How to Photograph Your Dog: Mood-Altering Camera Angles

Jake is often aghast at the photos I take of him. See the beauty above. If anyone took a photo like this of me, I...

Maria Goodavage  |  Aug 5th 2010


Want to avoid making yourself or your dog look like an idiot? Follow the helpful tips of guest blogger Jenna Castello

Jake is often aghast at the photos I take of him. See the beauty above. If anyone took a photo like this of me, I would hit “delete” immediately. But since dogs have no opposable thumbs, this is not an option. A dog’s only hope: A photographer with a little know-how. With just a few tips and a little luck, you can be the photographer of your dog’s dreams.

On that note, I bring you guest blogger Jenna Castello, a pet photographer from Orange County, Calif. Today she discusses mood-altering camera angles. (The one above is mood-altering all right. But just not in a good way.) If you like this, we’ll bring you more from her in the future, including a tutorial on photographing black dogs and cats, and what to look for in a setting.

Pet Photography How-To’s: Mood-Altering Camera Angles

By Jenna Castello

Lots of people tell me how they struggle to capture how cute their dogs or cats really are, so Im hoping these tips will help you take pictures that do your pets justice! Most of the advice I’ll give is geared toward taking pictures of dogs, but most of these tips will work for your cats or other pets too. I’ve tried to make these tutorials simple enough that anyone with a camera phone will find them useful, but I’m also including some more technical stuff for all you camera nerds out there (like me!) with big fancy dSLRs. So here we go first up, Camera Angles!

Thinking about the angle you’re shooting at is a great place to start to give your pics some WOW factor. Read-on to learn more about 4 simple, but awesome angles to try!

Shoot Down

I dont mean just point the camera down as your dog sits on the ground. I mean get close, practically stand over them and then shoot down. Then make sure to get his attention so he looks up at you with those adorable puppy-dog eyes. This picture makes you feel that your pooch really is mans best friend. You can almost hear him say through the picture Pet me! Ill do anything to get you to pet me!

Shoot Up

Youre going to have to get dirty for this one! More than likely your dog, especially for small dogs, will need to be on a table, bench or couch and youll be the one either sitting, kneeling or even laying on the ground looking up at them. Whos the master now?! Thats the feeling you get from this shot. Fido is in charge, theyre on top of the world, and theyre the boss! It makes for a really fun new perspective. You dont normally see your dog from this angle.

Shoot at Eye Level

Get down to your dog’s level so you are looking them straight in the eye. This perspective allows you to really connect with your dog. In these pictures you feel the emotion, the connection… you feel the love. Whether your dog always has a dog-smile on his face or tends to be more poised, taking their picture from eye level captures their real, honest expression.

Tilt It

The camera, that is! Its as simple as tilting either the left or right side of the camera up just a bit. Sometimes my tilting gets a little crazy and I have to tone it down, so this is an instance where less might be more. But with that being said, tilting the camera can really change the mood of your picture. It adds some excitement. We typically look at the world straight on, so a little bit of tilt can really add some jazz.

I know some of these might sound a little strange, especially if you’re used to just holding your camera in front of you and shooting, but I promise with some practice they can have a huge impact on your photos. So now go out and try it! I’d love to see how these angles are working out for you so after you try them post your photos on the Whinny and Snap Facebook fanpage!

Happy snapping!