Strike A Paws! How to Get Great Fall Photos of Your Dog

Have you been wanting to get some fun, festive pictures of your dog this fall? The mild weather and beautiful scenery make it the perfect time to capture gorgeous images of your furry best friend! 

Most dogs LOVE getting outside in the cooler temperatures, and any chance to run and play in the falling leaves. Capture even more special moments with these tips for getting great fall photos of your dog!

Scout Out a Great Location

Pick a place with awesome autumn vibes! Pumpkin patches, corn mazes, and apple orchards make for a perfect fall backdrop for adorable dog photos. Just make sure the place you choose is dog-friendly

If your furry best friend doesn’t do so well in crowds or new places, try going at an off-time or making a few visits before the photoshoot. You’ll have a much better chance of getting the photos you want if your dog is comfortable at the location.

Looking for a more relaxed, natural setting? Parks, nature paths, and hiking trails are great places to snap some photos of your dog being themselves with some gorgeous autumn leaves in the background. Give yourself and your model of a dog plenty of space in a familiar place with nice foliage and not too many distractions.  

Location Ideas For Fun Fall Photoshoots:

  • Pumpkin Patch
  • Corn Maze
  • Apple Orchard
  • Parks
  • Nature Paths
  • Hiking Trails

Choose Your Timing Carefully

dog-friendly campground

Knowing your dog’s personality will help you decide what the best time of day will be for the type of photos you’re after. If you want a bunch of action shots with a great fall background, pick a time when your dog will definitely be full of energy. Is your dog a slug in the early morning, or alert as soon as they wake up? Do they get tired at the end of the day, or are they ready for an adventure every time you head out on an evening walk?

Whatever time you choose, take note of your dog’s demeanor and behavior leading into the shoot. Some dogs may be better listeners after they’ve gotten their energy out with a walk or a few rounds of fetch. On the other hand, some dogs may be too tired to be good listeners after a lot of activity, especially puppies or other younger dogs.

Use Your Dog’s Training to Get Their Attention

person training their dog

When it comes to taking great doggy pictures, practice is important and patience is key. You know your dog best, so use your relationship and past training to leverage some great shots while the time is right.

Training is especially handy in getting your dog to be still—or at least still enough—to snap a few photos! If your dog has mastered commands like “watch me,” or has a solid “sit” and “stay,” you can use these to have your dog strike poses you can easily capture.

Don’t stress if your dog doesn’t “paws” for photos exactly as you imagined! It’s more important that you’re having a fun fall time together than getting the perfect pose. Try capturing your furry friend behaving naturally and being themselves, even if that means being a total goofball.

Other ways to get your dog’s attention for a quick snap of them looking at you are with some yummy treats or fun toys. They won’t be able to keep their eyes off you holding their favorite plaything (besides you, of course), and most dogs are pretty willing to focus when it comes to snacks.

Recruit a Friend to Help

Trying to encourage your dog to pose or perform while you’re behind the lens can be a challenge. Having a friend can be helpful for whatever type of pictures you’re aiming to get! Keep your dog’s personality in mind with this tip, as some dogs may have a hard time with the task at hand if they become over-excited about socializing.

Set up the shot for some great action photos while your friend tosses a favorite toy. Use the allure of a tasty snack to have your dog focus and sit for a head-on pose. If you want some shots of your dog looking directly at you, ask your friend to stand behind or beside you with a treat. Don’t forget a few ear scratches between takes for your picturesque pup!

Use Sport Mode or Fast Shutter Speeds

a little boy takes a picture of his dog

If and when your dog does hold still, it likely won’t be for long! You’ll definitely want to be able to capture them in motion and get more than just a furry blur in the picture.

Modern smartphones have great autofocus and can usually take rapid-fire photos as fast as your fingers can tap, but if you’re using a slightly more advanced camera like a point-and-shoot or DSLR, adjusting a few settings can go a long way in making your photos really phenomenal! 

Sport mode on most cameras typically increases the shutter speed automatically to get great action shots. If you’re adjusting the shutter speed manually, you’ll want to use a speed of 1/125 or faster to get clear shots of a dog on the go.

Don’t Stop at Just One!

We mentioned rapid-fire, right? This is often the key to any great set of photos! Your dog is probably turning on the cuteness almost constantly anyway, so every snap is a chance to capture that exact moment. Sport mode and increased shutter speed will help you here.

You’ll have tons of photos to choose from later, with plenty of options in case you miss an action shot or a few pictures turn out blurry! 

Remember to Be Patient and Reward Your Pup

dog with sweet potato treats

As much as your pooch wants to please you, picture-perfect photos are probably not their first priority. They might become extra excited with all that attention and your photoshoot may not go exactly as you imagined, but that’s ok! 

Rest assured they are probably doing their best. Dogs pick up on things like tone and pitch in your voice, so don’t let yourself get frustrated with them. Remember you’re here to have fun with your canine companion. Getting great pictures is a bonus to the adventure! 

Dogs are undoubtedly part of the family, and families should be able to have great photos of every member! Though some may be a bit more of a challenge to catch on camera, as the seasons change you’ll be happy to have some top-notch fall photos of your dog as precious autumn keepsakes.