Embellish the Story with Pooch Paraphernalia in Dog Photography - dummies

Embellish the Story with Pooch Paraphernalia in Dog Photography

By Kim Rodgers, Sarah Sypniewski

Your dog’s world is full of dog things that help keep him healthy, safe, and happy, so why not turn those inanimate objects into elements in the story of his life? The objects may not seem like very dynamic subjects at first, but you can do a lot to create interesting images of them, and — bonus — they’ll stay where you put them.

ID tag and collar in dog photography

A photo of your dog’s ID tag and collar is a must-have. It’s a great establishing shot that makes the perfect addition to a collection of several photos. You can try to snap some shots of the tag and collar while your pooch is wearing them, or you can take his collar off and get a shot of just that.

You especially want to spend some time getting a nice photo if the tag or collar is particularly unique or special. In this image, the tag itself is quite lovely, and it also looks nice against the dog’s white-and-black Dalmatian markings. It makes for a beautiful image, one that even those who don’t know Clover can appreciate.


70mm, 1/200 sec., f/9.0, 100

Other ideas for photographing your dog’s ID tag and collar:

  • If he likes the water, get a photo of him right out of the lake or pool so you can capture the water droplets on the tag/collar.

  • Make sure to take a photo of the side engraved with his name.

  • Take the collar off of him and group it with some of his other belongings, like his bowls and leash.

  • Let him chew on the tag and get a shot of it hanging out of his mouth

Bowls in dog photography

If your pooch dines out of bowls that are all her own, snap a photo of them. You can leave them where they are if you have a decent background and lighting, or you can stage them in the grass. You definitely want a few shots of the bowls if they’re personalized in some way.


59mm, 1/800 sec., f/4.0, 100

A photo like this says everything you need to know about the relationship between Jill and her human. Again, get creative. You can

  • Shoot with or without food and water in the bowls

  • Stack the bowls

  • Lean the bowls against a wall

  • Let her face disappear into one of the bowls

Beds in dog photography

Because dogs spend the majority of their lives slumbering away, you may want to get a few snaps of Tonka’s bed. That is, assuming he has his own.


24mm, 1/10 sec, f/4.0, 250

Get even closer than this to get a shot of your dog’s face pressed right down into her comfy bed. Or, if you have a little dog who likes to burrow, make sure to get a shot of her poking her little head out of her nest of blankets that she so furiously arranged.

Special toys in dog photography

If your canine companion has companions of his own that aren’t you, take the time to photograph them as well. If your pal really loves his rubber squeaky newspaper, maybe you should sneak a quick shot. Or if he has a habit of hoarding all his toys into one corner, that would make a great photo.


50mm, 1/800 sec., f/4.5, 250

So the bottom line is this: Never take yourself too seriously. Make sure you’re having loads of fun at any given time throughout your dog photography journey.