How to take a perfect photograph of your dog

Many dog owners are like first-time parents - they love to take pictures of their dogs on any and every occasion. If you have ever tried to take a picture of your dog, however, you know that it is not always easy. We've put together some useful tips and hints on how to take a great photo of a dog...get your camera at the ready!

It can be very difficult to get your dog to sit still long enough for a photograph and, even if you can, the photo does not always turn out too well. The key to taking a good picture of your dog is to use the right equipment and to do a little planning prior to the photo session. If you arrange all the details beforehand you will be free to work with your dog's mood and to snap the perfect photo when the opportunity arises.

Using the right equipment

If you are taking photos of your dog with a disposable camera or even a basic digital camera, you should not be surprised if the pictures don't look great. In order to get the perfect photo of your dog, you should use a high-quality camera that can accommodate for the movements of your dog and that will produce high-resolution images, irrespective of the conditions and light level.

Don't feel like you have to go out and buy an expensive camera for this project - ask some of your friends if they have a nice camera you can borrow or consider renting one for a few days. Once you have the camera, spend some time getting used to the controls and take a lot of test photos to practice framing your shots.

Setting the scene

While it may be cute to have a picture of your dog dressed up in a costume or posed in a particular way, it can be difficult to get a good shot if your dog is unhappy, uncomfortable or unnatural. Your best chance of getting a good picture of your dog is to let your dog act naturally and to take the photo in a location where he or she feels comfortable.

Try taking a few photos outside in your garden or at your dog's favorite park - not only will your dog be comfortable in these locations but the natural lighting will look better in photos than artificial indoor lighting.

To get a photo that perfectly captures your dog's personality, think about what makes him unique from other dogs. If your dog is very active and loves the outdoors, take pictures of him at the park chasing a ball. If your dog is a trouble maker, try taking photos of him poking around in your closet. Be creative and try out as many ideas as you can think of. The more imagination you use, the more fantastic the photo should be!

Once you have decided on the proper scene for your shot, all you need to do is start snapping photos. When taking pictures of your dog, it is important to get as close to him as possible - the best photos are the ones where the subject is clearly visible and this can be hard to accomplish from far away.

Don't be afraid to get down on the ground so you can take your photos from your dog's level - the photos will be more intimate this way. If your camera has a "sports" setting to capture action shots, test it out to see what kind of action shots you can get of your dog.

For the more advanced camera users amongst you, also try increasing the shutter speed to prevent blurry photos. Overall, the best way to get the perfect photo of your dog is to take a large number of photos and then sort through them to find the best shot.

Have fun with the photo session and make it fun for your dog too - if you both enjoy yourselves the photos will turn out better and you will have a lasting memory to enjoy.

Be patient, use your imagination and do some planning to help you take the perfect photo of your dog.

If you have tried to take the perfect photo of your dog, but just can't seem to seal the perfect snap, you could always consider taking your dog for a pet photo shoot. No doubt a professional will take a perfect photo!