Photographing Your Dog

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Wonder how professional dog photographers get those great shots? At BlogPaws West, I had the chance to attend the “(Your Pet) Oughta Be in Pictures” session taught by professional pet photographer and blogger Jessica Bush of DOGingham. The Birmingham, Alabama-based photographer (above, left, with Carrie Johnson Boyko of offered a great session of tips which put the emphasis on aspects of pet photography every photographer can appreciate like maintaining eye contact with your dog.

Jessica’s tip for getting your pet to pose: use all the tools at your disposal like your pet’s favorite words, favorite toys, and treats. Have a problem dealing with both the camera and the toys? Enlist the help of a friend your dog adores and have him or her stand behind you.

An important tip Jessica passed along was to let your dog get to know your camera by putting it down on the ground (but only with girl dogs…males might decide to mark that neat gadget and make it their own!)

More ideas from Jessica:

  • be sure to have plenty of time and patience
  • select a quiet location for your photo session
  • recreate a favorite memory (like when your dog curled up in the laundry)
  • photograph black pets against a light background with natural light from the front.

And when all else fails, here’s one of my favorite tips from the session: find a cute moment during nap time to photograph!!

Jessica brought her beautiful (and well-behaved!) dog Judy to act as our model. Here Jessica illustrates using a second person to catch your dog’s attention while Amy Burkert from photographs Judy:


Judy made a great and very patient model for our group!


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About Paris Permenter

Paris Permenter is the founder and co-publisher of LT Media Group LLC. Along with her husband, John Bigley, she edits,, and has authored over 30 books on pets and travel.

  • Tamara

    Thank you for the wrap-up! This was one session I really wanted to attend but could not.

  • Carrie Boyko

    You beat me to it, Paris. I have pictures of you in that same class! I’ll wait a few days to post. LOL

  • bonnie

    I certainly appreciate this post, Paris –i take a lot of pictures to get one usable one. when the camera comes out they all have to get right up to it and check it out — doesn’t matter that they checked it out ten minutes ago!! The cats are as bad as the dogs about that — lol.
    .-= bonnie´s last blog ..Tuesday =-.

  • Jessica and Judy of Dogingham

    Thanks Paris! It was SO much fun talking to ya at the conference too. I hope that you found my tips to be easily applicable. We are looking forward to seeing all your new pics :)
    .-= Jessica and Judy of Dogingham´s last blog ..Inspired by BlogPaws- Judy is ready to Be the Change for Pets- http-tco-VHWyz8i wonderwhatshewilldo hmm =-.

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