Take the Photo of Humans and Dogs, Paw in Hand - dummies

Take the Photo of Humans and Dogs, Paw in Hand

By Kim Rodgers, Sarah Sypniewski

There’s something so soft and gentle about a person holding her dog’s paw in her hand. It’s a favorite photo to get and one of those instances where you can feel the love without having to see much more than a paw and a hand in the frame.

But you can also try different setups, like these:

  • For the most relaxed shot, have the human lie down with little Jill and gently hold her paw. Zoom in tight and fill the whole frame with just the paw and the hand. Capture the little details, like a wedding band on the human’s hand or the little tufts of fur poking out between Jill’s pads.


    70mm, 1/125 sec., f/3.2, 160

  • You can have the dog sit and “shake.” Get a shot from the side so you can see how the dog and human connect with each other. You can also try photographing from over the human’s shoulder (or at shoulder level) so the dog’s paw is blurred in the foreground and his face is in focus farther from the camera.

  • If the dog’s paw has something quirky about it (funny-colored nails, “socks” on his feet, webbed toes, and so on), be sure to capture that. Quirks and contrasts make for great photos. For example, if the human is a big, burly, tough guy and the dog is a tiny Chihuahua, set up a shot where the dog has his paw on top of the human’s hand so you can see the size difference.