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Frustrated with my Amazing But Fast Dog: 3 Tips for Fantastic Photos

“I can’t take good pictures of my dog – they move too fast!”

So if you have a fast dog, how do you capture fantastic photos of them if they won’t sit still?!

It seems like some dogs are the perfect models – calm, quiet, slow to move, while others are the complete opposite. They’re fast, full of energy, and can’t sit still for more than two seconds.

So how do you possibly capture great photos with these dogs? Let’s look at 3 tips on how to do this.

Let Fast Dogs Be Fast

The first tip is simple: let fast dogs be fast.

“What?!” you’re saying, “That’s the problem in the first place! They won’t sit still!”

I hear you – but listen to what I mean.

Most DSLR cameras today are able to capture pictures up to speeds of 1/8000th of a second. For most fast moving dog pictures, you only need 1/1000th or 1/2000th of a second to capture a crystal clear, sharp image of your dog in flight.

This is one of the keys professional pet photographers hold when shooting pictures of actions shots, or when dogs are chasing after balls or frisbees. By increasing their shutter speed, they only need a very small fraction of a second to capture the perfect picture.

Don’t have a DSLR? Take a look at your camera settings and see if you can adjust the shutter speed. Some mobile phones now have this as an option burried in the settings.

I also recommend that you take photos in burst mode – or when the camera takes one photo right after another as fast as the shutter will open and close. It then does it’s processing after you are done taking your photos.

What this does is it allows you to take many pictures at once – increasing the likelihood that you will capture that perfect picture. It may take 100 pictures to get a few crystal clear ones – but that’s OK! Most pet photographer’s don’t take just one photo either!

Slow Down Your Fast Dog

This second tip seems contrary to the first – and very obvious. If your dog is too fast, what can you do? Slow them down!

Now I’m not saying to put obstacles in your dog’s way, though that can work a bit. Instead, what I mean is that there are some options for you to consider:

  1. Distract them with a treat

  2. Hold onto them with a leash

  3. Distract them with a toy

  4. Wear them out first by playing with them and then take your photos

All of these are valid ways to slow your dog down. Most won’t be able to resist staring up at a treat or toy you hold over the camera lens. And if that doesn’t work, you can hold onto them with a leash or play with them for a while until they are tired and then take your photos.

These are all very simple and seem obvious, but most people don’t think about them.

Consider Your Photos

Finally, the last thing you can do is consider the type of photos you are wanting to take of your dog. Maybe they don’t want to sit still and get dressed up for a studio-style lighting photoshoot and instead want to run free out in a park somewhere chasing balls and frisbees?

If so, then why are you trying to capture photos of your dog that aren’t your dog. Instead, you should focus on capturing their unique personality and the things that describe them. Maybe that’s more candid pictures shot at a park or at a river with your dog splashing through the water.

In other words, make the context of the photos match the personality of your dog.

Don’t put a round hole in a square box – or, uh, you know the saying.

Anyways, just by planning your photos a bit and considering the type of photos your taking, the angle at which you’re taking them, and whether or not someone else can help you out by throwing a ball or two, you can get some pretty awesome action shots of your dog. Then when they’re nice and tired out, then maybe you can get those more posed pictures afterward!

All in all, I hope this was helpful in igniting some ideas for how to capture the photos you want to capture.

If you’d like to learn more photo tips, check us out on Facebook and Instagram, where we will be sharing more photo pawfect tips on occasion!

CJ Ashmore

Owner, Photographer of Pawfect Photo Moments LLC


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