Easy Dog Photography Tips: Lighting

Dog photography tipsGetting great photos of Fido, is not about having the most expensive equipment, in fact you can get great photos of your dog, just by using your smartphone.  

In order to get the best photos – the most important element is finding the right light. 

You should focus on your dog’s eyes.  You know those photos where there’s a distinctive ‘twinkle’ in your dog’s eyes? Those twinkles are known as catchlights – which is simply the highlight of a light source reflected off the surface of the eye. This highlight adds depth and dimension to the eye, and gives your dog’s eyes life in a portrait.


 Tips for finding the best light:

Overcast days are great! Said no one except the dog owner wanting to catch a perfect photo of their fur baby…

Overcast weather creates beautiful, soft shadows – which can really make your photos sing!

This  is especially useful for taking photos of dogs with dark coats. This is because dark fur doesn’t reflect light very well and sunny, bright days can create harsh shadows.

When shooting dogs, try to get catchlights in their eyes to brighten them up. Catchlights are the little white reflections of the light source that show up in eyes. They’re good things.


Sunny Days:

Perhaps your dog is being particularly charismatic – or it’s just a nice day, sunny day… Here’s how to take great pics when the sun is high in the sky:

Find a shaded area, with no direct sunlight.

Alternatively, taking photos early in the morning or late in the afternoon (when the sun is low) can also create a beautiful soft light.

Taking photos of your dog indoors: 

Perhaps you want to capture a pic of your dog doing it’s best couch potato impression. Or you might live in an apartment and have limited access to outdoor areas. Here’s how to get the best light for indoor dog photography.

Choose a room that’s well lit by a large window and open all blinds and curtains so natural light will filter into the room.

If the sun is coming directly through the window, you’ll end up with harsh lighting. You might want that, or you might want to use a different window to get a softer light. Feel free to experiment with this…

Avoid overhead lighting. It’s can exaggerate sags and wrinkles (…and we don’t mean in a cute way). Instead, position your dog back from the light source so the light bounces from the floor onto your dog.

The more light the better, right? Wrong-o.

Dont get tempted to use overhead lights & lamps when you’re shooting near a window. When you have both natural and artificial light going on, it can make it impossible to properly white balance your photo  – and just looks weird. To get the best results,  stick to just one light source.


What avoid when taking photos of your dog:

Avoid using the flash. Flash burst can, can make your smoochy pooch look like the spawn of satan with unflattering red eye. It can also frighten your dog. 


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