This month we welcome a guest post from one of our lovely customers  who has a keen interest in photography and owns the stunning Mus. This is what Tig has to say …

It doesn’t matter whether you’re using your phone or a camera, paying attention to a few details will help improve your photography.

Composition

Rule of Thirds: imagine that your screen is divided into three columns and three rows (you can display this grid in the camera app on your phone and in your camera).

Placing your subject along the intersection of the lines making up the columns and rows creates a more visually balanced image.

If your dog is looking to the side, give him some space to look into so that the photograph doesn’t feel so cramped.

Composition Photographing your dog

– Some people might have preferred to have a little more space above the subject’s head, but in this instance, I wanted Mus to be quite large in the frame. I have still followed to grid lines to compose the photo

Composition - Photographing your dog

– The trees in this shot divide the photo vertically into three, with Mus placed centrally in the bottom row

Get down to eye level with your dog: this creates a stronger connection between the viewer and the subject. Alternatively, you can mix it up by taking a high angle or low angle shot of your dog.

Composition Photographing your dog

– Quick snap with the phone before the moment passed.

Composition Photographing your dog

– Another snap with the phone. This time when Mus was standing over a large mushroom. This is where phones have the advantage over cameras.

Be aware of what’s going on in the background so you haven’t got trees or lamp posts growing out of the top of your dog’s head.

This is something you have to be especially aware of when taking photos with your phone because more of the background will be in focus, unless you are very close to your subject.

Composition Photographing your dog

– Mus is seen here with a tree growing out of his butt.

Focus

Focus on the eye, or the nearest eye to you, as humans are naturally drawn to look at another’s eyes. The exception, of course, would be if you wanted to draw attention to another part of the dog, or another part of the photo.

Focus Photographing your dog

– Focus here is on Mus’s right eye.

Focus Photographing your dog

– A dog’s nose is extremely characterful!

Light

Try to avoid taking photos of your dog in bright afternoon sunlight – the light is overhead, harsh and quite unflattering. It will also likely make your dog squint.

Instead, head for a shady area and take your photo there. Ideally, aim for early morning or late afternoon, when the light is softer, and you might get some magical photos during the “golden hour”.

Light Photographing your dog

– Mus in heather in the middle of the afternoon. You can see him squinting because of the bright sunlight.

Light Photographing your dog

– This photo was taken in the same location, but this time, Mus is standing in the shade of a large tree. Notice much more ‘normal’ open his eyes are?

Getting your dogs attention

Most dogs don’t like looking at the camera – it’s like a big black eye staring at them – so it is sometimes necessary to ‘trick’ them into looking at you.

Try holding a treat near your camera to get them to look at you, or make a noise which would attract your dog’s attention.

Forsyth and Tedd’s Rattle and Treat tin is just perfect for this!

Mus is very food oriented, so the prospect of something to eat definitely gets his attention! Or, if your training mojo is strong, you could train your dog to look at you using a verbal command or hand signal.

Dogs Attention Photographing your dog

– Treats? Yes, please.

Go Out and Have Fun!

Fun with your dog Photographing your dogExperiment and find out what works for you.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – that’s the best way to learn

Try to capture your dog’s quirky character – all dogs have a moment of derpiness!

There are numerous photography resources you can find online, but I found these two to be particularly helpful:

Fur and Fables (Facebook & Instagram)
That Dog Spot Photography (YouTube, Facebook & Instagram)

Happy snapping!

Tig and Mus
Instagram: @mus_spanishmutt