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This Post was updated in September 2017
Do you want your photos to stand out on social media? I am by no means a professional photographer. Not even close. That being said, I’m still able to achieve professional looking photos by using the tips below. Best of all you don’t need any serious editing software or expensive cameras. Easy, right? Your images will go from dull to exciting in no time!
You’ll want to start with the best lighting possible. That way when you go to edit you are only making minor adjustments. Now, there are more advanced settings like adjusting ISO and aperture but I want to keep this as simple as possible for now and show you exactly what I do. Natural light works best and I take most of my photos indoors. Find a room with ample natural light coming through. Experiment by shooting at different times of the day until you achieve ideal lighting. I don’t turn on lamps as this tends to make my photos yellow which isn’t my favorite look. If you do need artificial light you can always correct the color when you edit. When taking photos outdoors, avoid direct sunlight. Your pictures will look harsh and you will have hot spots.
The best time of day to take outdoor photos is the period shortly after sunrise or before sunset during which daylight is redder and softer than when the Sun is higher in the sky. This is also known as the golden hour.
Don’t use it. Flash can look harsh and unnatural especially for indoor pictures. Therefore, wait until the natural light is bright enough to take photos without it.
4. Establish a “look”:
If you check out my Instagram feed you will notice a common theme. The photos are simple and bright with a white background. I have a distressed white brick fireplace in my house which is where I take the majority of Rocket’s photos. It isn’t distracting so your eye goes directly to Rocket but still makes for an interesting texture. The white background gives a nice contrast to his black fur.
If you want your feed to stand out, create a cohesive and consistent “look.” It will attract new followers and help build your brand. That sense of consistency will help your social content feel professional.
5. Pose your dog:
I’m often asked how I get Rocket to pose. I am very lucky. Rocket is probably one of the easiest dogs to photograph. Seriously, I will have to make a video showing how patient he is. That being said, sometimes it can be hard to get your dog to sit still long enough to get a shot! Practicing the “sit” and “stay” command will go a long way. If your dog is still, your photos will turn out significantly better. When I take photos of Rocket I almost always have a small treat in my hand. Tell your dog to “sit”, hold the treat next to the camera while saying “stay” and snap a couple of photos. Immediately give verbal praise and treat your dog. Don’t wait too long before rewarding. You don’t want a frustrated pooch! This should be a fun activity for you AND your dog.
Play around with shooting from different angles and moving the treat around so he or she follows it with their eyes. Be creative and with practice, your dog will be a supermodel! As soon as I grab my camera, Rocket comes running over and goes to his “spot” for photos. It is an enjoyable experience for the both of us. Doesn't he look thrilled in the photo above? 😉
Related Post: Blueberry Pumpkin Dog Treat Recipe
Another great time to take photos is when your dog is sleeping. I will take Rocket for a walk or hike and when I get home he passes out. Time to get out your camera for some adorable sleeping pics! Sometimes they will be so tired that you can slip a toy under their paw for a cute cuddly photo like this one and they won’t even notice.
Once you have taken your photos, it’s time to edit them. Editing really makes your photos stand out and look professional. Best of all it’s very quick and easy.
I edit ALL of my photos using PicMonkey.
With PicMonkey, I was able to triple my followers on social media and increase engagement. This is the only editor I have found that is easy to use, yet powerful enough to do advanced editing. In addition to editing photos, I create things like Pinterest pins and E-Book covers. It is the perfect one-stop editing and design program. I wrote a post specifically about how I use PicMonkey.
You can check it out here: How to Edit Your Photos Using PicMonkey
Have any tips for taking great pet photos? I would love for you to share them in the comments below!