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There’s nothing sweeter than looking back on precious moments with your pets. We all love those silly and cute expressions that they make, but it can be a challenge to know how to master dogs photography! What is the best way to take photos that are high-quality, crisp, and capture all the important details? This is your ultimate guide to having successful photoshoots with dogs! These adorable, fun, and unique dog photo session ideas will surely be a hit and we’ll share some helpful tips for avoiding blurry, grainy pictures.

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Capturing Their Energy

Dogs, especially young puppies, tend to have boundless energy. This is great for going on a hike and playing with dogs in the yard, but it can be challenging when you want them to sit still for a few moments to capture their cuteness! These 3 tips can help you plan adorable photoshoots with dogs, in any situation where they are wiggling, running, and jumping around.

  1. Shutter Speed: It’s fairly easy to adjust the shutter speed on most cameras. The shutter speed can be adjusted even on your phone camera and it allows you to take crisp action shots with even the most energetic dogs.

  2. Burst Mode: Capture a sequence of shots at speed and increase your chances of catching mid-air leaps or silly faces.

  3. Panning Technique: This technique uses a low shutter speed and a panning motion to capture stunning photos with a blur effect. Panning shots might take a bit of practice, but they will be well worth it!

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Planning a Photoshoot: Lighting

You likely already know that taking photos in the right lighting is vital to taking good photographs. This is no different when planning photoshoots with dogs! Taking pictures in the right lighting will prevent your doggy from blending into their surroundings, as well as preventing other possible issues such as red eyes. 

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  1. Golden Hour: If you are taking photos outside, plan to take pictures just after sunrise or just before sunset. Sunset photos can add a gorgeous golden glow to your photography and provide the perfect lighting to make the pictures pop.

  2. Avoid Harsh Shadows: It might seem like a great idea to take pictures on a warm, sunny day, but you will want to be careful about large shadows that might make your photos unnecessarily dark or uneven. If you are taking a photo under a shaded tree, make sure there isn’t a large amount of bright sunlight at the edges of the photos which will make your pup look dull or even hard to see.

  3. Add Extra Lighting: If you are taking indoor photos, grab an extra lamp or two to help with illuminating imagesor take photos in the brightest room in the house.

  4. Don’t Use Flash: Flash might seem like a great solution in poor lighting, but you will want to be careful to avoid using flash in a dark room. You might be able to see all the details, but they will be in an unflattering light. Instead of using flash, adjust your photo settings to compensate for low light.

Planning a Photoshoot: Lighting

One way to elevate your photoshoots with dogs is to add adorable dog photoshoot props. Here are some fun ideas to get you started:

  • Bow Ties or bandanas

  • Hats

  • Sunglasses

  • Blankets

  • Colorful scarves

  • Wooden frames

  • Chalkboards (These are especially cute with special announcements!)

  • Beach balls

  • Party hats

  • Favorite toys 

  • Cute chairs or stands

  • Birthday party hats and balloons

  • Silly props (such as outfits or costumes)

  • Matching outfits (with your or multiple pets)

  • Treats (Handy for photos of dogs catching treats!)

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Before you invest in props for dog photography, it’s a good idea to have a theme for your photoshoots with dogs. If you don’t want to have classic props, you might still curate the items that will be the background for a photoshoot. For example, make sure there aren’t any intrusive items in the background of the photo, or for an indoor photograph on the couch, you might add in a few seasonal pillows and cozy blankets.

Themes for Your Photoshoots with Dogs

It can be incredibly fun and creative to use specific themes in your photoshoots with dogs. It’s a great way to express your interests, important announcements,or celebrate occasions. Use this list to inspire you or come up with themes on your own! No matter which theme you choose, have fun, be creative, and cherish the moments you capture with your furry friend.

Seasonal Photoshoots

Embrace the spirit of the seasons with themed dog photo shoots. Whether it's a springtime flower garden, a summer Frisbee competition, a fall pumpkin patch, or photographs with your very own Frosty the Snowman, each season offers unique opportunities for adorable photos.

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Gardening (for instance, planting flowers and digging holes together)

  • Garden Tea Party (Alice in Wonderland)

  • Easter

  • Beach Day

  • Camping (Pup-friendly s’mores anyone?)

  • Pumpkin Patch

  • Winter Wonderland (Playing in the snow!)

  • Christmas Postcard

  • New Year’s Eve

Fantasy Photoshoots

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Create a magical world for your dog inspired by fairy tales! Whether you choose to dress up in pearls and steampunk outfits or as characters from your favorite television show, these are some fun, whimsical dog photoshoot ideas.

  • Vintage Chic (Use thrift store finds for your props to bring you back to a historic period of time)

  • Superhero Fun (Use costumes and a few treats to bribe your pup into heroic poses)

  • Fairy Tales (Get inspired by classic fairy tales such as Little Red Riding Hood)

  • Movie or TV Scenes (Cosplay with your pup for a cute movie tribute)

Lovely Themes for Your Pups

If the last themes weren’t your style, consider these adorable theme ideas. Take a sweet photograph setting up the nursery for a baby (with your pup's help, of course) as a pregnancy announcement, or dog engagement photos. These fun theme ideas are sure to melt your heart and you’ll want to savor the moments forever.

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Other Tips for Your Dog Photo Session

If you are planning for photoshoots with dogs, whether the pups are at the center of the pictures or a happy addition to regular family photos, you will want to be prepared. Here are a few tips that will make your life a little easier before you snap the first pic!

  • Bring an extra pair of hands: It’s much easier to take amazing photos with your dog if you aren’t also the one wrangling the leash at the time! Bring a friend or someone that your dog loves and put them on Pup Duty.

  • Keep a leash nearby: If you are in an area where you can go off-leash with your pup, you will still want to keep a leash nearby. Dogs tend to follow their nose and they might just run off before you have a chance to say, “Cheese!” For very active dogs, you might consider leaving the leash on during your dog photos.

  • Make sure you have lots of treats! Dogs love to be rewarded for doing the right thing, so make sure you give them lots of praise, yummy dog treats, and keep the energy happy and relaxed. 

  • Practice common dog commands: In preparation for your dog photo shoot, practice dog training at home. This can include sit, stay, lay-down, shake, and any other dog commands that you think would make for cute poses with your dog.

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Bring Your Photos to Life with SimplePrints

  • You’ve gone through the work to make sure your dog photo session has gone off without a hitch. Now, it’s time to bring all those sweet moments to life! It’s never been easier to make fun and creative photo albums with photos from your four-legged friends.

  • With SimplePrints, it’s easy to upload photos in the free SimplePrints app and create a stylish dog photo album. Flip through the memories, time and again, and easily showcase your favorite photos with our classic Hardcover Photo Album. 

  • Another customer favorite is to compile all your best dog photos and create a custom Wall Calendar! Enjoy the cute photos of puppies all year long. This is a great way to bring the memories of your doggy to work with you or simply show them off in any room in the house. 

Ready to start creating?

  • You’ve gone through the work to make sure your dog photo session has gone off without a hitch. Now, it’s time to bring all those sweet moments to life! It’s never been easier to make fun and creative photo albums with photos from your four-legged friends.

  • With SimplePrints, it’s easy to upload photos in the free SimplePrints app and create a stylish dog photo album. Flip through the memories, time and again, and easily showcase your favorite photos with our classic Hardcover Photo Album. 

  • Another customer favorite is to compile all your best dog photos and create a custom Wall Calendar! Enjoy the cute photos of puppies all year long. This is a great way to bring the memories of your doggy to work with you or simply show them off in any room in the house. 

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