Want to learn how to take awesome photos of your dog for instagram? Or facebook? Or just in general? We recently took a poll on our Instagram page and photography was one of the big topics you guys requested on our blog. My first instinct was to reach out to some of my favorite instagram accounts to see if they would be interested in doing a guest post and Hana was the very first person I asked.
I first connected with Hana when she introduced herself via email, oh, I want to say 3 years ago? It was right around when we started the shop and after one look at her photos I thought, "Seriously?! This girl is AMAZING!"
I was immediately drawn to Hana's photos. I mean, who wouldn't? The are always gorgeous, she goes to the most beautiful places, an her dogs hug! Well, I think only Gumbo hugs, but still. I am so honored to have had them on #teambacon since the very beginning and have been so excited to watch her photography style evolve and the account grow over the years.
Read on an enjoy the first post in our little IG photo series. I hope you enjoy it! If you have any specific photo related questions or other topics you'd like to see us cover, feel free to comment below. You can check out Hana's account and learn more about Gumbo, Aslan, and Maple on her Instagram page: @mycaninelife
Hana's Tips for Awesome Dog Photos
1. Tire Them Out!
2. The Importance of “Stay.”
In my opinion, the two most important commands that ANY dog should know is “come” and “stay.” There are endless ways to teach “stay” and reinforce it (youtube is a great resource). Whichever method you use, make sure that you have a really solid “stay” with your dogs before dropping or taking their leash off in public. Make sure to practice “stay” in new surroundings beyond your house so your dog associates it with more than just one place. Stay means stay no matter the place! It also helps to have a release word like “release” or “okay” which helps the dog understand when they are released from their “stay.”
3. Get Weird… With Noises That Is.
We’ve all done this right? Sometimes you just have to make super cute noises to get your dog to do that adorable head tilt or even just look at you! There are now apps you can download on your phone that will make weird noises that dogs are interested in. I always carry a squeaker from an old toy in my photography bag so I can get the attention of my toy obsessed dogs! Dangling some keys or using a marking word they recognize might also help capture that moment of attention.
4. Get On Their “Level”
To me, the best shots are usually when you get at eye level with your dog. Remember that dogs are a lot shorter than people so this does mean you’ll have to perfect your photographer’s crouch or lay on the ground like a crazy person. This lets the viewer be able to feel like they’ve really come face to face with the subject of your photos.
5. Variety is the Spice of… Instagram?
No one likes to see the same background over and over again. People want to see adventure and variety to show your dogs get out and enjoy the world. They are meant to after all! Go to the city, forest, lake, river, beach and whatever else might be interesting or unique. Even in the same location, change up the direction you take your photo and the angle to create something fresh and new for the viewers. Remember that you don’t need to post everything from one photo session at once. Save some of your photos for those days when you have nothing to post or are stuck inside due to bad weather or a busy schedule.
But What If They Can’t Stay Still?Candid photos ALWAYS seem to do better than staged, posed photos. There is something about knowing that a photo was not set up. It shows the nature of your dog. Some dogs just won’t stay still for a photo, so if that’s the case, focus on taking candid shots of them running or jumping or looking off in the distance at that squirrel they’re dreaming about chasing. These photos make the best stories and really show off personality. Plus they give you great content while you are still training that “stay” command!
Don’t forget that Instagram is about having fun and sharing your love of your dog to the world. Capture what makes your dog unique and capture their personality. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words!