Photographing Happy Dogs

Photographing happy dogs is one of my favorite parts of my job. How do I capture photos of dogs looking happy? It's not always as easy as it sounds.

Many of you know that I started a dog walking and pet sitting business in 2009. Those years of experience working with dogs has really helped with my photography business and understanding dog behavior.

When I meet a dog, I can pretty quickly assess his personality. I can tell right away how he is going to be with me and how he's going to be when I point my camera at him.

When I'm photographing dogs, I want to capture their happiness. Sometimes that means photographing them posing in front of my camera. Sometimes it means photographing them doing what they love. Each dog is different and as the photographer, I need to know how to do this.

Some dogs, like corgis have natural smiles. This is Tako and I met him in Vancouver. Isn't his smile great? Pretty much every photo I took of him, he has this same smile.

This next dog is Rivers. He is a border collie / lab mix and he lives in Vancouver. Chasing whatever his mom tossed for him to catch made him very happy. He was nonstop action and was really well trained. Watching him was a blast.

Rivers isn't smiling in any of these photos but he looks happy, right? He was in dog heaven!

In this next photo, you can't even see Mayla's face but she looks happy too. She was. Chasing her woobie into the ocean made her very happy.

I could tell when I met Mayla that she would be shy and a little distrusting of my camera. Here is an example of the "looks" she would give me. She still looks adorable below but as somone who knows dogs pretty well, I wouldn't say she looks happy here.


As a photographer, I like photographing happy dogs. Dogs doing things that make them happy. That's what I want to provide to my clients. (*As an aside, I do love photographing all dogs. I recently photographed a really sick dog and while I wasn't able to capture him chasing toys into the ocean, it did make my heart melt to know that his mom will forever have photos of him that she can cherish.)

This is a blog circle and dog photographers from around the world participate each week. Next up is Tracy Allard of Penny Whistle Photography fetching portraits in Coppell and surrounding communities in Dallas - Fort Worth, Texas.. Click the link at the bottom of each post and you'll see what each photographer had to say about photographing happy dogs.