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19 Dog Photography Ideas to Get You Inspired (With Pictures)

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black puppy looking at the camera

If you are a beginner photographer, one of the best ways to sharpen your skills is to take photos of your family dog. Most dogs would love the attention. But many people want to know what kinds of pictures they should take. If this sounds like your situation, keep reading as we provide you with a huge list of ideas.

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The Top 19 Dog Photography Ideas to Get You Inspired

1.  Water Sports


brown dog waterboarding
Image Credit: Mia Anderson, Unsplash

If your dog is a water retriever or likes to play and swim, water sports pictures can be great. Dogs are capable of all kinds of unique feats, and the water will enable you to get unique angles not possible on land. You’ll need to get in the water to get the best pictures, so make sure your camera is waterproof. Using gear that also lets you see underwater will help you get better images.

2. Bath Time

poodle puppy bath time
Image Credit: Zachary Pigott, Shutterstock

Few things make our god look cuter than playing in the water, and bath time is no exception. People love dogs covered in bubbles, especially if they’re making a strange face, but you can also take a picture of your dog lounging around in a shallow pool or puddle. Any of these occasions will help you get a great photograph.

3. Dog and Baby

dog and baby
Image Credit: Jimmy Conover, Unsplash

If there’s one thing cuter than a dog, it’s a baby, and putting them together in the same picture is sure to be adorable. You will need to make sure the shutter speed is fast because their movements will be quick, and plenty of lighting will also help. Only allow a dog near a baby if it’s safe.

4. Dog With Bubbles

dog catching the bubbles
Image Credit: Joe Hughes, Unsplash

If you are looking for a super-cute dog picture, consider pairing a dog with bubbles. Many inexpensive machines can create massive numbers of bubbles, indoors or out, that you can use to enhance a photo of your pet. Many dogs will also chase after the bubbles, so you can capture them in unusual poses that are often hilarious and otherwise impossible to get.

5. Open Spaces

happy dog running
Image Credit: Joe Caione, Unsplash

One of the best ways to show off your dog as a majestic animal is to take a photo of them in a large field or empty room. The lack of other objects helps show that the dog is the most important, enabling you to focus more on the finer details.

6. Wearing a Costume

two dogs wearing costume
Image Credit: Karsten Winegeart, Unsplash

During the holiday season or another celebration, like a marriage or graduation, many people like to dress up their dog in a fancy costume. Costumes can transform your pet into almost anything, and the results can be a photo that you cherish for a lifetime. Many costume pet pictures also make great holiday cards that you can send to family members.

7. In the Wind

dog enjoying the wind from the car window
Image Credit: Avi Richards, Unsplash

If you like to take long rides with your dog, you know that the perfect time to take a picture is when they’re hanging their head out the window, enjoying the cool air rushing past their face. Some dogs look happy and content, while others make hilarious faces. Either way, have a passenger snap a few photos while you drive, or let someone else take the wheel for a unique photo to hang on the wall.

8. Black and White

pug black and white photo
Image Credit: charlesdeluvio, Unsplash

Black-and-white photos are ideal for taking a heartwarming picture of your pet. The lack of color makes the image look more serious, and it often seems to have more detail. Black-and-white photos are great for older dogs and small puppies.

9. Playing

two brown dogs playing fetch
Image Credit: Mia Anderson, Unsplash

Pictures of dogs playing and having fun look great and help us feel better, especially after they are gone and we want to remember them. Use a camera with a fast shutter speed to take clear images because dogs can move quite quickly, which might cause a camera with automatic settings to produce a blurry image.

10. Peek-a-boo

curly brown dog peekaboo
Image Credit: Vy Luu, Unsplash

One image sure to start plenty of conversations is a picture of your dog peeking out from behind something. It’s even better if they’re peeking from an area where they know they are not allowed, since they will usually have a concerned face that looks great on film. These pictures can be hard to plan for, though, so you’ll need to be ready!

11. Hiding

black pug hiding
Image Credit: charlesdeluvio, Unsplash

One image that can be fun to obtain is your dog hiding. If you have a dog that often misbehaves and tries to avoid getting in trouble by hiding, it can lead to hilarious photographs. Dogs trying to hide their eyes or face from light while they sleep can also lead to attractive pictures.

12. Sunset

white small dog in the park during sunset
Image Credit: Zoe Ra, Unsplash

A sunset can create red and orange lighting that often enhances pictures. Getting a picture of your dog running, playing, or even sitting during a sunset can look amazing and often results in a photograph worth hanging on the wall. The downside of these images is that they can be challenging to get because the dimmer light will require long shutter times, resulting in a blurry photo if your dog moves quickly.

13. Silhouette

silhouette of a dog
Image Credit: Yuki Dog, Unsplash

Sunset is a great time to capture a silhouette of your dog. If you can put the setting sun behind your pet, it can result in a fantastic image. You can also get a silhouette if you position a full moon or another bright light source behind your pet.

14. Sleeping

brown dog sleeping between folded beddings
Image Credit: Sdf Rahbar, Unsplash

Dogs can get into weird positions while they sleep, resulting in amazing photographs. One of the best things about these sleeping pictures is that your dog is not aware that you’re taking them, so you can use long shutter times and take your time getting into position for the best photograph.

15. Shaking

black dog shaking
Image Credit: Tadeusz Lakota, Unsplash

One of the best pictures that you can get of a wet dog is when they start spinning their body and head to shake off the excess water. Using a fast shutter speed will help you get a clear image of your dog in mid-swing. Water will be spraying in every direction, and the dog’s body will be in a pose that will amaze anyone who sees it.

16. Up Close

close up siberian husky with light blue eyes
Image Credit: Marek Szturc, Unsplash

Up-close pictures can be fun to take, and they enable you to see your pet in unique ways. Many people like to take up close pictures of the snout, but the feet, eyes, and ears can also be quite interesting.

17. Catching a Treat

brown dog catching treats
Image Credit: felix_w, Pixabay

Capturing an image of your dog catching a treat in midair is challenging but well worth the effort. You will need a camera with a fast shutter speed and the ability to expertly time it so you snap the photo just as your dog catches the treat. This action often results in amazing images. Don’t expect to get this picture on your first try! Your dog will be happy to keep at it for as long as it takes, though.

18. Licking

brown dog licking its face
Image Credit: Karsten Winegeart, Unsplash

Many dog breeds like to lick the side of their face and let their tongue hang out when they’re happy, making for a great picture. But since the action happens fast, you need a quick shutter speed to capture the image.

19. Reflection

dog drinking water in the shore showing its reflection
Image Credit: Judi Neumeyer, Unsplash

If you want a fancy picture of your dog, it can help to put them in shallow, still water to create a reflection. You can also create artistic photos by capturing reflections of your dog in puddles or even windows or shiny metal.

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How Can I Take Better Pictures?

Plan Ahead

To get the best pictures of your dog, have the camera ready with the correct settings made. If you try to take photographs spontaneously, you will be relying more on automatic settings that aren’t perfect for many situations and can result in blurry, low-quality images.

Learn Your Camera Settings

Learning your camera settings is essential to good photography. If you don’t take the time to read the manual and learn how to operate your camera, you will not be able to change the proper settings or even know what your camera can do.

Try Adjusting Your Shutter Speed

Once you learn how to adjust your camera settings, one of the first things that you should focus on is knowing how to change the shutter speed. A fast shutter speed is good for capturing objects that move quickly, like a race car or a flying bird, which would be blurry under normal settings. A slow shutter time allows more light into the camera, so you can take pictures with less light.

Take Multiple Shots

The best way to take better pictures is to take more of them. Instead of taking one or two pictures of your dog, take as many as you can. Continuously adjust the settings on your camera, and change the lighting in the room. Making these changes will help you learn what they do and how they affect your image. You also have a much better chance of getting a picture that you like.

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Taking pictures of your dog is great fun, and neither of you will get tired of it, especially if there are treats involved. Dogs are fast-moving animals that often require a fast shutter speed, so it can be challenging for beginners to get many good pictures until they learn how to make the proper adjustments. Taking pictures of your pets while they’re sleeping or sitting can help you experiment with lighting and the settings on your camera while still getting good images.

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Featured Image Credit: Hkyu Wu, Unsplash

About the Author Ed Malaker

Ed Malaker is a veteran writer who contributes to a wide range of blogs covering information on computer programming, pets, birding, tools, fitness, guitars, and optics. Outside of writing, Ed is often found working in the garden or performing DIY projects in the house. Ed is also a musician, spending his time composing music for independent films or helping people repair their guitars.