Top Tips for Photographing Your Dog with Your Phone

Everyone loves getting that perfect picture of their pet. Now with high resolution cameras on phones, everyone can get that “perfect” picture. Luckily for me, I have a really close friend that is one of the best photographers (especially pet photographer) in the world. She agreed to share with me her tips on getting the best picture of your dog, using your phone! Here it is:

“The best camera is the one that’s with you!”

– Chase Jarvis

We all have a camera with us at all times — when you have a smartphone on you then you have a pretty advanced camera system whether you know it or not. And when you have your dog with you a majority of the time that means that the photo ops are pretty much endless…

  1. Timing is EVERYTHING — sometimes the powers that be smile upon us for being in the right place at the right time — also known as luck (or what I endearingly call lightning in a bottle). The more times you are out and about and present in the moment you are prone to be fortunate enough to be in the right time and the right place.
  2. Be patient — sometimes you have to just “wait it out”. Especially with puppies. They go from 0 to 60 to 0 at their own pace but learning their particular modes and pace will help to anticipate a good photo op. This particular puppy was on the go then sat on the steps in this yard to chill for a minute. The key for this image was to not get to close and crop in after for a share on Instagram.
  3. Be aware — situational awareness is a term often used by the SEAL teams and special operations soldiers. It’s essentially being alert to your environment scanning and looking and scanning again to notice any changes. I was photographing an interior assignment (not dog related) when this opportunity came up — the homeowner’s lab was older and very tired and had found a few spots to hunker down as the hours passed. I anticipated his settling in and had walked around the interior many many times to create photographs for their MLS listing (real estate sale). I had plenty of time on my side and the homeowners weren’t the least bit concerned about their dog so I took advantage of framing this image through the doorway to give a sense of place, composition and a subtle capture. I edited with a black and white filter via Instagram editing tool on the app.
  4. Get low/get high — sometimes it matters to a well composed phone photo op to get on the same level as your dog and then to get above your dog. This shift in perspective gives added impact to an image. When low watch the horizon line behind your subject so that it doesn’t pass behind their neck (poor composition). You can alter this by moving yourself lower or higher then take your shot!
  5. Know your subject
  6. Get creative with Apps (free ones) 
  7. I also use Layout when I want to post multiple images in a collage like layout. You can export from the app to Instagram and then apply filters. Here is the link to Layout.

When using your phone to take pics practice makes perfect. By using these tips you can improve your results. There’s always more to learn as the technology improves and more apps come on the market. The sky is the limit!

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