photography. Even those well-versed in handling cameras might grapple with seizing shots of their lively, constantly moving dogs.
In this instance, I shall present a few pointers to help you secure even more endearing photographs of your beloved dog.
How To Capture Cute Moments of Your Dog in Photos?
Our beloved dog, always there to comfort us. However, when attempting to capture those adorable moments with a camera, there are likely many who have experienced the frustration of not being able to bring out the true cuteness of their dog. First and foremost, let’s learn about the basic points to keep in mind when photographing dogs.
Shoot With a Firm Aim When Sleeping or Relaxing
Taking photographs of a lively running pet dog can be quite challenging. However, if you have a dog that remains relaxed and still when you point the camera at them or captures them while they’re sleeping, it might be relatively easy to take pictures. Speaking of sleeping faces, it might be a bit disappointing for the owner because it’s hard to capture the adorable eyes of their beloved dog on camera. However, with a nose lamp turned on or when they’ve completely forgotten about their wild instincts and are fully relaxed, a dog’s sleeping face and sleeping position can surprisingly be quite amusing. So, let’s start by attempting to take photographs that are both cute and funny, and also relatively easy due to their lower difficulty level.
See Your Favorite Toy Right Next to the Camera
Even if you try to capture the lively and energetic appearance of your beloved dog while taking photos, there might be times when they suddenly look in a different direction the moment you raise the camera, making it quite challenging to capture their face.
Dogs show interest in various things such as people, other dogs, toys, and sounds. Therefore, having them gaze attentively at a camera that lacks elements appealing to them is likely to be difficult.
In that case, try holding your dog’s favorite toy or a treat they love right next to the camera. The probability of them looking at you will increase as they desire the beloved toy or treat. While they might not maintain direct eye contact with the camera, it will become easier to capture photos where their expressions are clearly visible.
Anyway, Shoot Continuously and Aim for One Miraculous Shot
For those who are inexperienced in photographing dogs, instead of forcefully aiming for cute moments and pressing the camera’s shutter, try taking continuous shots without overthinking. In the past, when film cameras were predominant, it wasn’t easy to take continuous shots like that. However, now with digital cameras and smartphone cameras, you can easily take continuous shots.
You can simply delete photos where the face isn’t captured or if they are blurry, so don’t hesitate to take continuous shots to capture your adorable dog’s moments in photos.
Moreover, recently, cameras with high-performance features have emerged, where the one-second period before and after pressing the shutter is automatically saved. So using cameras with such capabilities might also be a good idea.
One of the shots you take while casually shooting in continuous mode might unexpectedly capture a miraculous moment. If you’re struggling with not being able to capture your dog’s cute appearance in photos, why not start by trying continuous shooting without overthinking?
Always Give a Reward After Taking a Photo
Taking photographs is an act that is nothing more than the owner’s self-satisfaction, so dogs don’t feel the act of photography itself is enjoyable. Therefore, it’s effective to associate rewards with photography so that your beloved dog learns, “Good things happen after being photographed!”
However, if your dog learns that “looking at the mobile device leads to good things,” they might start staring at your phone even when you’re just using it for calls or social media. If they realize that there’s no reward for looking at the phone, they might stop cooperating with photography. Thus, it’s advisable to refrain from using your mobile device in front of your dog as much as possible.
If you want to use a mobile camera for photography but can’t avoid interacting with your phone in front of your dog, you can establish a specific command for photography. Create a smooth flow of “command” → “photography” → “reward.” Commands can be anything like “pose,” “camera,” “photo,” “look this way,” and so on.
Just like teaching a dog to lie down on their belly when you say “lie down,” if you can train them to look at the camera with a specific command, you should be able to capture adorable photos of your beloved dog.
Know the Composition and Light Source of Photography and Take Higher-Grade Photos
For those who have become accustomed to taking photos of their beloved dogs, let’s challenge ourselves to take photos that have been upgraded by considering the composition of the photo while shooting.
There are many different compositions in photography, but here I would like to introduce three representative types of compositions. Some cameras also display grid lines, so it’s a good idea to try shooting with them in mind several times. Furthermore, changing the way light falls on the subject and the position of the focus can dramatically alter the impression of a photo. So, I’d also like to briefly introduce those aspects.
Instead of trying to capture various compositions all at once, I recommend understanding how to capture one composition first and then trying to challenge different compositions. The compositions introduced here are not all that difficult, so it’s a good idea to practice with the compositions you’d like to shoot.
“The rule of thirds is a composition that evenly divides the top and bottom, or left and right, at the center. It is suitable for landscape photography and can result in stable and well-composed photos.
Thinking about dividing evenly at the center might seem difficult. However, if you imagine a scenario where the upper half is the sky and the lower half is the sea, with the horizon aligned to the center of the lens, it might be easier to understand. Also, placing a tower in the center of the lens to create symmetry on the left and right sides fits the rule of thirds composition.
The rule of thirds composition is mainly used in landscape photography, but it can also enhance photos of your beloved dog. However, keep in mind that using the rule of thirds doesn’t mean splitting the photo into half with the dog in one half and the background in the other.
For example, if you can apply the rule of thirds to a scene like the sea and the beach, you can position your dog in the foreground. Combining it with the Japanese flag composition, you can even have your dog placed at the center of the lens.
With your dog centered, and the background divided evenly between the sea and the beach, the photo will have a good balance, making memories vivid and clear.”
Composition of Thirds
The three-part composition is a composition in which both the vertical and horizontal aspects are divided into three equal parts (a total of nine divisions), creating a well-balanced photograph. While four points are created where the vertical and horizontal lines intersect, the subject is placed at one of these four points for capturing.
When photographing using the three-part composition, the subject generally appears balanced regardless of which intersection point it’s placed at. However, the overall impression of the photograph can vary depending on where the subject is positioned among these points. For instance, if you want to capture a dog looking at the upper left corner, you could position the dog on the left side with the background on the right. Alternatively, placing the dog at the lower right intersection point can evoke imagination about what the dog is looking at, resulting in a photograph with a sense of storytelling.
If you’ve become accustomed to photographing while dividing the scene into thirds through the lens, it would be a good idea to also consider which intersection point to position the subject at in order to capture a more profound photograph.
Consider the Direction of the Light and the Position To Focus
During photography, I think you’re focusing on your beloved dog, of course. However, many people might have experienced that the resulting image somehow differs from the desired impression. Since a dog’s body has a three-dimensional quality, the impression of a photo can change depending on where you focus the lens.
If you want to capture your dog’s lively expression in the camera, focusing on the area around their eyes will make it easier to achieve the desired photo. If your dog has charming features like a fluffy tail or interesting patterns, it might be intriguing to highlight those aspects and take shots.
Furthermore, when there’s a light source behind the subject, it’s called backlighting. On the other hand, when the light source is in front of the subject, it’s called front lighting. If you want to capture photos with more presence, it’s also good to pay attention to the direction of the light. Shooting with backlighting can convey the texture of your dog’s fluffy fur, resulting in photos with a different impression than usual and enhancing the sense of presence.
However, be cautious with black-faced dogs when shooting against the light, as their faces might appear completely dark. It’s fine if you want to capture your dog’s silhouette against the backdrop of the setting sun, but if you want to capture their expression as well, it’s generally recommended to shoot black dogs with front lighting.
What Are the Dangers Lurking in How To Take Pictures That Shine?
When you always take photos in the same places and in the same way, many people might feel the desire to capture them from slightly different methods or angles to see something new. However, depending on the way of photography, there is a possibility of putting your beloved dog or the people around you in danger. Therefore, please make sure to avoid only the dangerous shooting methods.
Even actions that the owner may not consider dangerous could actually hold hidden risks. So, here, I would like to introduce some potentially hazardous practices related to photographing your beloved dog.
Flash Photography Can Cause Blindness
Even humans can experience being unable to open their eyes for a while when suddenly exposed to bright light in a dark place. When people or dogs look at bright objects, they adjust the amount of light entering their eyes by closing their pupils. However, since they can’t instantly close their pupils, unexpected exposure to intense light can damage the retina and even pose a risk of blindness.
Camera flashes usually don’t provide such a strong stimulus, so the possibility of going blind from a single flash is unlikely. Nevertheless, it will still result in definite damage. Dogs that are repeatedly exposed to intense light are at risk of the worst-case scenario, which is blindness. Therefore, be cautious.
A Popular but Dangerous Sky Shot
The sky shot is a photography method that was popularized through SNS, mainly in Korea. It involves throwing a dog upwards towards the sky, capturing the image of the dog floating in the air with the sky as the background. While the sight of a dog dancing in the sky against the backdrop of the blue sky can certainly make for an eye-catching photo, it’s an extremely dangerous and terrifying act with the risk of death. So, please refrain from attempting it.
Even a small dog can suffer from bone fractures from just jumping off a sofa. Therefore, if they were to fall from a height higher than a person’s head, there’s no way they would come out unharmed. Even if you have absolute confidence that you won’t drop them, the lack of a proper grip could lead to dislocation or internal organ compression, posing a significant risk of serious injury to your beloved dog.
Death From Falling From a High Place
Since falling from a height is dangerous, placing your beloved dog in a high place can also be risky. What might not seem like a significant height to us could be quite high for a dog. Small dogs, with their thin bone structure similar to toothpicks, are susceptible to fractures more easily than we might think.
Even if your usually calm-natured canine companion might jump down due to curiosity or fear, and even if they have been well-behaved, they could still slip or misstep. Therefore, it’s important not to place your beloved dog in high places. If, in any case, you really want to place them in a high place for a photo, make sure the owner is right beside, supporting the dog’s body and never letting go, not even for a moment.
No Leash Puts Your Dog and Others in Danger
There might be dog owners who, when wanting to take a photo of their lively dog running around, feel that the leash is getting in the way. However, the law states that one must make an effort to ensure that their dog does not cause trouble for others. Depending on how you interpret this expression, it could be considered okay to be without a leash as long as you’re careful around others. However, be cautious because there are areas where it’s clearly prohibited by local regulations. There have been unfortunate incidents where dogs have caused injuries to others due to being walked without a leash. In such cases, the owners were arrested and the dogs were confiscated. So, make sure to properly use a leash.
Moreover, if your beloved dog attempts a dangerous act, it’s difficult to stop them without a leash. For example, your dog might suddenly run onto the road and get hurt, or they might eat something off the ground and end up with stomach issues. There are numerous risks outside the home. To protect the health of your precious dog, always use a leash except in safe areas where off-leash activities are allowed.
Let’s Take Pictures Smoothly and Cherish the Time With Your Dog
Dogs age faster than us humans, so it’s important to capture those precious moments clearly in order to keep the memories alive. To achieve this, you’ll want to take plenty of good photos. However, from our perspective as pet owners, photography is a part of communicating with our beloved dogs. Yet, our dogs cannot fully grasp the meaning of cameras and photographs.
It’s important to be cautious, as becoming too absorbed in photography might lead to your dog feeling jealous and refusing to be photographed, saying, “I’m not interested in that rectangular thing! Pay more attention to me!” So, instead of getting too focused on capturing “better” photos, remember to cherish the time you spend with your dog that’s right in front of you.
By effectively applying the tips mentioned here, you can reduce the time spent on photography and smoothly capture beautiful pictures. This way, you’ll create many cherished memories with your beloved dog.