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5 Puppy Photo Tips: How to Take Pictures

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Knowing how to take pictures and sharing puppy pictures with family, friends and the puppies. About.com community is great fun. Even though your puppy is gorgeous and does the cutest, funniest, most amazing things, capturing him on film can be a challenge.

I began shooting pictures at dog and cat shows in the days before digital cameras. That's when the rule of paw meant the photographer had to shoot five times as many pictures to get one decent image. As y'all know, pets refuse to pose and say "cheese" and the tail or ear gets cut off, or movement blurs the focus. I ended up with lots of wasted film. Sleeping puppy pictures make us go but it's more interesting to catch him in the act of cute-icity.

Today's digital cameras mean no more wasted film--you just delete the bad ones. You still need to shoot five pictures to get at least one good one, though, so don't be stingy. Shoot more than you think you'll need. There remain some universal tips for taking killer pet pictures, though. Refer to these 5 tips to learn how to take great puppy pictures.

Camera Settings

© Amy Shojai, CABC
If possible, set your camera for “action shots” to help capture the furry moving target. Decide ahead of time if you plan to print photos or leave them on the Internet or your computer. For print, you’ll want at least 200 dpi—high resolution—so the images won’t be fuzzy when you enlarge them. Setting at a high resolution also lets you crop the picture taken from a distance and enlarge to a quality close up. Pictures posted here in the puppies.About.com community only need lower resolutions of 72 dpi.

Predict Great Photo Ops

© Amy Shojai, CABC
You know your pets best, especially their routines. Maybe Sheba drinks from her bowl every morning as you brush your teeth, or Duke brings his toy for tug-games during the 6:00 news. So be ready. Have your camera pre-set, so you can snap the shots without hunting for the camera or chasing after the puppy.

Beware Background Clutter

© Amy Shojai, CABC
Too much background takes the focus off of your puppy. So clear the “set” beforehand to reduce distractions. Today’s digital cameras come with great software packages for editing. Many standard computer programs also have basic editing tools. These are wonderful for cropping the distracting background out of the shot.

Check The Light

© Amy Shojai, CABC
Use natural light if at all possible. Shooting under fluorescent or other artificial sources can make colors look odd. A spotlight can create shadows you may not want. And when the flash goes off, it nearly always creates glowing eyes or even red eye.

Focus On Whiskers

© Amy Shojai, CABC
Digital cameras have nifty auto-focus functions—great for those of us with bad eyesight! Just focus on the whiskers and your whole puppy shot will look better.
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