dog shaming pic

12 Ideas for Photographing Dogs: Include Your Dog in Photo Books

dog photo book ideaRemember to include your dog in family photo books: We don’t take a lot of video in our family, but whenever I look back on old videos, I can’t help but notice how often the dogs are present. Whether it’s one of the kids taking their first steps, the kids dancing, or a birthday party in the backyard, the dogs are always there.

So, this past holiday season when I was finishing up a photo book to give to the grandparents I was shocked when I realized that the dogs weren’t in it! That’s like leaving one of the kids out of a family portrait, and it’s ridiculous that our photo book almost got printed without the inclusion of our furry kids.

As I went back though our digital photos on Shutterfly.com, I realized that I had dozens of great pictures of our dogs, but I had just overlooked them. Do you need ideas for photographing your dog?

Check out these great Instagram (webstagram) photos for inspiration! (click to view larger)

Tips and ideas for photographing your dog:

Now that I’m aware that these shots might end up having prominent places in our house and in gifts, I want to share some ideas for photographing dogs:

  • Get candid photos of your dog – Pets do some funny things on their own, so when you observe them as a “fly on the wall,” you’ll get great candid pictures
  • Photograph them at their worstDo they look guilty after eating a shoe? Maybe they just scattered trash across the kitchen, or have to wear a lamp shade after a trip to the vet. Remember the saying, “one day you’ll look back and laugh?”
  • Take a photo of them in the bath – There is nothing like the look of a dog mid-way through a bath!
  • Take a picture of them asleep – Especially if they sleep with one of the kids
  • Keep a treat handy if you want them to look at you – If you aren’t taking candid photos, you’ll soon realize that dogs and cats don’t turn and give you a frozen smile like the kids will. (sometimes?) Have a treat handy, and you’ll have their full attention
  • Take lots of pictures of them as puppies and kittens – There are no do-overs after your pet grows up, and when they are young they change every day. A fun idea would be to get one picture a week for your pet’s first year to collage on a few pages of a photo book (look for a coupon)
  • Natural light is best – Flashes can’t compete with the rich natural light that the sun gives off. If you are photographing your dog or cat, try going outside or shooting near a window. Rooms with southern exposure are usually well-lit
  • Lighting from the side or above emphasizes detail – If you want to show off your dog or cat’s fur, wrinkles, and color, then don’t light them from the front. If you take a flash shot from straight on, your going to lose detail and texture
  • Check online for inspiration – Sites like webstagram have millions of photos organized by tags (like, #dog) that you can search, which is where most of the pics came from above. You can even search by breed
  • Before placing an order, don’t forget to use a coupon for Shutterfly photo books here.

dog photo book

Any family photo calendar or book without your dog is incomplete. Remember that they are part of the family, and make a wonderful addition to any photo gift. I even have my dog on my personalized iphone case!

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