We’ve all seen those immaculately dressed dogs on social media. You know the ones, they are the perfectly poised pups who perfected the duck-face long before you even knew what a “selfie” was and have more followers than you could ever hope to. Sometimes they’re smiling wide, or lounging provocatively, or sitting up human-like, but no matter what they happen to be doing in the photo, they’re looking straight at the camera like they’re getting paid to pose! I don’t know how many times you’ve ever tried to dress up your dog, let alone point a camera at him afterwards, but most of the time he’s not having it! Whether you’re trying to become Instafamous or just get a cute family photo, here are some tips for getting your pooch to pose for that IG-worthy shot.
The tennis ball phone attachment
When selfie sticks and forward facing cameras are all the rage, it only makes sense that the pet attachments would follow suit. One of the original pet selfie assistants was the tennis ball phone attachment. The big green ball clips onto the top of your cell phone so your pooch looks excitedly at the eye of the camera while you smile and snap away. Genius!
Fancy gadgets are great and all, but you could always do it the good old fashioned way by using treats. A strategically placed treat can be a total game changer. You could try balancing it on top of your phone like the tennis ball, or get a friend to hold the treat up while clicking away on the camera. Of course, if you’re just taking photos of the pup and not yourself, you can leverage the treat for all sorts of poses, from play dead to sit and stay.
To get that million dollar smile from your pup, have a rowdy play session first! Get your pup’s heart rate up with a quick, energetic game of tug of war or fetch. Sneaking in a little exercise before the photoshoot will get your pup to perk up her ears and smile wide for that #tongueouttuesday grin! Don’t play too hard though, because if she’s exhausted, she’ll likely rather lie on the cool, tile floor than pose for your camera.
Get a tripod
If you don’t have another person willing to do the dirty work for you, a tripod can be your very best friend. Not only will you get consistent, shake-free shots, but you’ll be able to set your camera at whatever height, angle or strange spot you’d like. There are tons to choose from too, from little and cheap to monstrous and expensive ones. There are even highly adjustable octopus-looking tripods that have flexible legs that can wrap around a tree branch or pole if that helps secure the shot. This is the easiest way to get sweet candid shots of you and your pooch. Be sure to switch to the self-timer, multiple shot setting on your camera so you have time to get situated before it starts clicking and you have plenty to choose from.
If your camera is equipped for it, a remote can be another game changer when using a tripod. Not only will you not have to run from the frame to the camera between each shot, but you can even place yourself out of the frame and cue your pup from various angles getting those shots you’d never be able to capture from behind the lens.
When it comes to photographing pets, it’s important to accept that motion is an obstacle you’ll face. Those pups are not going to want to stay still, and even when they do, chances are that tail will still be going full speed ahead. Set your camera at a higher shutter speed to better capture this motion, but be sure you have plenty of natural light to work with too since this setting will not capture nearly as much light as a lower shutter speed would.
Take LOTS of photos
For every beautiful photo, there are tons of less-than-perfect tries that came before and after. Don’t settle for one or two clicks. In the digital film world, there’s no need to be stingy with your photo taking. For the best chances of getting a great one, take lots of photos for each pose you try. You can, and probably should, delete all the outtakes afterward.
Taking photos of or with pups is not an easy task. It’s easy to get frustrated and want to give up, but remember that your furry pal has no idea why you’re making him wear human clothes and stay still while your black box makes funny noises. Be patient and know that as time goes on, it’ll become easier to capture your beautiful doggie moments.