Tips on How to Photograph a German Shepherd Dog

We spend a lot of time around our pets and sometimes we can hardly do without them. Pets such as German shepherd dogs are part of the family and they fill our hearts with joy and admirations. The more we get used to them, the more we become inseparable and occasionally we enjoy taking their pictures which give us company when the dog is not around.

It is not uncommon to find pet pictures framed on our desks or a wall in our home or offices. But unlike human, most dogs do not understand the buzz around them when we want to take their photos and they won’t just pose for the camera. However, using the following tips can help you to capture great photographs of your German shepherd dog.

Understand Your Dog’s Personality

Whether you want to photography your dog at a local dog run or before the start of a planned German shepherd training program, you need to understand the dog’s personality. Every pet at home has a unique personality, a trait that distinguishes it from the other pets at home. Establish such unique personality of your dog and then plan to take shots that capture this personality.

For example, the dog may have a special place where it goes to lazy-sleep after meal or the dog likes teasing another pets at home. You can set up your photo shoot to capture such moments which bring out your dog personality. If the dog is inquisitive, hyperactive and likes racing and playing with a particular toy, you can choose a location such as a local park where the dog can ran around naturally without getting too much concerned about the photo session.

For more information on how to train a dog click here

Use Natural Light

When taking the dog’s photographs, it is recommended that you use the natural light and avoid using camera flash. A flash burst can cause red-eye pictures and besides, a dog that is not used to taking photographs can be frightened by flash bursts. Outdoor setting brings out great photos but if you have to take the photos indoors, make sure the room is well lit with natural light, probably through a large window. For great capture, focus your camera on German shepherd eyes to bring out the natural expressiveness of the dog.

Consider the Photograph Context

If you are going to take the photo in outdoor settings, the location and its relation to the dog will be very crucial. For better photographs, it is important for the dog to be comfortable and at ease with the location. Your goal is to take photos of a relaxed and calm dog rather than a nervous and restless dog. Choose a location that is familiar to the dog such as a place that you visit often or a place that evoke special memories for you and the dog. Also, consider the background of your shots, you don’t want to end up with distracting backgrounds on the photographs. Plain backgrounds such as a well lit room with white walls, patch of green grass or a plain carpet can make good choices.


Focal and Capture Distance

Generally, German shepherd dogs are larger in size compared to other home pets but you will still need to consider the focal and capture distance between the camera and the dog. Don’t shoot the image while you are too far away from the dog. Getting close to the dog should be easy if the dog is familiar with you but if not, try to get a camera that is equipped with a zoom lens. The idea is to get close and personal photo shoots that best captures the size and the personality of the dog. The focal and capture distance should bring out a nice blurry background with fewer distractions so that the dog is center of attention.

Photo Capture Level

The best photos of German shepherd dog are taken when the camera is at dog’s level. Avoid shooting the photo at a ‘human perspective’ level while standing up and looking down. The photograph may appear far away from the subject and out of angle. However, getting down to ‘dog level’ allows you to get a glimpse of dog’s normal perspective which adds up a real element of intimacy on the photograph. Take a series of shots using continuous mode (burst mode) camera from different angles which you can later sample for the best. You can also take advantage of wider angle lens to take creative dog photos.

Contribute To Better Photographs

You can contribute to better dog photos by being playful with your dog during the photo session. A better way to do this is to use the dog’s toys and stimulate the dog to look longingly at the camera by holding a special treat. You may let the dog play with the toys and then take shots when the dog is unaware. You are likely to end up with great natural photographs when the dog is unaware of your presence than having the dog pose for shots.


German Shepherd


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5 Creative Ways to Find New Locations to Photograph

If you love photography you know how thrilling it is when you visit a new location full of sceneries for the first time. Such is the photo curiosity that sometimes, we photographers, travel miles of distance looking for new places to take photo shots. New locations present new photo angles that you have never experienced before, making the photo session not only challenging but also interesting.

When I started photography I had lots of shooting locations because everywhere (even on my back yard!) seemed new to me with my camera but then, days went on and the urge to find new locations to photograph took over. You meet with your peer photographers and through discussions, a certain location becomes a ‘go-to’ spot for photo shooting. Eventually, you find yourself wanting to find new places to shoot every time.

Travelling around the world with my camera is my dream tour of finding new exciting shooting locations, probably never discovered before! But that would require means and time which I can’t afford for now. My photo shooting locations are limited to places within driving distance but you would be surprised that even at such a limited radius, I still find ‘new locations’ to shoot amazing photos. Here is a list of useful techniques that I often use to get new photo shooting locations in my local area which you can apply too.

1. Join a Photo Club
I used to think I have covered all interesting shooting locations in my locality until I joined a Photo Club and went for a photo walk. Meeting new people in your local area can be one of the best ways to find new interesting shooting locations. Don’t assume anything, even if the location has been your home for your entire life chances are someone else might have discovered an interesting spot or a new photo taking perspective unknown to you.


Joining a local Photo Club would be one way to discover new locations and especially through organizing occasional photo walks. You will have a chance to discuss new ‘go-to’ spots discovered by others so you will always have a list of shooting locations available. When you are in a pinch to get a shooting location, you can always go through the list and choose one that suits your time and interest.


2. Use Map and Location Apps
There are plenty of useful apps and tools that provide map and location data such as Google Earth, Google Maps, Google Maps etc. But do you know there are apps and tools specifically made to find locations to photograph? Stuck on Earth is just one of those tools that you can use to get amazing shooting locations. The app works by integrating Flickr location data and a map tool to provide not only shooting locations but also photographs taken by others on those locations. You can search locations from the list of top photography locations curated by actual photographers and the best part is that this app is free!



3. Make Locations New By Going at Night
You have this amazing place that you have photographed countless stunning photos and you already feel you’ve done enough. But have you ever thought the kind of shoots you can get from the same place in the middle of the night? You can turn an old location into a new location by shooting photos at night. Experience how night can change the way we perceive familiar locations, plus it is always thrilling to tackle new set of photography challenges by pushing your camera to its limits of low light image capture.

Photo at night


4. Use a Guide Book
If you have a passion in taking nature photos such waterfalls, guide books provides friendly information on what to expect from a certain location and the best time to visit for stunning photos. True, they may sound outdated but if you are looking for a detailed guide on how to go about shooting photos on Bowen Falls in Fiordland National Park including how picturesque the fall is and how difficult the hikes are, guide books from Amazon or other bookstores will come in handy.

Bowen Falls, Fiordland National Park – New Zealand
Bowen Falls, Fiordland National Park – New Zealand


5. Fill Up the Tank and Drive Away
This is one of my favourite techniques of getting new photo shooting locations. You don’t have to plan for the ride else you will miss the whole essence of this trick. All what you need to do is fill up the fuel tank, pick up a direction and distance to drive (say 50 miles, east) and drive off. After covering the set distance, take the first exit and arrive at unknown location/town/place with all sorts of new things and sceneries to photograph. You may take a friend with you for the ride, like I do to keep me company. Best still, your friend can help you to pinpoint shots so you don’t miss potential photography opportunities.