10 Tips for Creative and Clever Pet Photos: Canine Edition


After choosing to be surrounded by cats for nearly my entire life, it’s still hard for me to really believe that I have become a dog person. My husband and I had 3 beloved cats for 17 years of our “togetherness” and truthfully I would have never thought we’d cross over into the dog side. Alas, here we are years later with not one, but two dogs. Life takes some strange turns. Mine has unexpectedly led me down Canine Lane.

Once Junie and Grady won my heart—I’ll admit, it didn’t take long—they also won the attention of my lens. As it is with my children, these two dogs just might be the most photographed dogs on the planet. That’s the dog’s life you get when you’re adopted by a photographer. But they don’t seem to mind. In fact, it’s rare that they even pay attention to my camera which makes it that much easier to capture them in every angle imaginable. And I take full advantage of their willingness to be the subjects of my creative affection. Cute, quirky, and joined at the hip, these too characters never cease to tip the adorable scale which makes for some pretty charming photos.

And speaking of charming, when I caught a glimpse of Casey Mullins’s one-eyed, extra-toed cat I nearly died from deep lingering cat love. Yes, I really am still a cat person at heart and because one of my favorite cats was only born with three legs, I have a soft spot for all animals with that certain je ne sais quoi. That is how this little collaboration between myself and Casey began, and why I begged her to share her creative and quirky pet photography tips with me.  And believe me when I tell you that Casey’s got more to offer than just enchanting cats; she’s a stellar photographer and all around awesome gal. But, you probably already knew that.

Without further ado, here’s 5 of my favorite photos of my dogs (and the photography tips to go with them) and 5 more that are my interpretation of Casey’s tips that she’s sharing on her Babble Voices blog Shutter Lovely. You won’t want to miss them. They are lovely indeed! Be prepared for a cute overload.

  • Give them their space 1 of 10
    Give them their space
    I consider each picture I take a little work of art. Even in something like pet photos, deliberate use of compositional elements can help create compelling images. Negative space (or all the space around your main subject) can be used as one such tool. Back away from your pet and creatively place them in the frame and use a little extra negative space as a positive.
  • Snuggle up 2 of 10
    Snuggle up
    If your pets will let you, get in as close as you possibly can and shoot away. A tight, close crop like this one can warm anyone's heart, even on the coldest of nights. Seriously, who needs a blanket when you've got pictures like these? Aaww.
  • Focus on the quirk 3 of 10
    Focus on the quirk
    Every pets got something that's unique to them; some trait or habit or physical attribute that is their signature quirk. My dogs each have their own endearing qualities. A kinked tail, magic ears, a nose that gets crooked with each sniff. Yep. Some are subtle and some are more obvious (note the adorable polka dot dog on the adorable polka dot robe). It's your job to capture those things in your photos.
  • Capturing connections 4 of 10
    Capturing connections
    The bond between my dogs is probably the cutest thing I've ever seen, but the bond they have with my kids melts my heart. Sometimes playing the role of a spy, instead of a photographer can help to capture the candid and often tender moments between your pets and the people that love them.
  • In their element 5 of 10
    In their element
    This is what I wake up to each morning. As soon as he hears me coming down the stairs, he stands by the door like this and waits for me. Yes, it IS the cutest thing ever. Consider getting some shots of your pets in the context of their daily routine. In this case I used the door to frame my little friend which worked to my advantage. Think of clever ways you can do something that features your pet in their element.
  • Casey’s tip – Get down with them 6 of 10
    Casey's tip - Get down with them
    There's no better way to shoot pet pictures than getting down and dirty (literally).
  • Casey’s tip – Get a bird’s eye (human’s eye?) view of them 7 of 10
    Casey's tip -  Get a bird's eye (human's eye?) view of them
    My heart melts when my dogs look up at me with those puppy eyes. "Hello up there. Has anyone ever told you you're really tall?"
  • Casey’s tip – Spotlight them 8 of 10
    Casey's tip - Spotlight them
    When my dog positions herself in gorgeous light like this, I know she's ready for her close up (even if she doesn't know it yet).
  • Casey’s tip – Sleep study 9 of 10
    Casey's tip - Sleep study
    Seriously, the sleeping?
  • Casey’s tip – Let them be weird 10 of 10
    Casey's tip - Let them be weird
    I love this one so much. Yes, my dogs do sit, stand, jump and sleep ON each other. It's kinda weird. In a really good way.


Something tells us your just itchin’ to share some of your own adorable pet photos? Go ahead. We showed you ours, you can show us yours. We promise we won’t bite (or claw).








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Article Posted 4 years Ago

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