How to Take Photos of Dogs Playing with Toys - dummies

How to Take Photos of Dogs Playing with Toys

By Kim Rodgers, Sarah Sypniewski

When your dog’s chewing becomes more intense during a photo session, you have to switch gears from lower shutter speeds to much faster shutter speeds to capture these fun “ruff”-housing images. Here are some ideas and tips for “ruff”-housing shots:

  • Survey your surroundings and assess the lighting situation. Because these are still action shots, you need a lot of light to achieve the settings you’re after. Consider taking the play date outdoors.

  • Focus on individual moments, like the few seconds that Chelsea wildly thrashes her toy around before completely destroying it. (Because she obviously has to snap the plush toy’s neck before it can be thoroughly devoured, right?)

  • Become an active participant. Use your free hand to engage your dog. Try playing tug with her and shooting from above for an interesting angle.

  • Try not to torture him too much, but an obligatory shot of Randall guarding his bounty of toys never hurts!

  • Attempt “shooting from the hip,” which simply means positioning your camera and composing from angles that you can’t even physically see through the viewfinder from (like at your hip — get it?). You’ll be surprised by some of the cool shots you get!

When documenting your dog playing with his favorite toys, also consider capturing the in-between moments that lead up to or follow an actual toy-playing session, like him rounding up his toys before deciding which one is going to make the cut or him flipping a toy through the air to get your attention when he wants to play.


25mm, 1/250 sec., f/3.2, 125