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A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Author: Sam Rosen | Date: November 22, 2013

As someone who constantly peruses various shelter and rescue websites (I have no business getting a second dog at this point in my life – but does it really hurt to look?!), I’ve come to realize how vital it is to have a great photo of these adoptable pooches. Without a great photo to capture my attention immediately, it’s pretty much a guarantee I won’t be clicking on the profile for more information, which is a shame because perfectly adoptable dogs are getting passed up by potential adopters just because of a poor photograph.

Here are some tips on how to take great shelter dog photos:

  • Always photograph the dog outside if possible.
  • Talk to the dogs sweetly and cheerfully.
  • Spend at least five minutes – ideally ten minutes before the photograph. They need to adapt to the “out of kennel” vs. “in kennel” environment and will need a couple minutes to feel more comfortable and relax.
  • Try not to hold the camera in front of your face, rather down by your chest. This allows the dog to see your face and helps to ease any stress about the novel stimuli (camera).
  • Look for a unique backdrop – avoid interior of shelters with florescent lighting.
  • Try not to use photos that blatantly display calming signals (yawning, nose licking, whale eye..etc) or stressed body/facial signs (hard stare, stiff body, tail between the legs).

Have fun and remember how crucial a good photograph is in placing a homeless dog into their forever home!

Do you have any pet photography tips to share?


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