Dog Photography Tips: How I Get My Dogs To Look At The Camera

I take a lot of pictures of my dogs. Like, a lot. Since I run an active Instagram account for this blog, they’re pretty used to me sticking a camera in their face on a regular basis. While I think it’s adorable to capture candid shots of them in action, and pretend I’m their personal puppy paparazzi, there’s something awe-worthy about a photo where they look directly into the camera. Sometimes holding their gaze during photoshoots, though, isn’t as easy as just calling out their name. So here are some dog photography tips that work for me!

4 Dog Photography Tips To Get Your Pup To Look At The Camera

1) Place A Treat Right Above The Camera Lens

Whenever I plan a puppy photoshoot, I load up on healthy treats. My little guys go crazy for my homemade biscuits, apple slices, or cheese cubes. But I encourage you to bring along your pooch’s favorite snacks. 

First, I get my dogs interested in the “bait” by letting them smell the snack. Then, I call out a command like “sit” or “down.” Directing them to stay, I place the treat directly above my camera lens. This gives the illusion that they’re looking right into the camera. After I snap a few shots, I reward my pooches with praise and, of course, the treat! 

2) Hold Their Favorite Toy Above The Camera

Does your dog have a favorite plush toy or ball? Just like with treats, placing a toy near the camera lens is a great way to get your dog’s attention. If the toy has a squeaker then go ahead and make it squeak — it may trigger some great facial expressions! 

If you’re trying to take selfies with your dog, there are companies that make a pet selfie stick. Rather than a traditional selfie stick, these products are designed to snap onto your smartphone and hold a ball right above the camera lens. Smart!

3) Make A High-Pitched Noise

If, for some reason, my dogs aren’t interested in a treat or toy then I try making kissing noises and high-pitched sounds. This usually results in eye contact and that adorable head tilt! Just keep making different sounds until your pooch looks your way. Warning: If you’re doing this in a public place then you may get some strange looks from passersby! 

4) Have Patience 

If you’ve planned a photoshoot at a public place with a lot of action going on — like a dog park — then your canine cutie may be too distracted to focus on you. Figure out what’s holding your dog’s attention and position yourself carefully. You want to be somewhere between your dog and whatever it is that’s catching their attention. They’ll look right through you (and at the camera)! 

Planning A Photoshoot?

Click here to see 12 dog photography tips from a professional photographer