If you don’t have hundreds of dog photos on your phone, do you really have a dog? ((ha)) Taking great dog photos might seem easy but how many of those are disposable? (And how many of us leave them on our phones anyway!?)

This post isn’t about cleaning up your phone camera gallery. (Though you should do that. What a mess! 😉 ) This is about getting better at taking photos of your dog so you’re capturing stuff that’s actually worth saving and sharing.

And sharing is the point, right? So you can show everyone who has the bestest of best dogs, who has the most handsome, the prettiest, and the smartest of all the dogs everywhere. ((it’s you!))

Here we go: tips for taking great dog photos. (For some inspiration, check out this gallery of some of the best dog photography by famous dog photographers.)

Use a treat or toy

Sometimes no matter how much noise you make or how much you dance for them ((laughing)), a dog will just remain stubborn, not looking your way. The best tricks always involve treats or toys or treats and toys. Holding that or having someone holding that behind you is the best way to guarantee that you are suddenly the most interesting thing in the world to your dog.

After you get your shot or shots, make sure, of course, to hand over that hypnotizer. (And go here to read about the best dog bones or chews that you could be using.)

Get down on their level

Sometimes it’s fun to take those photos from on high, but really, the best shots come from getting down there, nose to nose. This is extra important if you want to capture their eyes and their expression. Crouch, sit, or even lie on your belly.


Don’t use the camera flash. Ick. Do use natural lighting and make sure the light is pointing toward your dog and not toward you. If the light is behind them, remember that means they are backlit and that means dark fronts.

Don’t zoom

Even if your dog is across the room and you want a close-up of their face, do not zoom. That degrades the photo quality. Just take the picture and crop it after the fact.

Go outside

Nature is a great background, and that natural light is going to be at its best outside — no matter how many windows you have in your house. Being outside also often lends to getting great action shots.

Be patient

Isn’t this just the rule of having a dog in your life? Be patient, always and forever and with everything. But especially with photos. They aren’t necessarily great models. (Though some are and they’re certainly better than cats!) Patience, though, will reward you in the end. Almost every time. Emphasis on almost.

Focus on the eyes

Even if you’re using your phone camera, you still have control over the focus. So hit the screen right where their eyes are.

And you can experiment with different modes on your phone camera. Try out “portrait” and see the difference.

Try going macro

This just means, get really close. If they won’t think you’re playing and just start running about, that is. Fill the entire frame with only their face, and again, focus on their eyes. These can end up being stunning photos.


In the end, remember that you have a lifetime of photographing your dog ahead of you. And it’ll never get old because who is not obsessed with their four leggeds?

And don’t forget to take the occasional selfie with your fur best friend!