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With the popularity of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, we can now share endless pictures of each other’s dogs. Whether they’re sleeping, running around or just plain being cute, it’s hard to resist showing off photos of our pups!

Here are some easy tips that everyone from novice shutterbugs to seasoned photographers can use to help their dog get ready for their close-up.

Warm Them Up To The Camera

Whether you are taking pictures with your phone, a point-and-click Polaroid or even a long-lensed 35mm camera, dogs are not going to be immediately comfortable in a situation where you stick a weird thing in front of your face while asking them to sit in front of you quietly.

Let them get to know the camera first by showing it to them and allowing them to sniff it. Once they have been introduced to it, start taking pictures with it. The point is not to take any actual photos yet, just to get your pup acclimated to the sound a camera makes when it takes a picture. This way, the sound will not bother them once you actually start taking photos.

No Need To Be Flashy

The biggest mistake dog photographers make is using the camera’s flash to add some light in the shot. Using the flash may give you dog a washed-out look and glowing eyes.  As well, that quick blast of light may spook your pup and, most importantly, can cause damage to their sensitive eyes.

Your best bet is to take pictures of your pup outside using sunlight or near windows to take advantage of natural light. If you really need to take pictures inside in a dark room, try an off-camera flash pointed upwards at the ceiling for some added illumination.

Grab Their Attention

Unlike supermodels, your pup probably won’t demand thousands of dollars just to get out of bed. However, they will enjoy being paid in their favourite treat! Get the photo session started by giving them a treat, then tape another treat to the top of the camera so you can get their eyes focused in the right direction for that perfect picture.

Make ‘Em Smile

There’s an easy way to get a shot of your pup smiling: tire them out! Give them a quick 5-minute jog or take them on a long walk. Either way, that bit of expended energy will have them panting. When they are panting, their tongue comes out a little and the lips curl up slightly. Voila! You’ll have a smiling dog!

Get Down

The biggest hurdle when taking doggy photos is the significant height difference between you and your subject. Change the eyeline by getting down on your stomach to take shots of your pup. From this angle, your pictures will have a better perspective that is missing in most dog photographs.

Start Snapping Pics!

With these suggestions in your back pocket, it’s time to start playing paparazzi with your pup! Give us a follow on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and tag us in the new glamour shots of your precious fur baby so we can see how you’re doing! While you are there, take a look at some of the great doggy photos we’ve been posting and like or share some of your favorites.