Sit, Stay, *click*

Who doesn’t know the feeling of being overwhelmed by all these perfectly taken shots of dog pictures on Instagram? The dogs strike the perfect pose, show their puppy eyes or are just 100% in focus. And then there are my pictures with a dog full of mud who refuses to look at the camera. Jari thinks that he always looks majestic and he hasn’t really the will to please for pictures or commands in general. He’s a stubborn little fella and I have to say I love him for this, even if I get annoyed sometime when he doesn’t want to take any commands.

Jari wearing his “Northwoofs” collar and his beautiful bandana from “Lieblingspfote”

Your instagram feed shouldn’t be a burden but you need to have fun! Don’t get sad if your picture doesn’t get many likes. I know the struggle. When my account was smaller (I’m no big account with a little over 2000 followers) I realized that I had much more interactions with followers and people in general. Now, I’m happy when I receive more than 150 likes and some comments. I always see those big accounts with hundreds and thousands of likes and comments. I would lie if I tell you that i don’t care about likes but I always need to refocus. Is my life better just because I receive some likes? But anyway, that’s not what I wanted to talk about.

In my opinion taking pictures of your dog is a great training. Your dog learns to sit, stand or lie down and be still. Even in places with lots of scents, people or distractions in general the dog has to be concentrated. Your dog has to learn to be patient because they have to wait until you take the picture. I’m mostly all by myself when I take pictures of Jari. It’s always easier if you have a person that assists you but it’s also fun being all alone and figuring out how you could take a certain picture

The most important thing for me is to keep the photoshoot fun for Jari. If I feel that he’s not in the mood for posing I don’t stress him. I just take some “normal” pictures on our adventure or even no pictures at all.

I would love to share some advice that helped me taking better pictures.

Focus on the eyes

The first thing a person sees on the picture are normally the eyes. If they’re blurry the picture loses his magic (Unless you want this blurry look and took a #boopmynose picture, or if you want to show your dog’s favorite play or treat). My biggest problem is to get the focus on the eyes and I know I have to work on it. It’s a work in progress and no one takes perfect pictures. So don’t get sad if it doesn’t work instantly but try to get better over time. Keep it fun and share all the pictures you love.

Try out different angles

Another good advice that I want to share with you is : Try out different angles. Take the same picture from different angles – One where you stand, one where you are on eye level with your dog and one where you’re lower than the dog. You’ll see that the pictures are so different. I can’t tell you to be always on eye level with your dog but mostly I like those pictures the most. The pictures taken from above look mostly like snapshots but you still can take beautiful picture from above. This is also a very good workout! Your abs will burn if you lie on the ground trying to get the best angle. 🙂

Take lots of pictures

Dogs love to move and they don’t always run or look in the direction you want them to run. I set my camera on “continuous shot” to have a higher chance of a good picture. Sometimes dogs close their eyes, see something and tilt their head. If you take multiple pictures you may have captured a sweet moment that you didn’t even see.

Multitasking

As a single parent dog mom, I need to multitask a lot. Jari is very adventurous and for this reason he always has a long leash on when we go on adventures. He loves to run around and run after wildlife. As long as his recall isn’t reliable he needs to stay on leash, sorry my love. But the long leash helps me to relax when I take pictures. I know that even if something happens behind my back, Jari will not take off. Safety first! I edit the leash out of my pictures. As our photoshoots are not planned most of the time I don’t always have my mom or a friend by my side to look after Jari. I just hold the end of the long leash (+/- 7m – i think it’s 22 feet). I always look that the leash is not tangled around his feet and that you don’t see it easily on the image. I look to find the perfect angle – get down on the ground – and take multiple pictures. After the first pictures, I review them and look if the lightning, shutter and aperture are fine. I really don’t take perfect pictures but I try to take “honest” pictures. Jari isn’t the born model and won’t stay still for a long time. I want to mirror his character and his adventure mood. I teach him different tricks but it’s a lot of work because mostly he feels secure at home and does the tricks but outdoors he gets easily distracted.

Have fun!

The most important advice. Have fun. Play around. Enjoy yourself. Don’t stress out because of taking pictures. Just have fun, play with your dog, enjoy your day together and document your life. Every picture will be a memory that you can hold on to.

I hope some of these advice help you and I would love to get some advice from you! Feel free to comment and now get out and have some fun with your camera.