We all have lots of pictures on our phone and sometimes take pictures with a traditional camera. But, even with tons of images I have so many tell me that they just can't get good pictures of their dog.
I'm going to give you a few tips (that are quite simple really) that can improve the look of your images.
1. Turn off your flash.
Whether on a phone or using a camera, your flash will all too often give your dog alien eyes.
2. Make sure there is plenty of natural light.
If you try to photograph a dog in the middle of a bright sunny day they will almost always be half really, really bright and half really, really dark. This might not bother you too much, but sometimes it can ruin a good shot. The best time of day is early morning or an hour or so before sunset when the sun is lower in the sky. It's softer light, shadows aren't so harsh, and you won't have to worry as much about them squinting. Overcast days are actually really great for photographing dogs, especially black dogs. The light is very soft and there will be little to no shadows hiding your dogs beautiful features.
This first image was taken on a bright, sunny day. It's a nice enough image, but the shadows on the ground are very dark, there are lots of distracting bright spots in the background, there are bright spots in the fur on her face, and the colors and texture of her tutu are quite washed out.
This next image was taken on an overcast day. This little girl is evenly lit showing the true colors in her fur, you can distinguish people in the background, and there's lots of texture in her tutu.
3. Get down on their level!
This is the most important tip I can give you when it comes to animals (and toddlers, too for that matter). Your pictures will show them in the center of their world and you will love the results.
To do this you need to be physically on their level, eye to eye. For a big dog that means you need to squat down low. If you have a small dog, you're most likely going to have to get down on your belly.
If getting down on the ground is not physically an option for you don't worry, you'll still be able to achieve great eye to eye images. You can photograph them while they're elevated in some way. If your dog is on the couch, you can sit across from them and simply lean down to their level. If you're outside, you can photograph them sitting on a porch while you're on the ground or lower steps. As long as you're lower than they are, that's all that matters.
As with anything, practice makes perfect, or at least when you take lots of pictures you're bound to end up with a few winners. ;O)