Dog Looks into Camera, very cute
Noises are a great way to get your dog looking at the camera.
Whippet Looking At Camera
The key is to figure out which noises work best for YOUR dog, as each dog is different. Practice noises at home and see what your dog responds to.
There are basically two types of noise. Noise that your pup is familiar with, and noise that is completely new and unfamiliar. For example, every dog is familiar with the sound of a doorbell. For some pups the noise of a doorbell will make him look up, whilst for other dogs it will send them into a barking frenzy. I would suggest that you’re careful using familiar noise if your dog’s reaction is to bark.
As my hands are busy taking the photo, I always try and find noises that I can make with my mouth. Experiment with high pitched, low pitched noises and different volumes. You could try popping noises, rolling “R” sounds, clicking your tongue, whistles, harmonica, bird chirping, dog barking. Have fun with them, and figure out what gets the best response.
Squeakers are also a great option, but if your dog is obsessed and uncontrollable when he hears them, they are probably best avoided.
A secret insider tip – there are several free apps for your phone that have different noises you can use. I personally like the “Squeaky Toy” app, but there are several others that you could also try.
So now you have found some great noises, the big question I hear you ask is:
“When is the best time to make the noise?”
When you have your shot composed and you are ready to take the photo, make the noise. ONCE! If you get the expression you’re looking for, take the photo. If not, get ready and make the noise again. ONCE! If that doesn’t work, move onto another noise.
My dogs are very food motivated and so treats are a very popular incentive in my house.
Dog Treats on Table
Let your pup sniff the treat in your hand, and then bring your hand up above the camera lens. You will find that they follow the delicious scent, and end up looking at the camera.
Although treats work incredibly well at the right time, I’ve found that giving my dogs a treat too early can result in an obsessed pup that is not interested in doing anything else but track down those delicious treats. I try to start by using noises and toys to get my dog looking at the camera, and then use treats later in the shoot when I’ve already got a few photos in the bag.
What’s your dog’s favorite toy? Toys can work really well to get your dog looking at the camera.
Dog Toys In Basket
Whippet Looking at Toy
Often you can get your dog looking at the camera simply by holding your pup’s favorite toy above the camera lens. If the toy has a squeaker…even better!
However, if your dog is obsessed with a particular toy, be selective about how and when you use it, and just like with treats, don’t introduce it too early. You don’t want your dog to be so focused on the toy that they won’t do anything else.
Just with noises, have fun experimenting with toys to see which one gets the best reaction.
4. Ensure Your Dog Is Comfortable With The Camera Lens
Does your dog look away when you point the camera in their direction? Sometimes when dogs have a camera lens, (that looks like a big eye) pointed at them, they will often avert their gaze.
It’s worth the effort of getting your dog accustomed to, and comfortable with, your camera lens.
Holding camera, camera lens
If you’re using a phone camera, the lens is very small, and your pup is probably very used to seeing you take photos every day. If you’re using a digital camera, it may take a little longer to get them comfortable.
Teach your dog a command that gets him to look at the camera. You could use the words “Pay Attention” which basically means “look at the camera”.
Start slowly and each time you say “Pay Attention” and he moves his head in your direction, give him a treat. At the beginning it may only be a really small head turn in your direction, but it’s a start and something you can build on. Practice each time you use your camera, and gradually you will get your dog looking at the camera.
Patience is an essential part of taking photos of your dog.
Some days you will find that you can’t get the shot you want, and your pup won’t look at the camera despite all your efforts. It may be that your pup is having an off day, or there are too many distractions.
Remember, taking photos of your pup is supposed to be fun! If you get irritated and frustrated, your dog will pick up on that and become more anxious.
Know when to try another day. Put down your camera and enjoy playing with your pup. Spend quality time with your furry best friend and know that your patience will be worth it in the end.
So my fellow dog lover, enjoy experimenting with your pup to find out which of the 5 tips work best. It may not happen overnight, but it will be worth the time you spend working with your pup to get them relaxed and comfortable with your camera.
What tricks do you use to get your dog looking at the camera? Share them below, we love to hear your ideas and thoughts.