If you are tired of forcing your dog to take selfies with you, this guide might help you get a perfect shot even with just a smartphone.
1. Plan the photo shoot and create a shot list.
Dogs, along with other pet animals, are hard to photograph. So what you need to do is prepare and plan the event. Decide on what your concept would be and what time of the day you’ll be doing the shoot.
If you plan to recreate a character and need costumes, have the costumes handy and make sure your pet is comfortable wearing the said costumes. If the costumes itches, he won’t be as cooperative.
If you have a routine of walking your dog in the afternoon, it will only get him too energetic if you do the photo shoot then. Unless that’s the kind of situation you are looking for, be sure to prepare the dog. Walk him first and let him release energy. Wait until he relaxes and tries to calm himself. Once a dog is tired, you can get a selfie with him smiling and probably with his tongue out.
2. Consider the background and go for natural lighting.
Dark backgrounds will tend to drown out black-furred dogs. Taking pictures of him in a dark lit room may not be a good idea. This also goes for taking pictures of a white-furred dog in the snow. Unless your smartphone has great focus, avoid that same shade combination.
Dogs have different shades of fur. Fluorescent lights don’t go well with taking selfies. If you take a picture of a black furred dog under a fluorescent light, his fur will look bluish. You won’t be able to capture the tiny details. He’ll just look like a black dog silhouette. The most perfect and most recommended weather to take pictures in is during a nice overcast. Having a bright sunny only changes the look of national event.
Also, when taking pictures, especially selfies, take note of your background. Always double check your background as a dirty laundry pile can ruin your perfect picture.
3. Be patient and cuddle with your dog.
Some owners think that shouting, “Stay, boy! Stay! Stay! Stay, boy!” again and again will make their pet more obedient but they’re wrong. Bombarding them with commands will only distract them more. Instead, be patient and wait for your dog to respond. You can use treats to get his attention or have a friend help take your photo while you fix your dog’s pose.
Another option is to cuddle your dog so he would be relaxed for the photo shoot. You can even wear matching costumes to fit the theme. Once your dog calms down, close-up selfie and focus on his eyes. Since eyes are the windows of the soul, the picture will have personality.
Speaking of personality, let your dog’s personality come through the photos. Let him be himself and the perfect moments will come. Candid moments are better anyways. A dog wearing a suit acting like a dog is cuter than a forced behaved dog wearing a suit. Just have your camera ready to capture the moment.
4. Fix the settings of your smartphone and edit your final photos.
Most phones have a camera app setting for taking moving subjects. Using that particular setup, you’ll be able to get good shots even though you have an energetic dog. Say goodbye to blurred photos. Also, when taking a selfie with your dog and he suddenly moves or leaves, the phone will be able to catch him inside the frame.
Nonetheless, you don’t have to stress out over bad quality photos because there is always Photoshop. You can always edit and enhance the quality of your pictures. Feel free to use filters and play with the adjustment buttons of saturation, brightness and contrast. You can even use apps to edit or even when taking the pictures.
5. Shoot lots of pictures.
Much like taking your own selfie, you must take many shots so that you have a ton of pictures to choose from. Even models take a huge number of pictures from different angles.
In addition, get flexible to get great angles. Even if it takes bending your waist for quite a long amount of time, try to see things in your dog’s perspective. Pictures are better when taken at an eye level, which in this case is your dog’s eye level.
You don’t need a great camera to capture beautiful photographs. Photography is a skill and not a setting. It takes patience, passion, and probably a phone.