Posing a dog is different from posing a human, because the anatomy is different. With dogs you have to consider ears and nose, and they may not take directions very well.
To really get the Tops Dog portraits, you have to know your breed. What is this dog supposed to look like? Which features do you want to exaggerate? A bulldog is not the same as a greyhound.
But, you don’t have to get that advanced. Most of the time you just want to take a portrait of you furry friend! What matters most to me when I photograph my dogs is that they look happy, alert, and like they are enjoying themselves.
Ears: in front. Even dogs with heavy ears have muscles at the ear base that makes them look more alert.
Eyes: calm or engaged. Looking at the camera, or calmly looking at something interesting.
Posture: Relaxed, interested, or alert.
Mouth: I love dog-smiles or mischief-lips…A closed mouth is better than a stressed panting mouth. Yawns are really cute on photo, but usually means that the dog is starting to get stressed – time for a break.
Pose one – “I love you mom!”
A portrait from above, with large aperture. Focus on the eyes. A treat on the camera gets the look just right.
Works really nice as a close up that really brings out the eyes (f/1,2). If you want the nose blurry or sharp is up to you, use a smaller aperture to get the whole head sharp.
Pose two: “Nose down”
Again with a large aperture. This requires some training in advance. Perfect to put some flowers in the foreground!
You can always take this photo when the dog is tired and near sleep, if it doesn’t put the nose down on command.
Pose three: simple profile
Dogs with really long noses often look nice in profile. It’s easy: a helper with a treat does the trick 🙂
You can also turn the head a bit towards the camera, to get variation.
There you have it. Three really simple poses! Try them with your dog. Let me know which one is your favourite!