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How to Take Dog Photography Action Shots

You can take action photos of a dog anytime she decides to play, but a more coordinated effort sets you up for success. You want to consider such factors as your dog’s natural energy and routine, the energy or busyness of the location you’re using, and the amount of light available at different times of day.

Think about what your dog is like at different times of day and what you want to capture. If you want stretching or yawning images, try photographing Kingston when he’s sleepy, maybe during the day. If you’d rather get shots of him playing fetch or running around, choose a time when he’s most energetic, perhaps right when he wakes up.

The key to getting the most genuine images is to follow your dog’s lead.

Similarly, think about your location. If the location you want to use is a public place (or even if it’s just your house, which may feel like a public place sometimes), figure out what time of day it’s least crowded and go then.

Shooting somewhere your dog can freely romp is great, but if he’s overstimulated by what’s going on around him, he probably won’t pay much attention to you or the direction in which you want him to run.

Finally, natural light constantly changes throughout the day (and seasons), so you want to know ahead of time when your location gets the best light and take your photos then, especially because action shots require as much light as possible. Remember the “never shoot at high noon” rule?

Well, with action shots, that rule of thumb gets tossed away like yesterday’s celebrity gossip (more on that later — the lighting stuff, that is; not the gossip). There’s a reason that the saying goes, “Lights, camera, action!” If you want the best shots, you have to remain flexible!

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