Professional “PhoDOGraphy” Tips

By: Jaime Hall

Getting a portrait of your dog
Anyone who owns or works with dogs knows the struggle of trying to get them to sit still for a photo, a near-impossible feat. Many might agree with us that dogs just seem to know when there’s a camera present, and often begin to misbehave accordingly. Well, that struggle is now over with thanks to Elias Weiss Friedman’s new book, “The Dogist: Photographic Encounters with 1,000 Dogs” in which Friedman portrays some of the most alluring “phodography” to date and also outlines professional tips for taking the perfect shot. Below, we have excerpted these tips from The Dogist so that you, too, can get the perfect shot.



1. “Establish basic trust between yourself and the dog. Let the dog smell you.”

Approach all dogs with an open-palm stance and underhand gestures to let them know you have friendly intentions.

2. “Get down to the dog’s level.”

Going along with the tip #1, approaching dogs from a level closer to their own will also help them identify friendly intentions.

3. “Have something the dog wants, like a treat or toy.”

We’re pretty sure last night’s leftover steak will do the trick.

4. “Move that thing around the lense.”

Creating an association between the treat/toy and the camera lense will get them looking in the right direction.

5. “Learn to bark and make strange noises to get different facial expressions.”

We promise that perfect shot will be worth all of the odd looks you will receive.

6. “Underexpose for black dogs.”

Our darker furry friends often get hidden in a photograph because they blend in with the darker background. Solve this by simply underexposing for these pups!

7. “Have patience. Every dog is different and some may require more time.”

Just like us!

8. “Practice, practice, practice. I still learn something new everyday.”

Over time, these tips will become habitual.

9. “Don’t wear anything you wouldn’t want a dog toenail to go through.”

This one’s a given.

10. “Reward a dog’s efforts with a pet or a treat.”

Don’t forget to reward yourself too!


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