Photos of Our Super Cute Dogs + How To Photograph Dogs

By Louise

how to take photos of dogs

We got 2 dogs in the past year, so I’ve been spending some time photographing them. I’ve listed below 5 tricks I’ve picked up while photographing them. (All photos were take using my Nikon D810.)

how to photograph dogs

How To Photograph Dogs Tip #1

Choose the right lens for the type of shot (if using DSLR):

For stationary portrait shots, I love using the 50mm 1.8f lens to get that shallow depth of field.
how to take photos of puppies
This photo was shot with my 50mm 1.8f lens. Settings were: ISO 500, 1/100s, 3.2f.

For action shots (like when they’re running), a zoom lens in the 20 to 50mm range works well here (I used my zoom lens but you can also use the kit lens (18-55mm). Make sure to choose a fast shutter speed (over 1/200s) and a high f-stop (over 5.6f) and stand back a bit to get more things in focus.

how to take photos of running dogs
The lighting was sadly not great in this photo unfortunately – I had to use ISO 6400. Other settings were 1/200s, 98mm, 5.6f.

how to photograph dogs

How To Photograph Dogs Tip #2

2. Focus On Their Eyes

We connect through our eyes, so generally you want them in the photo and you want them to be in focus.

how to take photos of dogs
Settings are: ISO 500, 50mm, 2.8f, 1/250s.

how to photograph dogs
Settings are: ISO 200, 50mm, 3.5f, 1/500s

When you can’t see their eyes…
For our little puppy, Willow, she has so much dark fur around her eyes (but white on other parts of her body) that the photos often come out as a mass of black around her face. So, I like to use Lightroom to do a bit of spot adjustment – just around the eyes!

how to take photos of dogs
Settings are: ISO 500, 50mm, f/2.8, 1/250s

Here’s a screenshot of the before and after photos (it’s the above photo zoomed in to see Willow’s eyes) so you can see just how much of a difference some adjustments can make!
how to brighten eyes in lightroom

See this post for how to make spot adjustments in Adobe Lightroom.

how to photograph dogs

How To Photograph Dogs Tip #3

3. Capture them in their natural pose

Unlike humans, dogs don’t seem to be camera shy, so it’s quite easy to catch them being themselves.

how to take photos of puppies
Settings are: ISO 500, 50mm, 3.5f, 1/160s

photograph of dogs in natural pose
Settings are: ISO 500, 50mm, 2.8f, 1/250s

If you have a well trained dog, then you can get them to do tricks too – this is my friend’s dog, Oakley. This works best if you have a second person to help you!

how to take photos of dogs
Settings are: ISO 200, 50mm, 3.5f, 1/1600s

how to photograph dogs

How To Photograph Dogs Tip #4

4. Try Adventurous Cropping

I love these really zoomed in crops – I tried to follow the rule of thirds and to place key features like eyes on the intersection points.

how to photograph dogs
Settings are: ISO 200, 50mm, 3.5f, 1/320s

how to take photos of dogs
Settings are: ISO 500, 50mm, 3.5f, 1/125s

how to photograph dogs

How To Photograph Dogs Tip #5

5. Photograph Them Against A Colorful Background

Dogs have very neutral coloring, so adding some brighter colors (like reds and greens) into the background livens it up.
how to take photos of dogs
Settings are: ISO 800, 50mm, 4f, 1/250

how to take photos of dogs
Settings are: ISO 200, 50mm, 2.0f, 1/6400s

how to photograph dogs
Settings are: ISO 200, 50mm, 3.5f, 1/125s

Want to use these photos for free?

Sure! You have permission – I would love a link back if you’re putting it on your website though 🙂