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Helpful Hints to Photograph Your Foster Pet

Girl Hugging her Dog

1 If possible, get someone (or better yet two people) to help you during your photo shoot. That person can manage and/or hold the dog so you can focus on the taking the photos.

Make sure your background/setting is simple and clutter-free so the dog stands out in the photo.


Your cell (or other) phone should have a “Portrait” setting. Use that for closeups. Hold still when you take the shot and make sure the pet is as still as possible.

Make sure your light source (sun, lamp) is shining on the subject and is not behind it.


Eye contact with the camera is important. Most adopters will look at the dog’s eyes first, so try to make the eyes the focal point of the photo


Drop down and photograph from the dog’s eye level, or place the dog higher - on a chair, stairs, table or such (always make sure you have a helper to keep the dog safe if elevated).


If you have more than one person helping, have someone stand behind you at your level (on their knees if you are on your knees), so they can attract the dog's attention from behind the camera.


Dog treats, making noises (panting, whining like a dog, and kiss sounds are good ones), or a squeaky toy will often get the dog’s attention. If using treats it often helps to give the dog a little sample first, and then hold a treat just above your camera or crinkle the treat bag to help get them to look at you.


Don’t get discouraged, photographing dogs can be really difficult and it may take a few attempts before you get that great photo. It’s also a good idea to shoot an abundance of photos then sort through them later to select the best ones.


In addition to an ‘adoption profile photo’, it’s helpful if you take photos of your foster dog in different settings, doing different activities - playing, walking, sleeping (no eye contact required). A variety of attention-getting photos are a great bonus when featuring your foster dog on our Facebook page, etc. 


VIDEO: Videos can also be very helpful to showcase your foster dog. So if you have a phone camera or a camera with a video option, remember to take some short (10/30 sec) videos. Hold the phone horizontally (so that the video is horizontal, fitting a TV/computer screen).

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