Your dog is a part of the family and you want to have quality photos of them just like any other family member. If you have a young puppy or just want to have some good shots of an aging best friend, learning a few pointers will help turn your so-so photos into really great memories.

Have a nice setting
Most of the time you spend with your Sheltie is probably spent indoors. Sadly, indoor photos are rarely the best. When inside, where does your Sheltie spend most of their time? Typically, they are down on the floor or near the legs of furniture. These aren’t the most scenic things to see in the background of a photo.

If you want great photos of your Sheltie, take her outside and let her run around in a natural setting. The light is better and the scenery is better. Your Sheltie will be happier from her recent exercise and have that at-peace doggie smile. Choose an overcast day for the best shots to avoid harsh shadows.

Groom Your Sheltie
It is important to groom your Sheltie so that they will look their best for your pictures. It is recommended that you should be grooming your Sheltie once a week, and you want to make sure you don’t miss before pictures.

Get down at eye level
If you stand and take photos of your Sheltie, you’re going to get a lot of pictures of her back and the top of her head. By standing, you’re missing the most interesting parts of her. Get down on the ground so you can capture her furry face.

Use a fast shutter speed

Shelties, especially young Shelties, are motion machines. They only hold still when they are asleep, which can make it difficult to capture a crisp photo of them. You don’t want to have a motion blur in your photos. To avoid a blur, make sure you’re in a well-lit place and set your camera to use a quick shutter speed. If you’re using a point-and-shoot camera, some of them have a pet mode that’s made for wiggly pets.

Shelties are great subjects because they are usually a lighter color, which reflects light well compared to darker-colored dogs.

Fill the frame
This is a good rule for any type of photography. Fill the frame with your subject. This means getting close. Don’t waste space in your frame with a predictable background. Fill the photo with the most interesting parts of your subject, which is usually your pet’s face.

Let personality show through
A good pet photo will show your pet’s personality. This means capturing your pet when they are happy, which is usually after they’ve been playing. Don’t try to stage the shot too much, your pet doesn’t understand when you pose them and you’ll end up with a mediocre shot at best.

Get them to look at you
You know how it goes, you’re waiting for that perfect shot, you get in position, and your Sheltie decides to look away. How many pictures of the side of their face do you have? Use treats to focus your Sheltie’s gaze. You can have them look at you or you can have them look out of frame, but the intense focus they get while looking at a treat makes for a great shot.

Experiment
Improving your photography skills means experimenting. You will have a lot of failures, but you’ll learn what works for you and what looks good in pictures. A big part of making good pictures is understanding what’s interesting to see in a photograph.

One of the fastest ways to improve your photography is to look at good photography. Notice what you like about these photos and try to replicate those features in your own photography.

Play with camera perspective. Try tilting your camera sideways or taking the shot upside down. A simple change in perspective can make a picture much more interesting.

Clean up your photos
A couple of minutes with your photo-editing application can make a big difference in an average shot. You can adjust the exposure. A well-lit photo is much better than one that’s too dark or overexposed.

If you’re the proud best friend of a Sheltie dog, you want to have photos documenting their lives just like you would your own children. Make sure those photos are good quality photos that you want to look back at or even pop into a picture frame. Use these tips to produce quality shots that you’ll love for years to come.

Abby Drexler is a contributing writer and media specialist for Pop Your Pup. She regularly produces content for pet blogs dealing with how to care for and love your pet.

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