10 Tips and Tricks for Photographing Your Traveling Pet!

 

The web is awash with information on how to take photographs of your pets OR how to take great photographs while traveling. There does seem to be a bit of a gap when it comes to combining the two. So, although we are far from experts and will never be professional photographers, we have been asked by enough readers what our approach is to feel that perhaps we may have a few tips and tricks to share.

10 Tips and Tricks for Photographing Your Traveling Pet! Montecristo Travels

Enjoying a sunset at the lake. Not a bad shot! (iPhone 5)

We are “kinda” purists. Other than the fine art of cropping a photo, very little work is done in what is called “post production”, a fancy way of saying manipulating an image with software such as Photoshop or using a lot of the filters available today. We are considering taking a class at some point but we somehow prefer the honesty of not overly manipulating a shot…although softening wrinkles has started to become a common thing for the bipeds. Ah vanity … There is an app for that you know!

After all, we have no desire to sell the photographs and we do this purely for our enjoyment and to illustrate the text in our blog. For us, it is just for fun. And that is probably the greatest advice we could give. Enjoy it and remember that when it comes to photos of your trip – and pet – the only person (other than yourself Dear Reader) to care are family and friends.  So do not let the fear of “not capturing the perfect shot” stop you.

But on with the tips!

1. Fear of the Camera

Not every pet (or human) cares for the camera. Take the time to let your dog (or any animal) get accustomed to your equipment – especially large lenses! Place your camera safely on the ground and let them sniff it and approach it on their own. Give a treat when they approach without fear.  Lavish your dog with lots of praise and maybe even a new toy! Before a trip, start with taking photos from a distance at home or on familiar territory and slowly allow yourself to move in closer. Never shove a camera in the face of a skittish pet.

5 Tips and Tricks for Photographing Your Traveling Pet

THAT red fence is a distraction. This is when Photoshop would Help!

2. Basic Obedience

Training is a key factor for a good shot; it really helps if your pet knows basic commands. “Sit” and “Stay” are key. Especially “Stay”. There are many online videos that can help you teach your pet these basic commands but we recommend you go sign up for some obedience training. Not only will it make your life easier for taking photographs it will also make you and your dogs life safer when traveling.

3. Say Cheese

The most difficult thing about photographing a pet is keeping their attention. This is especially true when you add the thrill of fresh smells and the discovery of a new place into the mix.

  • Tire out your pet! A pet that has been walked and fed is a much better model!
  • Give your pet a chance to explore first. Let them sniff and smell and get acquainted with the space. They are less likely to then shift during your shot. This is especially true if the location is a noisy one. When I was in Pisa, Mom had to let me get use to a constant bell tolling in the background before trying to get me to sit still for a shot!
  • Keep a treat or squeak toy to catch and hold interest. We find that a treat placed just above the camera lens is a great way to make your pet “look into the camera”.
  • Embrace the selfie. I know it may seem really narcissistic but there are times when it is the ONLY way you will get your pet to cooperate. Safe in your arms.

4. The Camera

By no means do you need to spend thousands of dollars on a camera.  We used to have the Sony NEX-5; a mirror-less digital camera with high image quality and without all the bulk of it’s DSLR counterparts.  Major bonuses were the interchangeable lenses.  We loved that camera….

BUT … Over time we started to notice something.

The first thing was that the camera on the iPhone that we had at the time (the iPhone 4) was really catching up in terms of quality. In fact as the years have gone by, dare I say what almost no photographer wants to hear? The iPhone 6S that Dad got…? It surpassed the small portable camera not only in terms of photo quality but also in terms of  portability.

In the end Dear Reader it boils down to this:

The BEST camera to have is the one you have on you! 

Neither of the bipeds want to be bogged down with a camera and multiple lenses anymore. No matter how small and portable they make the new DSLRs… they are STILL bigger and less convenient than the iPhones. At first the “real” camera started being left behind for “active” events and messy, sweaty hikes. Then for short walks… and then not even getting packed at all.

The best part? The bulk, the wires, the battery rechargers… all gone. And we are ok with that.

5 Tips and Tricks for Photographing Your Traveling Pet

Because yes… this will do just fine. Taken with iPhone 5 in Dubrovnik.

Being able to share on social media, use a plethora of apps and more…? Indeed the need for a “real” camera has now disappeared for a full 4 years.  I really believe that great photos have a LOT more to do with having a good eye and basic understanding of photography than the amount of money spent on a camera.

5. Framing the Shot

When taking pictures of your pet on a trip the challenge is often the same as with people: The trick of a double focal point in a shot. You want both your pet  – and of course whatever it is you are capturing – to shine. There are a few tricks that help with this.

  • Avoid every shot being perfectly centred! Place your pet to the side of the shot and closer with the backdrop centered in the photo.  So for example put Fido to the left and a historic monument in center of your shot.
  • Take everything from the side and don’t be afraid of “empty” space in your photograph. A good example would be your pet and a beautiful sunset on the right and loads of sky and sea filling the rest of the frame.
  • Don’t get too close to monuments, these and vistas are often larger than life! 9 times out of 10 the best shot is taken by actually walking away from what you are visiting.
  • Bring your pet up to eye level. Find a fence, a post, a ledge, a stool … Anything to bring (especially a small pet) up and more in line with the view. Even a persons arms will work well!
  • Get down on the ground! If you are very close to the monument then get down on your stomach! Yep! Taking a shot from ground level looking up is often the only way to get a decent shot.
  • Frame your shot! If you have a doorframe, window frame, two trees or even two statues or pillars – use them to frame your shot. This forces the viewer’s eye to go to what you wish for them to see.
  • If you must center both your pet and a monument make sure that one of your two focal points is not obstructing the other!
  • Fill the frame with your subject(s) – If you have to explain something about your shot then it isn’t a good photo!
  • Try both horizontal and vertical and see what happens! Most people use horizontal as a default – play with the angles – even go crooked!
  • Move around and see how the light hits a subject from multiple angles.  Shoot the same subject from different places. Don’t assume that the first place you see something is the best place to take a photo.
  • Make sure you focus on the eyes! No matter what the setting your pet’s eyes should always be clear and in focus.
10 Tips and Tricks for Photographing Your Traveling Pet! Montecristo Travels

Speaking of framing … here in Bulgaria a few years ago. Photo taken with the iPhone 4.

6. Lighting

Light is key! A gorgeous building that is in the shade is far less interesting than one that is being bathed in the warm glow of a sunset.  If you have the luxury to return to a site to get a better shot – then do so!

But that is not always possible and we will admit that we DO use apps to help with this. Weather is completely out of our control. When it is grey and raining the light is “flat”. Not much can be done about that. We have found that in some cases it is well worth playing with a few filters to find one that give a bit of life to a listless shot.

10 Tips and Tricks for Photographing Your Traveling Pet! Montecristo Travels

One filter to help make this pop a bit – also bonus you can add a watermark if you want via an app.

7. Plan Ahead

Know ahead of time what are your “must have” shots and go online.  Study how professionals have taken pictures of these spots and plan how you think you will be able to achieve the same.  Take that information with you. The best time of day for gorgeous photography is sunset and sunrise. You may want to plan your trip so you arrive at those times – or plan to wake up early.  Sunrise is not just lovely for lighting but tends to also have the benefit of fewer crowds.  Combine an early walk with your dog and a photo shoot!

We often Google Map a location – note from where the sun will rise and set and see if there is a better place to take the photo than at the feet of the monument. For example in Florence , the best shot was actually taken from a hill a half hour walk up and across the river!  The view, the walk and the shot were well worth the trek!

Note: Facebook prefers landscape shots. Pinterest prefers horizontal shots and Instagram? It’s all about the square. So if you are on a lot of different social media sites plan to take the same shot both horizontally and vertically as well as close up and from further away. You will need the options.

10 Tips and Tricks for Photographing Your Traveling Pet!

The ONLY way to get most places photographed without words of tourists if t get up at sunrise! Before the city awakes and tourists arrive. Dubrovnik was one of the most crowded places we visited and yet… see? (Flytographer photoshoot)

8. Major No No’s

Some things are always true, yet somehow often forgotten. These little things will spoil a perfect shot no matter how wonderful the light, the focus or the setting was. These are what keep your photos from shining.

  • Cutting off the tips of paws, ears, monuments etc. Our biggest pet peeve? Shots with people’s feet “cut off”.
  • A photograph is of no interest if all you see is a tiny little speck on the ground or in the distance.  Get right in there and use your Zoom lens and Macro settings!
  • Don’t always shoot your pet from above. No seriously! Stop it!
  • Avoid using a flash with pets. This only causes weird reflections off their eyes changing the color of their eyes or making them yellow, orange or red.  Natural lighting is always better than artificial.
  • Keep that leash out of the shot if possible! (safety first!)
  • Get rid of distractions! A water bottle, wrapper, half empty glass or dirty plate of your recent dinner will take away from your shot!  Make sure things like your camera case, bag of souvenirs or shopping don’t clutter the shot.
  • Only share with others those money shots! Even we are bad at this but most people do not want to see 7 variations of the same shot at once.

ARGH!!! Do not crop feet! Lots of sky – and the feet are cut off – WHY? WHYYYYY?

9. Get Dirty Looks

Don’t be afraid to make a fool of yourself by making insane noises. Dogs respond very well to high pitch sounds, whistles and new and unknown noises.

Get some help! Traveling as a couple makes this easier; one person can keep the dogs attention while the other takes the shot.  You can (and we do) enlists the help of other travelers and even locals! If there is a huge crowd get a few people to help you clear a space for a moment, get them to take the shot for you if you wish to also be in the photo and frame the photo for them. Offer in exchange to take a photo of them with their own camera. We did this for a particularly good shot in Paris ! 4 people held pedestrians at bay while Dad held the treat and my focus and Mom got on the ground, on her stomach to take the photo.  People were laughing and smiling and when she jumped up and shouted “Got It!!” everyone rushed over to see it on the screen.  Don’t be shy!

5 Tips and Tricks for Photographing Your Traveling Pet

The Paris Money Shot – Team Work Pays Off!

10. Outside the Box Thinking and Patience

Create Action shots!  Have your pet run towards you, or walking past a building – or jumping down famous step, walking along the edge of a fountain or lunging from one pillar to the next. If your pet is active then they are not getting bored and make for a better subject.

Be patient. You can’t be in a hurry when photographing a live animal. The monument may not move and will always stand perfectly still but the odds are your pet will have a mind of its own. No matter what be prepared to have to take numerous photos to end up with only one really good one… if any.

Most importantly have FUN!! This is only worth it if you are having a good time. The process should elicit some laughs and chuckles and be a part of your fond memories of your trip.  Remember that you are there to see the place you are visiting, so try not to spend the enter time viewing everything from behind the camera.  Take the time to soak it up with your own eyes. Better yet, hire a photographer to take the best shots of you with your pet on location! We have done this a few times through Flytographer and it is always the best decision for that trip!

10 Tips and Tricks for Photographing Your Traveling Pet! Montecristo Travels

PEI in Canada, red sand beach –  we can relax and have fun while the Flytographer captures the moment for us.

Do you have any secrets you would like to add to our 10 Tips and Tricks for photographing your traveling pet?

Note: This post is updated and nearly a re-write of an earlier post written in 2013. Adding an extra 5 tips based on newly aquired experience, encompassing new equipment and options relevant to 2018.

74 Comments on “10 Tips and Tricks for Photographing Your Traveling Pet!

  1. This is great! Thanks sweet Monte and family! :)))

  2. Wow, great post, and a thank you for sharing this on my timeline :). I really loved reading this, as much as i do not travel with Mocha, these were great little tips for those who would love it. I am finishing my photography class Tuesday and there was some great pieces of advice, namely centering the structure and then pet on the side, while also assisting Brittany she gave me some good tips too! I for one have never been a flash user, I never liked it and found that it ruined my pictures (just my personal opinion).

    As for the money shot photo, ugh, I need A LOT of work on that lol!! I love a lot of pictures that I take and want to share them all, I typically just post all the ones I like, but I am starting to restrict the amount i’m posting 😛 I’ll get there, eventually!

    Awesome as always Monte, keep up the great work 😉 Have a great day, nice, sunny and warm :) time for us to go outside!

    • Oh you are getting there and fast!! You get feedback by posting your pics – and since that is what you are looking for that’s perfect! If you learn a new tip or trick – SHARE! :)

  3. Nice and thorough post, Monte, on a topic I wouldn’t have thought about but is so important to so many! I confess to not being very good at photographing pets; it takes a special kind of talent, patience, and ingenuity. (Although perhaps with you in more of my shoots with your mom, my skills in photographing pets may improve!) I appreciate your suggestions for keeping a pet focused, interested, and still. I’m going to try some of those when next photographing Jack!

    I also like your advocacy for keeping it simple – with the photograph, with the equipment, and with the post-production. It distresses me to see people spend so much money on a DSLR because they believe (and the advertisement has told them) it will make them a better photographer. Remember that some of the greatest photographers shot with Brownies and large format box cameras. It’s not the camera but the person behind it. That said, a good quality lens, a reliable body, and a configuration that suits the photographer’s hands are key.

    Always, the best camera is the one you have with you. Thus the reason so many people use their phone, I expect, but I agree with you, Monte, the iPhone aside, camera phones are too limited. However, the iPhone – especially the newest one – does offer an impressive compact camera. The key to getting good photos with it – with any camera – is to *read the manual* and really learn how to use your camera.

    The other important piece of equipment you will have in your photography kit is your feet! Don’t be so lazy and just zoom in when you want to fill your frame; walk closer instead! Walk around your subject, even behind. Get down low and reach up high. If there’s something – usually crowds – in your way, think about how to minimize that obstacle or use it creatively in your photograph.

    A simple photograph is also usually the best photograph. *Do* take a minute to look around your scene objectively: look for the garbage that you just didn’t notice, watch for the sign that will ruin the photograph, and frame your shot to leave only what you absolutely need in the frame to tell your story. And remember that photography takes what we see 3-dimensionally and compresses it into a 2-dimensional, flat picture, so the tree that doesn’t seem to be part of your field of vision now will look very strange in the photograph if it appears to grow out of the subject’s head!

    Post-processing (image editing) has its place, but I agree with you, Monte: if you’re taking photographs with a mind to “I can fix that later in Photoshop,” you’re not taking photographs. Maybe you are a digital artist, but that’s a different thing. Aim to get the very best shot you can when you press the shutter release button.

    For those wanting to try post-processing, I recommend not using Photoshop unless you are a committed professional. The program is now very advanced, complex and expensive; if you’re not using it every day, you’ll forget just what you need to do and how to do it. Instead, use iPhoto for cataloging and basic post-processing (Aperture is the more complete version if you’re more serious about your photography), Photoshop Elements (same basic photography edits as in Photoshop without all the other bells and whistles) or for a similar but advanced program for those serious about photography, Lightroom. There are also web-based processing programs, some free. I don’t know much about these so I’m hoping someone else may jump in with some examples.

    THE most important thing you do with your images after taking them is cataloguing them and backing up your catalogue. You can’t share your photos, print them for display, or do anything else with them if you can’t find them! And then edit your collection down to the best of the best before sharing them with others. To give you some idea of how many images to edit out, a rule of thumb that many professional photographers (including me) use is 1 good image for every 100 shot.

    Finally, if you’ve got a few great images that you’d like to have printed on canvas, metal or fine art paper or printed large, consult with a reputable image editor. You can’t make a Rembrandt out of a small .jpeg file, but a good image editor can help you get the very best possible out of your image.

    Again, an informative post, Monte. Thank you!

    • Wow Dawn! You comment is almost a post on its own and THANK YOU!! I know nothing about post production so I am grateful for your input on the subject! Cataloguing is also a valid and key point – with that goes purging. I am always amazed at how much time that takes so thank you for bringing that up! I spent a long cold winter weekend doing just that! plus a back-up … 2 years ago I lost about 3 years worth of photos … hardrive corrupted, nothing they could do – everything …. gone. Sad experience – now we have a back-up. Wireless … instant. Got to love MAC for that! I have rarely printed a photo … I have a rotating photo frame I use … but THAT last point was SO true – I can’t believe I forgot to mention it – so again THANK YOU! I appreciate your well thought out and well written comment!

  4. PS: There are two photography books that live on my bookshelf and I recommend to everyone asking me about taking better pictures:

    Michael Busselle, 100 Ways to Take Better Photographs: ISBN 0 7153 1499 8

    Rick Sammon, Confessions of a Compact Camera Shooter: Get Professional Quality Photos with Your Compact Camera: ISBN 978 0 470 56507 0

    There may be newer editions of each available. In any edition, these are two excellent resources for people looking to improve their photography even if using a camera phone.

  5. Thanks for the great tips!!!! I will certainly start using some of those tips, especially the ones about not always shooting in the centre. I find pictures that are not centered to be much better. But it’s hard sometimes, we just want one item to be your main focus, but in most cases, the surroundings “add” to the picture. I need to practice that a bit more.

    My biggest problem is catching the “perfect” shot. Usually, by the time the camera actually “clicks”, the subject has moved! (especially with hyper Pepi!)

    Can’t wait to start taking some great pictures like Monte’s!!!!!

    thanks again for the tips, really helpful.

    • Thanks Isobel!! I only wrote it because people asked … it never occurred to us that we “knew” all this – was fun to put into words what is now done without thought. I think that Dawn has a good point – end of day some people have an eye for it others don’t. But having some parameters and tips to get started certainly helps! If only one person gets a great shot from this post – then we are happy!

  6. A flash can be annoying to animals eyes (especially cats), so I try to take the vast majority of photos without one. If you start out always using a flash, your pet may associate the camera with the unpleasant sensation of a sudden bright light. When I do take a photo that uses a flash, I try to have my pet looking off to the side, so they don’t get the full effect of the flash.

    Fantastic blog post – I learned a lot!

    • Thanks Esri! Flash is bad on people too … I have so often seen a dark photo with people white as ghosts and over exposed. Flash is great IF you know what you are doing, have the right flash and equipment to diffuse it etc. My friend Brittany and also Dawn use it very well indoors but they are pro’s!!!

  7. Great tips. I have to disagree with the “cut off” thing though. I always try to get the whole dog and scenery in the frame but sometimes you just can’t…especially when your dog is moving around a lot. I would almost never cut off a nose or ear but sometimes a little cut off foot is not a big deal.

    • Jessica – i think it is worse when it is for bipeds. Like cutting off the feet when two humans are posing. Like the photo of my humans shows – there was no need to cut off the feet when you see all that sky above their heads! LOL!! But yes, a lot of times it is best to just “try and get the shot” and share even if it isn’t perfect. It’s just our thing … :)

  8. Pingback: Trips With Your Pet Deserve More than Selfies! - Montecristo Travels - The Blog

  9. Perfect timing!! My entire life I have been the worst picture taker ever. Yep, I move while I’m pressing the button so I barely have a record of any of my pets. When I started my blog almost 3 years ago I still didn’t take it seriously…until a few months ago. I realised how important beautiful pictures are so I bought a camera, not an expensive one, and took a basic free course. I decided yesterday I was going to take this much more seriously and actually learn how to use my camera. I’m so serious that I got in touch with the camera teacher just today! I’m going to save this post and learn your tips. By the way, I loved reading you’re a purist. I always thought people who edited pictures, changed the colours etc… were cheating! Sorry was that too harsh?

    • Touch ups have their place I once asked a friend to remove a person from a photo because the neon yellow shirt on that person just ruined a really awesome shot. It was SO distracting! So I get it. I think the issue is when it’s over used? A certain authenticity gets lost if you add in blue skies or edit everyone out (misleading people to think a place isn’t full of tourists) and such…

      And sure if you are a pro it makes sense but not every photo has to be perfect. :) Let me know how it goes!!

  10. Number 9 made me laugh, my friend. I remember, way back when, when Peep #1 took Plush Nissy to the South Shore to get some pictures for an adventure. Well she wasn’t makin’ noises or anythin’ like that on account of Plush Nissy not needin’ noises to pay attention but MOUSES! You should have seen some of the weird looks she got. PURRS.

  11. I always enjoy your photos and enjoyed this post as well. Way back when I knew the kind of photos I wanted to take (I could see them in my head) but had no idea how to capture them on film. I signed up for a one-on-one session with a photographer. I explained to her the kinds of photos I wanted to take and she showed me how do it. Probably not right for everyone, but it worked for me and saved some time. I still use her tricks. One thing I almost always do (which you also mention above) is not centering the animal I’m photographing. I follow the rule of thirds and the animal is to the left or right – I like open space. I also like to experiment from above, below, eye level, etc. as long as the eyes are visible.

  12. I have got a new DSLR but I reach for my iPhone first if I want a quick and candid shot. I realised early on that my iPhone was a better camera than y point and shoot so it gets used a lot for that swift shot you would miss fiddling with a lens cap.

  13. Great tips- I always love your photos. I am with your bipeds. I can not carry around lenses – I lose them and just feel weighed down. I love my new iPhone 8+. It even has portrait mode. I have to start taking more photos with it now.

  14. I always love reading about your adventures, but the photos are my favorite part! You guys do such a terrific job of getting great photos and I think these tips will help lots of pet lovers!

  15. I have thousands of photos of my pets and precious few are really good. I’m going to use these awesome tips that you have shared. Some are such common sense. I guess I didn’t have the patience before. Thankfully I’ve had professional photographs taken over the years. BTW, the pics you’ve taken are gorgeous!

    • Thank you so much! The biggest error is taking the shot from above… all you get is your pets back rather than the soul in their eyes!

  16. Yes! *high paw* This post had me laughing because it is just so true and relatable. My dogs used to love having their photos taken but no it feels like I’m the puparazzi. They see a camera and walk away. With my photography clients, you will often see me on the ground in awkward positions or making odd noises to get that unequivocal head tilt of cuteness. While I still prefer my DSLR for photo shoots, I often use my iPhone for those amazing moments I just have to catch and the quality, if you have lighting and framing correct, can be exceptional.

    • Oh the head tilt cuteness… I use that only on ever so rare an occasion … to make their day. Also … the blue steel over the shoulder look… that’s me specialty.

  17. These are some great tips! I use a Nikon camera for most of my photos, but photograph is not one of my strong points. I do more editing using Lightroom afterwards. Lighting is a big one for me. I like really light vibrant photos. I usually edit them to look that way. I think I would like to take a photography class to learn how to take better photos without having to be so heavy on the editing.

    • What a great idea! if it’s something you really want to get into. I find that 8 years of taking pictures has been a great teacher! LOL

  18. An app to soften wrinkles? Sign me up!

    Seriously, though, these are great tips. I especially like your point about giving your pet a chance to explore first. And, letting them sniff and smell and get acquainted with the space. I photograph the animals at my local shelter and they don’t know me. I take them out of their space and into my portable studio (a box with built up sides and back). I can’t expect them to just pose for me. I butter them up with cuddles and treats first.

    Your shots are always beautiful. Of course, you do have quite the little model!

    • I am particularly of the over the shoulder “blue steel” look …LOL

      Those dogs are lucky to have you and your patience with them!

  19. Great guide! Have you ever found that when you’re taking photos of Monte, other people start doing it too? Mr. N is in so many random tourists’ photos! Mr. N will randomly pose himself sometimes and stays in one spot until I take his photo. He doesn’t always pick the most scenic spots though!

    • Yes … there have been “what do you mean you aren’t taking my photo here? why not?!!” moments. And yes… many a tourist and local have a Monte shot on their photo roll!

  20. Those are some GORGEOUS photos and I agree it’s not necessary to edit too much. I do crop and I will “Auto” correct lighting but I got rather tired of dealing with editing when 9 out of 10 times the photo was wonderful as is. I am happy with my Samsung Note 8 camera. For a long time I wished for a nice DLSR but I know myself, I would never learn to use it to it’s potential and I would never have it with me when I wanted it lol. As you said, much easier to just pull out the phone and shoot. You gave so many awesome tips! I will be using them and thank you!

    • Glad to be helpful! Like you we just know … we would never use it – if we did it would be damaged pretty quickly – and we don’t have the time to do loads of photo editing. We probably should to play with the “big wigs” but … *shrug*

  21. These are great photography tips! I definitely agree that lighting can make or break a photo! I also have to get better at not feeling so shy when taking pictures of my dog in public, it can definitely be intimidating when there’s a lot of people around!

  22. I take so many photos of our dogs, it is ridiculous! Most of these are on my iPhone, because well it is just easier and sometimes it captures the light better but also, with pets you need to be fast! However, I still love using my DSLR, I tend to use it at home and I can definitely see the difference in quality to most of my iPhone photos.
    Thanks for the great tips, it’s always handy to refresh yourself when taking photos.

    • Not saying a DSLR isn’t better… but for us … we just wouldn’t use it. Plus we are way to rough for it to last long! LOL sand, sun, salt, toss in and out of bags, dropped … oy oy oy oy ….having a DSLR would become an expensive habit.

  23. Thanks for sharing these great tips. I know I could use help in the photo/video area and learning tips along the way. This is a great help. Glad to know one of the best tools we can use is already in our purse!

    • Don’t get me wrong a great DSLR and photo editing software would take our photos to a whole other level. But the thing is knowing who we are … we just wouldn’t carry bigger than a phone in the back pocket equipment… especially since a lot of what we do is not good for camera’s you know … sailing, mountains being climbed, heat, salt, sun, sand… that sort of thing. And although I am sure I could do a LOT with my photos if i did do more photo editing … I don’t really have the time. So….. had to up my “from the get go” game.

  24. I often have trouble taking decent photos with my dogs. They always seem to want to face the wrong way! These are great tips, thanks.

  25. Your photos are stunning and I enjoyed reading that they’re taken with your i-phones. It’s great to hear the behind-the-scenes story about how you capture your pictures. I’m a true lover of natural light and nothing makes my day more than noticing when the light is “just right.” I start snap pics and having more fun!

  26. Your photos are always so stunning! Thank you for sharing such amazing and usable tips. Over the last few years, I choose my phone based on the photos it takes as it is my only camera (the one you’ll have). I’d love to see the photo of you taking the photo in Paris.

  27. Great tips. Allowing Dexter to investigate and sniff around before taking photos has improved our shots! I wish I would have known that tip years ago. 😉 Your boy is always so adorable!

  28. I totally agree on the part that nothing is fun if your pet is not having fun in the process. Babu hates the camera and sometimes I can get the money shot, and sometimes no but we always have fun! photography is the most important part of my blog and so is photo-editing, but I always try to get a proper shot as much as possible so that I have to minimally edit it.

    • I think we should probably do a bit more photo-editing if we want to “play with the pros” but honestly … I just don’t have the time for it. So … we try to avoid it. LOL

  29. I have so much to learn in this area. There’s a reason I have a million pics of my dogs sleeping. It’s the framing that trips me up. And the lighting. I’ll get shadows everywhere.

  30. Nice shot of Dubrovnik :) I live in Croatia, just a bit west of Dubrovnik, in Opatija :) I agree that tiring your pet is very important. I can never take a good shot of my Okica because she is so hyperactive and moves around all the time. I’ll definitely try tire her out more!

  31. These are some wonderful tips! Thank you! I have tried to improve my photography skills both with my DSLR and my iPhone. I don’t know how to use Photoshop, so I’m with you, I prefer to let the shot speak for itself, rather than having to make a bunch of edits to it. Your point about shooting the dog from a lower position and not using a flash are the best tips for dog owners in my opinion! That said, lighting is complicated. I find myself seeing the dogs in an adorable pose or doing something cute and saying to myself “no use getting the camera out, the lighting is all wrong.” Half of the time I probably could get the picture if I understood the settings on my camera better. I guess I need that class you spoke of too!

    • And you know…? sometimes …. we don’t need to photograph everything. You know? Sometimes some moments are just meant to be in your head. I find that when the light is off, and I know my moving or reaching will break the moment … I take it as a hint from the universe that this is just for me. – Sonja

    • start with just remembering one … nail it. Get good at that one tip and then add the next – and the meant – one at a time.

  32. Usually, I never comment on blogs but your blog is so convincing that I never stop myself to say something about it. You’re doing a great job, Keep it up.

  33. Thanks for all the tips! Probably the most difficult thing for us is that our dog, a stubborn Dachshund, has never properly followed commands (e.g. only sitting for food, or not staying if we move). Combined with the fact he’s very short and his fur is mainly black, this makes him quite challenging to photograph.

    Also, due to his dark fur, I virtually never share photos of him without adjusting the shadows, so that you can properly see his sweet face. I highly recommend this trick for other people with black furred pets!

  34. Pingback: Dog Tries Cat Sitting And Things Go Terribly Wrong – Baikans pets

  35. Hi Monte,
    Thanks for the tips! I had to laugh about making the noises in public…we definitely do it while photographing Oliver and Chloe and we don’t care how we sound. 😀

    Kisses,
    Michaela, Oliver, & Chloe

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