Pet Photography

5 Dog Photography Ideas You Can Shoot At Home

Love the idea of creative, fun photos of your dog, but don’t want to leave the comfort of your own home?

You’re in luck! We asked professional pet photographer and author of Dog Shots, Charlotte Reeves, to share here 5 top dog photography ideas for getting awesome pics in your own backyard.

1 – Run To Me

Featuring flying ears, long flapping tongues and crazy eyes, these shots are hilarious and always super popular with dog lovers!

How to get the shot:

Make sure you’re somewhere outdoors with lots of light and set your camera to use a fast shutter speed, or sports mode if available. Set yourself up on the ground so you’re at eye level with your dog.

Get your dog racing directly towards you by asking them to ‘stay’ at a distance, then recalling them towards you. You could also ask a helper to hold them then release them when you’re ready to call them towards you. A helper could also throw a ball or toy directly towards you from a distance.

While your dog is running, shoot continuously while trying to keep your dog in the middle of the frame. Hold the camera as steady as possible – this is one of those techniques where practice makes perfect!

2 – Playtime

Our fun-loving furry friends spend so much of their lives engaging in play. Most dogs are always up for a game and capturing these moments of pure enjoyment in your photos can be challenging but rewarding.

How to get the shot:

As for all action shots, make sure you’re somewhere outside with lots of light and set your camera to use a fast shutter speed, or sports mode if available.

You can either by shoot from a distance, tracking the action as they run around. You could also shoot close up with a wide angle of view while engaging with them.

Most dogs do not need much encouragement to play and for the best angles and expressions, involving yourself in the game is the best way to obtain shots with lots of engagement. Plus, it’s fun! Play tug-o-war, throw balls and toys for them to fetch, chase them, have them chase you, get involved!

Obtaining these kinds of shots can be tricky and your success rate might not be high to start with. Persevere, keep playing, keep shooting, and you’ll be rewarded with some really unique and energetic shots.

3 – You can lead a dog to water

Who doesn’t adore great shots of dogs drinking? Shiny wet noses, big slobbery pink tongues and water splashes galore combine to create images brimming with silliness – a fun addition to any collection of dog shots.

How to get the shot:

Timing is crucial in attempting this shot as your dog needs to be thirsty! Attempt this only after a big bout of running around or playing – be prepared and have the correct settings sorted on your camera (fast shutter speed or sports mode) before your dog starts drinking.

If you can control the flow of water, try letting it just trickle or barely flow, giving you more time, as your dog has to drink for longer to quench his thirst.

Make sure the camera is down at dog level and quite close for maximum effect – you’ll need to be up close but zoomed all the way out for a wide view.

4 – Up, up and away

Shooting from different viewpoints and changing perspective adds variety and interest. Shooting from down low has the additional benefit of excluding busy ground-level backgrounds – perfect if you have a less-than-tidy backyard!

How to get the shot:

Lie low, get close, zoom all the way out for a wide angle of view and shoot upwards! This is much easier to do with large dogs but it’s possible with smaller dogs as well if you elevate them on something – a chair, table or stairs.

The biggest hurdle you might face is your dog becoming overly interested in you as you’re lying on the ground within easy reach, so you might need to ask a helper to hold them on a leash.

Include something interesting in the background – trees, shrubs or interesting buildings. Try to avoid shooting up into the sky as the camera will usually compensate for a bright sky by making the image too dark.

5 – Puppy dog eyes

The angle and expression is a familiar view of your dog, and is sure to tug at the heart strings and remind you how much you love them!

How to get the shot:

Choose a well lit area with a plain background – grass, pebbles, tiles or wooden decking. Face your dog towards the direction of light so their face is evenly lit.

You’ll need absolute focus and attention from your dog to get that direct eye contact – try getting their attention with treats or a favourite toy. Encouraging your dog to sit will help keep them in position.

Move the object (treat, toy etc) as close to the camera lens as you can, creating the illusion that they are looking right down the barrel of the lens and directly at the viewer. Try to focus on the eyes, not the nose, for maximum impact.

Reward your dog often with lots of little treats or fun games, as this kind of focused attention really takes it out of them!


All these photography recipes and more are available in further, more technical detail in Charlotte’s new e-book titled “Dog Shots – A compendium of ideas, tips and tricks for dynamic and creative natural light dog photography.

This recipe book of 30 fresh and fun ideas will help you spice up your dog photography through inspiration coupled with technical know-how.

Focusing on utilising locations, working with light and obtaining expression from your subjects, it’s a must-have field guide for any pet photographer at any level.

You can purchase here and please use the exclusive Pretty Fluffy discount code TAKE20PF to receive $20 off!

Pick of the Week

Show Comments +Hide Comments -

Comments (2)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pick of the Week