First of all when it comes to photography I certainly am not an expert and I'm sure there are many people who take better photos than me.
Photography for me has always been a side hobby and I love to try and capture the dogs personalities for all to see, however taking photos of dogs isn't as easy as it seems. I can take up to 100-150 photos in a 1 hour walk but that doesn't mean I just stand there taking photos in that full hour (with cameras these days you can take 6 a second).
You might think taking great photos of dogs isn't very important but I believe its the little things like this that makes all the difference. To me a blurry mess of a photo of a dog doesn't capture anything.
So here's my guide to taking great photos as a dog walker.
KNOW THE CHARACTER OF THE DOG
I will use Snoop our eldest Springer Spaniel as an example.
Snoop used to be the most photogenic dog you can imagine and would just pose until her heart was content. I'm not sure if over time she's got fed up with the camera pointed at her knowing full well it's going on Facebook for everyone to see but now it's pretty impossible unless you know her character. Poppy our youngest Springer Spaniel when the DSLR comes out she wants to lick the lens.
So every dog is different and you then need to work out what to do which brings us to the next part.
PLAN HOW TO TAKE YOUR PHOTO
So with Snoop her I'm refusing to look at you with that camera pointed in my face has a weakness, she is a Springer after all so if you have a ball on you she will do whatever you ask of her. She will sit, stand, speak and probably do somersaults especially for her Chuckit ball.
Lately what I do now to get great action shots is when Vanessa and I are on walks together we stand 30 metres apart and with Vanessa bribing the dogs with treats I then call them towards me and 90% of the time they come charging to me.
Something else that looks great when you do this is to lie down on the ground to a dog's level. It's surprising how much better photos look when you do little things like this.
CAMERA BEING USED AND IT'S SETTINGS
This is where it starts getting difficult.
When dogs4walks first started I would take 95% of my photos with an iPhone 5s which was pretty terrible. On the odd occasion I would use a Nikon DSLR and the difference was unbelievable, however with a DSLR they are not cheap and you also need a pretty good lens too.
I then eventually bought myself a secondhand Samsung S8 phone and this has a very good camera on it, especially with it having manual settings so you can make adjustments yourself.
Settings is where it can all go wrong and it can be very daunting at first. Yes you can leave all cameras in auto mode but depending on the camera's capabilities this is where you can end up with great or terrible photos.
The main things to think about are the speed of the object in this case a dog is moving, the light (are you in the woods with not much natural light or is it pretty overcast) and the sun which can play a big part in taking photos.
Most of my photos for action shots are with a shutter speed between 1/800sec and 1/1500sec.
Always try and take photos with the sun behind you otherwise you're just going to end up with a very dark photo and with the sun shining on the dog it will help a lot more with the light.
When on group dog walks this isn't something I think about too much but sometimes I do like to get a bit arty with my photos so you could use things like long grass to your benefit with dogs charging or springing through it. Maybe you want your dog lying down next to some nice flowers or with a hilly scenery in the background.
These are a few things you can think about when you're out and about.
So these are just a few things that can help you in taking great photos of dogs.
Here's a few pics I have taken for you to see for yourselves.
We are Reece & Vanessa and this is the dogs4walks blog where you can read about what we have been up to and things of interest to us that are dog related.