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Take Better Photos of your Pug - July 2006

All this month we are bringing you a tip a day to help you become a better photographer and snap that adorable picture of your pug. Read on to find today's tips and the tips for previous days.

The Tips:

#01  Get on your pug’s level

When photographing your pug, get on your pug’s level.  Don’t be afraid to get down on your belly and start snapping shots.  If you are not the type to roll around on the floor to capture that perfect shot, bring your pug up to your level.  Use a table top or something similar to get on a more equal level with your pug.

#02  Get to know the camera

Before you start snapping shots of your pug let your pug get to know the camera.  Allow your pug to smell it and get your pug used to the noises the camera makes.  Once your pug is familiar with the camera it will be less likely to run up to you every time you bring the camera out.

#03  Look at what is in the background

Ever take a picture where someone had a tree branch or some other object growing out of their head?  Before taking your picture, look at what is in the background of your photo.  While we don’t always have complete control of the background of our pictures do your best keep the background as uncluttered as possible.

#04  Take Lots of Pictures

The perfect shot is usually not captured by only snapping just one picture.  Take multiple pictures and then choose the one that comes out best.  If you are using a digital camera, take more shots than you will ever need.  You can easily delete the pictures that don’t turn out as good as you would like.

#05  Proper Lighting

Make use of natural light when shooting your photographs.  Use your camera’s flash only when absolutely necessary.

#06  Blue Eye

The camera flash causes humans to get that dreaded “red-eye” and the camera flash causes our pugs to get “blue-eye”.  To avoid “blue-eye” use your camera’s flash only when absolutely necessary and when using the flash don’t have your pug look directly into the camera.

#07  Be Ready

You can’t always predict when your pug is going to do something adorable.  Keep your camera in an easy to access spot and make sure your camera is always loaded with film.  Or if you use a digital camera make sure your camera’s batteries are charged and the memory card is loaded.

#08  Understand How Your Camera Works

High-end cameras are not necessary to capture wonderful photos of your pug.  Instead all you need is your existing camera and an understanding of how it works.  Get familiar with all those buttons on your digital camera and learn how to take full advantage of your camera’s features.

#09  Camera Settings

Adjust your camera settings to account for the type of picture you are taking.  Use the appropriate settings for outdoor pictures, action shots, nighttime photos and indoor pictures.

#10  Toys & Treats

Use toys and treats to keep your pug alert and focused on you while you are photographing your pug.

#11  Keeping your pug’s interest

Make noises or gestures to keep your pug intrigued and capture an inquisitive shot.

#12  Framing

Experiment with how you frame your pug in photos.  Take shots where your pug is not directly centered in the photograph.

#13  Action Shots

To capture great action shots, use a fast shutter speed and a tripod or other stable surface to steady your camera.

#14  Extra Hands

When shooting posed shots of your pug, have someone pose and position your pug while you take the pictures.  This way you will be ready to capture anything that occurs and your job as a photographer will be a bit easier.

#15  Have Fun

Taking photos of your pug should be fun and relaxing.  Have fun while shooting and it will show in your pictures.

#16  Portraits

When in a controlled environment, remove your pug’s collar or harness to capture natural portrait shots.

#17  Use Your Zoom

Don’t let your pug know they are being photographed.  Stand back and use your camera’s zoom to capture a precious shot.

#18  Personality

Capture your pug’s personality in your photos.  Take pictures of your pug doing their favorite things.

#19  Photo Sessions

Make photo sessions short and fun so your pug does not get bored.

#20  Photo Sessions II

If you pug is not used to being photographed, treat photo sessions similar to training sessions.  Be patient and use repetition and rewards to get your pug familiar with the concept of photo sessions.

#21  Experiment

Have fun when taking photos of your pug and try new techniques and unique ways to frame your pug such as extreme closeups, unusual camera angles, distinct lighting, etc.

#22  Familiar Setting

Take pictures of your pug in places where he or she has been before and is comfortable and not distracted.  Your pug will be more relaxed and you will be able to capture better photos.

#23  Don’t Get Frustrated

Pugs don’t always want to pose for the camera.  If your pug is distracted or more interested in other things take a break and take pictures at a later time when your pug is more cooperative.

#24  “Blue Eye”

When using your camera’s flash, avoid “blue eye”, the equivalent to “red eye” in humans, by not having your pug look directly into the camera.

#25  Portraits

For portraits that pop, position fawn pugs against darker backgrounds and black pugs against lighter backgrounds.

#26  Blurring

Use a tripod or a stable object to steady your position and prevent your pictures from coming out blurry.

#27  Camera Distractions

Turn off any camera noises that may be distracting to your pug.  Many digital cameras emulate shutter sounds and other camera noises. These noises may distract your pug.

#28  Action Shots

Leave room in the frame to account for your pug’s movement when taking action shots.

#29  Action Shots II

Use your familiarity with your pug to your advantage to predict your pug’s next move.

#30  Be Prepared

Pugs move quickly so be prepared to shoot at all times.

#31  Continuous Shooting

If available on your camera, use continuous shooting mode to make it easier to capture pictures of your pugs in action.

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