I’m a huge photography enthusiast and an even bigger fan of our dogs. Sydney and Rodrigo are the light of my life and I love capturing every adorable look. I think my collection of images can rival that of any new mother. We’re regulars at the Strawberry Fields dog park and every now and then I see a fellow photography enthusiast and it makes me smile to know that others want to capture those moments too.
If you’ve been considering taking pictures at the dog park, there’s no time like the present. I shoot with a Sony Alpha 550, but you don’t need a DSLR camera to take pictures. Any point and shoot (or camera phone) will do, you just need a few tips to get you started. Here are my 3 favorite tips for taking pictures at the dog park.
Remain Standing I prefer to get low to the ground (or on the ground) when taking pictures of our dogs and cats. I think capturing them at their perspective makes for an interesting shot. I would recommend that you do not do this at the dog park, because whenever a human goes to the ground, nearly every dog will come over to investigate. All that drool cannot be good for the camera.
If you are brave enough to get low, drop down, take the picture, and stand right back up like I did in the below shot.
Use a Fast Shutter Speed: DSLR cameras allow us to adjust our shutter speed and the faster you go, the easier it’ll be to freeze the moment. Our dogs are running all over the place and I want pictures of dogs, not black blurs. Keep in mind that the higher you increase your shutter speed, the less light will reach your camera’s sensor – so you might also want to increase your ISO too. Take a few test shots when you get there to see which settings work best.
If you shoot with a point and shoot that doesn’t allow you to adjust your shutter speed, then I suggest that you put your camera in Action mode. This will allow you to capture and freeze the moment too.
Pan Your Camera With Your Dog: Another thing that I quickly learned is that when I point my lens towards my dog, which is running around like a mad-pooch, I end up with shots of his tail or back legs, because my dog is running faster than my camera can take the shot. The way to keep your dog in the shot is to pan along with your camera. Just follow along, stay a little ahead, and then when you take the shot, your dog will be in the frame instead of leaving it.
There are many great pet photography tips. I share one weekly on the Keep the Tail Wagging newsletter, so pop on over there to sign up. It’s free!