How to photograph dogs that don't love getting their picture taken

Some dogs are hard to photograph. My dog Molly is one of those dogs.

Reasons Why Molly is Hard to Photograph:

  1. She's dark. Dark colored dogs are hard to photograph.
  2. She's not comfortable in new places.
  3. She can be dog aggressive.
  4. Her facial expressions don't always say "I'm a happy dog!"

We adopted Molly in January 2018. She's 4 years old and I don't know much about her background. She doesn't appear to have been abused or hit. She doesn't cower when you raise your hands.

She does lack confidence. She is fearful. Moose's nose occasionally gets him in trouble. If I raise my voice at Moose, Molly cowers.

On walks if Molly sees other small dogs, she gets very interested and not in a good way. She barks, pulls on the leash and raises her hackles.

All of these factors make her hard to photograph. 

Easy going dark colored dogs can be hard to photograph. Professional photographers know how to get good shots of them but if it's a fearful dark colored dog, that makes it harder. That's Molly.

How to Photograph Dogs that Don't Love getting their Picture Taken:

  1. Photograph them in a setting where they are comfortable. Instead of going to a busy public place, stay in their yard.
  2. Be patient. Getting a really good photo of a dog is hard. It takes a lot of patience. Getting a good photo of a dog that doesn't love to have her picture taken is even harder. 
  3. If you don't know the dog, assess the dog when you meet her. This is where my dog knowledge does help. I can figure out what is making the dog uncomfortable. Is it me because I'm a stranger? Is it my camera? Is it our location? I can determine this and then make adjustments.
  4. If the dog is food motivated, use treats.

All of these things can help you learn how to photograph dogs that don't love getting their picture taken. It can be hard.

Most importantly be patient. Make it fun for the dog. Reassure her and keep trying!