With the invention of smart phones and apps like Instagram and Facebook, it is easier than ever to take great photos.
Use our guide, and your photos will rival photogenic superstars from Boo to Grumpy Cat.
All of the photos you see in this guide were taken with a cell phone—and with just a little practice, these techniques will become second nature to you.
Find the right light
Outdoors, take advantage of natural light:
- If you can, pose your dog by a window or glass door to get soft lighting.
- Avoid harsh, bright sunlight. On cloudless days, take photos in the shade. Overcast days are perfect for outdoor photography.
Indoors, avoid flash by using lamps:
- Avoid using flash unless absolutely necessary. Flash makes lighting harsh and flat, and it can give pets that dreaded red-eye effect.
- If you have a flexible-neck desk lamp, that can make great lighting for an indoor pet photoshoot.
When it comes to taking pictures of our wiggly pets, focusing correctly can be a challenge.
Avoid camera shake:
- You’ll hold the camera or phone more still if you hold your breath while taking the photo.
- It helps to rest your elbows on something, whether it’s a table or fence post.
Capture motion without blur:
- Trying to get a photo of a running dog? Follow the dog with your camera as you take the shot. You’ll wind up with a stunning photo of a clear dog with a blurred background.
Watch your background
Pay attention to the background of your images. Are there messy dinner dishes on the table? Is there a poop scooper behind the dog? Keep your background clean—a clean background makes your subject pop.
Choose quality over quantity
Take the time to sort through your photos and select only the best ones. It’s better to have five amazing photos than 15 blurry ones.
Get the puppy perspective
Get down on dog level:
- When you’re taking pictures of pets, getting down on their level can make a huge difference.
- Try and get them to look at you using treats, whistling, or a high-pitched tone, and the shot will really shine.
Easy cell phone tricks
There are many tricks for taking great photos with your smartphone camera.
Turn off the power saver, and turn on HDR:
- Ensure any power-saving modes are turned off. They slow down your camera’s performance.
- You can turn on HDR mode to help balance the lighting.
Use special modes for action shots:
- To keep up with fast-moving pets, use burst shooting and pick the least blurry of the shots.
- Many cameras have a mode just for running subjects, typically called Sports, Action, or Kids & Pets mode.
Edit photos before sharing them
Whether on a cell phone or a computer, photo editing applications are priceless. Even a slight adjustment can make your photos look more professional.
Polish photos with an editing app:
- Editing the brightness and contrast can really make highlights and shadows pop.
- Keep an eye on the color of the photos: Do the whites look too yellow or too green? Most photo editing apps have a “color temperature” adjustment where you can fix this.