Blog Hop: How Jen Takes Pictures of Her Dog for Instagram

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How to Take Great Pictures of Your Dog for Instagram

Before Instagram came along, I’d lug my heavy camera around on hikes and trips and take some photos, but my camera would rarely make an appearance. I wanted desperately to improve my photography skills, but I worried I’d come across as annoying asking my group to stop while I took a photo (or several).

Instagram, however, inspired me to get over that fear and, with Sora, and now Laila, as my subjects, I have finally become the photographer I always dreamed I’d be.

Lighting is Everything

Outdoor Photography

Morning and evening light is best, ideally at sunrise and sunset. Cloudy days are also great for photo shoots because the clouds hide unwanted shadows and harsh light. If you find yourself outside midday and see a photo op, try to shoot in the shade if you can.

Indoor Photography

Find the spot in your house with the most natural light and use that as your studio. Open all of the blinds and get a sense for when the lighting comes in just right. If your pup is a sun seeker, then place a bed in the sunny spot and he’ll start to go there naturally. If I’m shooting indoors, I almost always shoot by a window or with a significant amount of white in the scene, like bed sheets, for example. Without natural lighting, your indoor photos will come out with a drab yellow hue.

How to Get Your Dog to Pay Attention to the Camera

My advice is to never head out for a photo shoot without valuable treats in hand! I recognize that when Sora and Laila pose for me, they are performing a task, and they must be rewarded for their efforts if I want to continue to ask them to pose for the camera.

Get on Your Dog’s Level

I also almost always squat when I take photos of the dog, in order to get on their level. If I stand, then the photograph comes from my perspective and loses intimacy. When I squat to their level, I can show the viewer what my dogs are experiencing from their point of view rather than how I see them.

Tell a Story

In order to have a successful Instagram account, focus on the story you want to tell. Our photographs tell the story of our travels and outdoor adventures together. Pick a theme that suits your dog’s personality and stick with that. Play around with different ideas and settings, but once you find something that works, tell that story.

Please head over to Long Haul Trekkers to read Jen’s full article, “How to Take Great Pictures of Your Dog for Instagram.”

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Jen finds her energy playing outdoors. From 2015-2017, she traveled across Europe and South America by bicycle along with her partner, Dave and their dog, Sora, their rescued Australian Shepherd. When she’s not traveling, you can find her running long distances in the woods or hiking in the mountains. She is always planning her next adventure. To read the stories and see the photos from her adventures, follow her at or @longhaultrekkers on Instagram.

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