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  • Writer's pictureMichael Puck


Most Frequent Mistakes when taking Pictures of Dogs. Part 1

You love your dog more than life itself, but even though your new smartphone has a great camera you just can't seem get a decent picture of your dog (or cat) that captures the true personality of your little furball. The pictures are either blurry because your dog didn't sit still, or your black dog turns out too dark, your white cat is way too bright or you managed to give them green or red eyes because you used the flash. 

Rest assured, you are not alone. Just go to and look at the pictures posted there.  At least 2/3 of the pictures on don't help the animals to find a new home because they don't reveal much of anything about the animal.

Let me share with you have you can instantly improve your pet pictures by avoiding some of the most frequent mistakes.  

Mistake #1: You are not getting on your subject’s eye level.  

If you want to create an emotional connection don't take pictures top down. Get on your knees or if needed lie flat on the ground (for the smaller dogs) to capture a picture from their perspective.  "Eye level" pictures will draw more attention because we normally don't see dogs from that perspective.  This is not to say that you cannot take really cute top-down pictures, but as a rule of thumb go on the dog’s eye level. This has the added benefits that you also might be able to blur your background if it is further away, but we will get to that in part 2. 

Mistake #2: Your camera's focus is not on the dog's eye that is closest to you. 

It has been said that the eyes are the windows to your soul. This is equally true for dogs and if you don't get the eyes in focus you don't experience the magic connection to the dog in the picture. This is probably one of the most important points and why so many people fall in love with the pictures I take of dogs. If the eyes are not in focus and sharp the emotionally connection between the viewer and the dog in the picture is greatly reduced. To be honest, this will take some practice, especially if your dog belongs to the fast-moving canine species. 

Mistake #3: You are taking pictures against the natural light.  

Even though digital cameras have come a long way, they are still a far cry from the capabilities of the human eye. Just because you can clearly see a black dog against a bright background doesn't mean that your smart phone camera or DSLR has the same ability.  As a rule of thumb, you want to take pictures in the same direction that the natural light falls and not against it. This applies to direct sunlight as well as defuse light on an overcast day.

Stay tuned on how to avoid other common mistakes when taking pictures of dogs.   

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