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How to Use Your Smartphone to Take Amazing Pet Portraits

written by Tori Holmes

In the age of smartphones, capturing amazing photos of your furry friends has never been easier. If you’re a pet parent and photography enthusiast, creating stunning pet portraits is a delightful way to immortalize your four-legged companions. In this guide, we'll cover our top dog photography tips to help you capture your pet’s best angle.


Dog photography tip #1: Use Freshpet treats to keep their attention

Pets can be easily distracted during a photoshoot, so keeping their attention on the camera is essential. Before you start snapping photos, we recommend stocking up on some tasty Freshpet treats, such as:


●     Dog Joy® turkey bacon treats: These treats have a smoky taste dogs can’t get enough of and made with natural, farm-raised turkey, with zero by-products or artificial flavors.

●     Dognation® chicken treats : Made from slow-grilled chicken, these fresh treats contain no by-products, artificial flavors, corn, wheat, or soy.

Not only do Freshpet treats keep their attention on the camera, but the anticipation of receiving a treat can also result in adorable expressions and poses!


Dog photography tip #2: Lighting is Key

Good lighting is the foundation of any great photograph. For pet portraits, natural light works wonders, so look for a well-lit area, preferably outdoors or near a large window. Just keep in mind that you’ll want to avoid harsh sunlight, as it can create shadows and overexpose the image. If the timing works, early morning or late afternoon provides soft, warm light that enhances your pet's features without overexposure.


Dog photography tip #3: Choose your background carefully

Selecting an appropriate background is essential in creating visually appealing pet portraits. If you're shooting indoors, we recommend:

●     Decluttering the space by removing unnecessary items or objects that may divert attention from your pet

●     Arranging furniture and props in a way that complements your pet and creates a visually appealing scene

Opting for simple, clutter-free backgrounds that complement your pet's fur color allows your pet to be the focal point of the image.

If you're outdoors, consider a natural setting like a park or garden. These locations typically offer a diverse range of backgrounds, such as grassy areas, treed areas, flowerbeds, and pathways. These types of backgrounds add interest and depth to your pet portraits and allow you to experiment with different settings to find the most suitable one for your photo.


Dog photography tip #4: Tap the screen to focus

Pets are known for their unpredictable movements, so it's crucial to ensure they are in focus. On most smartphones, tapping on the screen can set the focus point. All you need to do is be patient and wait for the right moment when your pet is still to tap the screen and capture a sharp, clear image. Using burst mode – which can usually be triggered by holding and swiping the shutter button to the left – can also help capture a series of quick shots, increasing the likelihood of getting that perfect frame.


Dog photography tip #5: Utilize portrait mode

Most smartphones come equipped with a portrait mode feature designed to blur the background, emphasizing the subject. Portrait mode can add a professional touch to your photos as the background blur adds depth to the image, creating a visually appealing separation between your pet and the surroundings. Our favorite part of portrait mode, however, is that it often emphasizes facial features by keeping the eyes, nose, and mouth of your pet in sharp focus. This is particularly beneficial for showcasing the facial details and expressions that make your pet unique!


Dog photography tip #6: Don’t shy away from low angles

Our final dog photography tip is to change the perspective of your photo by getting down to your pet's eye level. Shooting from a low angle provides a unique view, allowing you to capture your pet from an angle not seen day-to-day. But don’t feel you have to stop there – during your photo shoot, try experimenting with a few different angles to discover the most flattering and engaging perspectives.


By following these six simple dog photography tips, you're well on your way to capturing amazing pet portraits using your smartphone!

  • A person holding a smartphone camera pointed at a dog

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