519-387-3764 Pet & People Photographer serving Owen Sound, Collingwood, Port Elgin

How To ‘easily’ photograph your dog

Okay okay, I the title says ‘how to easily’ photography your dog, and you’re probably thinking ‘ah it’s not easy, I’ve tried!’

But after you learn these tricks you will be saying ‘well that was a little easier than I thought’. Well I hope you say that 😉

Here are my quick tips to photographing your dog

  1. Window light – The key to getting any good or great photo is light! Light is the one thing that can effect the look and feel of your image. It creates mood, drama and elicits feelings and emotions. And it helps your camera focus easier. Or it can stop you from getting focus if its to contrasty. So we need to find good light. yes there is good light and bad light. In most cases, good light is soft diffused light. And bad light (in most cases) is contrasty and very harsh and bright light. BUT there is always exceptions to what people perceive as good and bad light. So we need to look for soft light. And the best place to look for this kind of light inside, is by bring your dog close to the biggest window (or any window) and pose them there. The light coming thru will light your dog so that your camera can focus on it and your dog won’t look to dark. Below is a photo of a puppy taken in her own home, close to the Living room window.
Pet Photography by Candra Schank Photography. Grey Bruce Pet Photography. Owen Sound Ontario Pet Photography.
Pet Photography by Candra Schank Photography 1

2. Get down to their level – This is actually a really good tip because it’s a view you don’t usually see. In fact, it’s the view your dog has every day. By getting down low you are opening up your photos to a brand new look and feel. And your dog will love it to because they will be surprised. And they will probably want to play with you.

dog photo. dog photography. Dog gets belly rubbed

3. Focus on the eye – If you have a camera that you can choose the focus point, choose to focus on the closest eye. You see, as a viewer, you are drawn to eyes in a photograph. The saying ‘Eyes Are The Window To The Soul’ has so much meaning. By focusing on the eyes, you are connecting with them. You are drawing the viewing into them. And eyes are very expressive. They can tell you a lot about the emotions/feelings of a dog.

4. Sunset or Sunrise – The best time of day to photograph any dog and even person is either at sunrise or sunset. The sun is lower in the horizon and thus has a softer more diffuse light. And with the sun low, shadows are minimal or non-existant. This is key as the light hitting your dog is often even and not harsh. This is especially necessary for black dogs because if you don’t have even lighting, black fur of a dog will absorbs light, making dark areas even darker. Making the light balance not pleasant. Under even light, your dog is evenly lite so you don’t have yucky harsh shadows that are distracting.

5. Day time, Look For Even Light – As mentioned in #4, even light is key. So if you’re outside and the sun is blazing, look for open shade that doesn’t have dabbling light. When I say ‘open shade’ you want shade where you can see the sky above. This is crucal because if don’t want the shade to dark…like if you’re in the middle of forest with the canopy closed off. If it’s two dark your camera will have a hard time focusuing. And you will have to increase your ISO or decrease your shutter speed. If you increase your ISO, you’re potentially causing there to be increased grain in the image, which isn’t always desirable. Or if you decrease your shutter speed, you may cause camera shake or if the dog moves your shutter speed wont be fast enough to stop the movement and you will have a blurry image or an unfocused dog.

Cocker Spaniel dog waling on a board walk with her mom. Owen Sound Pet Photographer. Grey Bruce Pet Photographer. Collingwood Pet Photographer. At Collingwood Arboretum.

These are just a few things to consider to help take a better photo of your dog. These are more about finding the best light, as light is key in ALL photos. If you don’t have the right light for the image and mood you’re creating, your image will fall short of being great. In addition to light, camera settings are important. Without going into detail, and know I realize I should create another blog post on camera setting, make sure to keep an eye on your shutter speed. If you’re shutter speed is to slow, even for a slow dog, and most dogs are fast 😉 your images will be blurry.

Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions. Or if you’re interested in having a professional pet session and have custom portraits of your pet created, I’d love to have a fun little chat.

I hope these help you create some great photos of your dog.

If you’re interested in having your pet professional photographed from me, I’d love to have a chat with you. Or we an email/text back and forth…I am easy going.

Also for more current photos and information, please follow me on instagram (@candraschankpetphotography) or facebook (Candra Schank Photography).

Kind regards, your friendly pet photographer,


Candra Schank Photography



text or call Mon – Friday 9am to 5 pm: 519-387-3876