Happy National Dog Photography Day

Happy National Dog Photography Day!

Happy National Dog Photography Day!

National Dog Photography Day is a perfect opportunity to spend a little extra time with your fur-baby, taking amazing pictures and sharing them on social media or even printing them to hang them on your wall.

This blog post will give you some ideas for photographing your favorite furry friend. We'll discuss how to take great shots, even if you're a beginner, as well as setting up the perfect photoshoot.

How Did National Dog Photography Day Begin?

Created in 2018 by pet photographer Kerry Jordan of Fur and Fables as an awareness day, Jordan was shocked that the day went viral. She just wanted to create a day when pet parents could post as many of their photos as they liked. It’s no surprise that the #nationaldogphotographyday hashtag went viral with pet owners from all over the world joining in.

How to Take Great Dog Pictures

Child taking a picture of a dog

Let's be honest; any picture of our fur-babies is excellent. But let's break it down a little bit with these five helpful tips from Kerry Jordan:

  1. Get down on their level, even if that means sitting or laying on the floor. This gives you a better perspective.
  2. Make sure there are no background distractions. If there’s a lamppost growing out of your or your dog's head, move a bit to the left or right!
  3. Here’s a straightforward one – train your fur babies to sit and wait. Taking a picture of your dog sitting is so much easier unless you’re looking for an "action shot."
  4. Want a cute head tilt? Try making noises that they haven’t heard before, like a high pitched brrrrr or pa pa pa.
  5. On a bright sunny day, try photographing your dog in the shade, giving you soft, even light rather than harsh shadows.

How to Set Up the Perfect Photoshoot

You don't have to be a professional photographer to capture high quality pictures of your pup.

Use Natural Light

Dogs don't like flashing lights, so it's best to make sure you use as much natural light as possible. To avoid washed-out pictures, shoot in the morning or evening, on slightly overcast days, or in the shade on a bright sunny day.

Get On Their Level

Photographer taking a picture of dog

Everybody is used to seeing dogs from above. Though photographing a dog from above may not provide the best angle, getting a photo while in their habitat offers an exciting perspective.

Depending on the dog breed, you may have to crouch with your camera or lie on your belly just to level the camera with your pup. The objective is to shoot from their eye level or even lower, where you can get the best view of their facial expressions.

Take Pictures Where They are Most Comfortable

An essential thing in dog photography is capturing their personality. This can be difficult if the dog is not in a place they know well, such as a studio. Instead, go to a park or your backyard, which allows them to relax. They'll feel more comfortable with the camera, and you’ll get better pictures.

Make sure they are healthy and it top shape when you schedule the photoshoot. Supplements such as salmon oil for dogs offer various benefits, including improved skin and coat health, reduced inflammation, and increased heart health. It contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for dogs' health and can't be produced by their bodies. It has been shown that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation, improve cognitive function, and support heart health.

Catching Their Attention

Dog on a grass field

Getting a pup’s attention is one of the essential skills to develop for photographing dogs. If you want to make sure they hold still for a picture, let them play quietly and, once you’re ready with the camera aimed and your finger on the shutter, call for your dog’s attention. Click the shutter the second they look in your direction, and you’ll be able to capture them with their full attention on you and your camera.

If you'd like to get another angle, move slowly and avoid making eye contact as you change positions. If they start to move or play, keep shooting for the best chance to get a good action shot!

Capture Their Character

Dog eyes

“Eyes are the window to the soul.” When you take a picture of your dog, make sure to focus on their eyes. You should also make sure that the expression on your dog's face is what you want in the picture. Expression and personality in the eyes will always result in more engaging dog photos.

Dog sleeping near the fireplace

If your dog likes to play, be sure to take photos of him playing. If your dog likes to sleep, take a photo of him yawning when lying in his bed. These make adorable pictures!


Dog photography requires a lot of patience. Pets obviously can’t follow specific instructions unless they’re trained by a professional. Remember, dogs feel our energy, and will know if you’re frustrated or stressed. They’ll feel the same way leading to a very unproductive photoshoot.

Dog spilled painting

They can sense what you’re feeling, so the more calm and relaxed you are, the better your chances of getting some memorable shots. Focus on your dog having a good time during the photoshoot, and don’t worry about minor glitches like drool or dirt; that is part of being a dog.


Dog given a reward

Don’t forget to pay your model! During the photo session, offer them something that will help keep them motivated and encourage them to cooperate. It can be anything from treats and toys to belly rubs and other forms of affection. Treats can even serve as bait, props, or tools that can help warm up your pet for the camera. Use rewards to make the shoot more fun and enjoyable, as it should be!

Get to Shooting!

We hope you enjoyed our tips to create a successful photoshoot with your pup! Please share with us the many photos you took of your fur babies throughout the year! We love seeing them come in on our social media. Be sure to tag us @vitalpetlife and use the hashtag #nationaldogphotographyday