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How to Take the Perfect Dog Selfie in 10 Simple Steps

Written by: Ashley Bates

Last Updated on May 28, 2024 by Dogster Team

woman taking selfie with her dog at home

How to Take the Perfect Dog Selfie in 10 Simple Steps

Getting good shots of our dogs is non-negotiable. We want them looking their best for our latest Instagram photo or story. How exactly do you make the best photo possible for your pooch?

There are tons of ways that pet parents can get creative, but if you’re looking for basic photography tips and ways to make your photos more interesting, we have you covered.

In this article, we’re going to discuss what makes a fantastic dog selfie and how you can create one from the comfort of your own home.

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The 10 Steps for Taking the Perfect Photo of Your Pooch

We get lots of pictures of our dogs all the time, but some of them are blurry, unfocused, and simply not at the right angle. You can get a blur of a tail wag in one photo, a long tongue hanging at a weird angle in another.

It can seem quite frustrating when you are trying to photograph your dog, especially if they never seem to sit still! Here are some things you can do to get some good shots.

1. Make Sure Your Dog Gets Plenty of Exercise

We know that our dogs can be pretty fidgety creatures! Before you even get started with the photo shoot, it’s best to make sure they have all that extra energy exerted. Take your dog out for a jog, walk, or backyard game. Get them really good and tuckered out so they can rest and recoup.

Depending on your breed, your dog will require a certain amount of exercise. If you have a pretty relaxed dog breed, they obviously won’t need as much exercise as an extremely high-energy breed.

So it’s very hard to say what will work for one another. You know your dog better than anyone! You’ll be the first to know when they’re ready for some glamour shots!

Jack Russell Terrier dog running in the backyard with toy
Image Credit: alexei_tm, Shutterstock

2. Get Your Dog Dolled Up

Do you have your dog looking and smelling their freshest? It might be a good time to do it if it’s been a while since they’ve gotten a bath. Once you get your dog nice and worn out, wash off all of the outside dirt and grime with a nice sudsy rub down.

Afterward, your pet will be even more ready for relaxation, and you can make sure they look their most pristine for the photos.

If you have any bows, bowties, or cute little clothes you’d like to accessorize with, it might be a good time to pick those out as well. You can get creative, but if you need some ideas, you won’t be disappointed. Check out some really creative DIY on sites like Pinterest.

3. Desensitize Your Dog to the Camera

Is your dog used to the camera? If not, you might want to let them smell your phone and look around so they don’t get excited by it being so close to their face. If you’re trying to get a selfie with your dog, you can only extend the camera so far.

In order to get your dog to sit still and not be so curious about this device, let them see what it’s all about. It’s really no interest to them, they will likely back off and be a good bystander.

yorkshire terrier dog looking at its owner holding the phone
Image Credit: seeshooteatrepeat, Shutterstock

4. Find the Best Lighting

Lighting is key! Whether you are inside using a ring light or outside in the natural tones of the sun, making sure you have good lighting is crucial. If the sun is shining directly in your eyes, you’re likely not going to get a very good photo.

Likewise, if the sun is casting a shadow, it’s going to be very hard to make out details in the photograph. The whole point of getting prepped to do a photo shoot is to make some awesome pictures you can remember for years to come, so don’t let the lighting ruin your day.

5. Bring Treats Along

We all know that the way to a dog’s heart is through their stomach. There’s nothing that can get your dog to snap to attention quicker than the offering of a treat. You will have their full attention as long as you’re holding that scrumptious morsel in your hand and it’s not in their mouth.

In fact, many pet parents and photographers alike use this as a tactic to keep a dog’s attention. It’s comparable to shaking a rattle for a baby, and it works way better! The thing is, it works on just about any dog, of any age, of any breed. Let’s just say, treats are a miracle cure. There are even treat holders you can attach to your phone to get your dog to look at the camera.

woman with shepherd dog taking selfies in winter while giving a treat
Image Credit: KELENY, Shutterstock

6. Decide on Props or Pageantry

Do you have anything specific you want to add to the photos? Do you have any particular backdrops you’d like to use? Before you get started with your session, it is important to gather up any supplies, costumes, backdrops, and other supplies you’ll need for your adventure.

You might want to get some natural shots of your dog doing what they do best. Or, you might want more organized photographs that are perfectly manicured and well timed. Regardless of what you choose, it is important to set the scene.

7. Use Burst Mode and Self-Timers

Your dog, no matter how tuckered out, doesn’t exactly know when to sit still for a photo. That means, they might move their head, stick out their tongue, shut their eyes, and do all sorts of other movements that can ruin shots.

To get a better probability of fantastic photos, try using burst mode or self-timer. Self-timers will work the best if you plan to be in the photo with your dog, whereas burst mode will work if you’re trying to get a photo of the dog by themselves, especially if they’re in action. It will allow you to get a more controlled shot. Burst mode takes a series of photos in a matter of seconds.

woman taking selfie photo image on smart phone with jack russell terrier dog
Image Credit: Inside Creative House, Shutterstock

8. Consider a Selfie Stick or Tripod

Because of the lack of range of motion when trying to take a selfie, having some gadgets on hand might make your life easier. You can set up a tripod or connect your phone to a selfie stick.

This will allow you to take photos from a broader view. Plus, it can really level the landscape if you are worried about perfect symmetry.

9. Make Sure You Both Are Level

When you get a photo with your dog, you’re going to want to be on similar levels. If not, it might throw off the overall aesthetic of the photo. Often, it works best to get down to your dog’s level.

This will allow both of you to equally be part of the photo without one overpowering the other. You’re going to get some interesting takes—and maybe even a good kiss shot if your dog is feeling happy!

woman sitting on floor taking selfie with her playful cute dog jack russel terrier puppy
Image Credit: Prostock-studio, Shutterstock

10. Choose the Scene for the Individual Dog

Some dogs will have vibrant coats that photograph so fantastically. Others will be darker-colored coats or have certain haircuts that make it a little harder to decipher their features.

When taking a good picture, it is important to consider how well your dog photographs in different environments. You might have to get pictures at certain spots or even take your dog outside for some natural lighting and open space.

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Now, you can get cracking on creating eye-catching photos and selfies with your pooch. Whether you have one dog or many, gathering them up for some awesome headshots is always a fun idea!

We hope that you’re downright happy with your results, but don’t be afraid to tweak it as you need to make the situation work for you.

Featured Image Credit: Prostock-studio, Shutterstock

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