Your photos and bios will help determine whether they find a family of their own. Let's do our best for them. ♥
Tips for Photographing Your Foster Dog
The first time a potential forever parent sees your foster dog might very well be through your photo on this site. You have only a VERY brief moment to get their attention. It’s up to you to help your fabulous foster pet make a great first impression! By following this advice on taking great photos you’ll help your furry pal to put their best paw forward.
- Don’t use a flash. When photographing pets, the flash on your camera is what’s causing your dogs’ eyes to glow blue or white. The best locations offer bright, natural light with lots of open shade. Photograph your dog outside or in a room with a large window and lots of natural light. Make sure the source of the light (the sun or a window) is behind you and is shining on your subject.
- Be aware of the background. You want the viewer to focus on the dog, so before you photograph him, look around. Is the background full of clutter (chairs, desks, boxes, or a busy fabric print)? If it is, move your dog to a location where the background is less busy, such as in the grass in front of green bushes, or in front of a solid-colored wall. Pay attention to color, too: don’t shoot a black dog in front of a black background, or a brown dog in front of a brown background, and so on. Brightly colored doors or walls make nice backdrops since they can add great color to your image.
- Keep your canine calm! Avoid distractions such as people or other dogs. Let him sniff the camera and get comfortable with you pointing at him. The idea is to keep things natural and relaxed.
- Focus on the eyes. The dog’s eyes should ALWAYS be your focal point, and the eyes should always be sharp.
- Get the dog to look at the camera. A dog’s eyes are what tug at the potential adopter’s heartstrings! Call the dog’s name, have someone standing behind you squeak a toy, or get the dog to notice a treat in your hand, then bring the treat up to the camera before you take the picture.
- Get down to their level. If you take all of your pictures standing over your dog looking down, all your shots are going to look like everyone else’s. Getting on the floor and at the same level as your pet is a great way to capture some dramatic, yet natural shots.
- Fill the frame with the dog. Taking a photo from far away will cause the dog to get lost in the image. Instead, get in close.
- Take LOTS of pictures. This is the first rule of photography, no matter what the subject. The more you take, the better your chances of getting a few amazing shots.
- Get a range of shots, and don’t forget to show off the dog’s personality. The potential adopter is going to want to see a close-up (with the dog looking at the camera) and a full-body shot; try also to get a shot that shows off the dog’s personality. Photographing pets takes on a MUCH deeper meaning when you can capture their character in a photo. To capture a pet’s character, you can ask yourself what is unique about your pet and try to capture that uniqueness on camera. Is he athletic, a couch potato, a love bug? Try to get images that capture these qualities. Include a toy in the image or show the dog doing tricks, using agility equipment, cuddling next to people or getting a belly rub.
- Show people in some photos. People enhance images in a number of ways. They show how well the dog interacts with humans and make him seem more like a family pet, they provide scale so the viewer can gauge the size of the dog, and they help show off what the dog loves to do (cuddle, get belly rubs, go for walks, play fetch, etc.).
- Use a high shutter speed (or sports mode) to freeze action shots. Use your phone’s “Portrait” mode to blur the background when they can sit still. To prevent the dog from looking like a blur in action shots, set the camera on sports mode. This will tell the camera to use a high shutter speed and will help freeze the action. You are also going to want to have lots of light for action shots.
- Use really good treats. Some dogs will work for anything. Others need “top-quality” treats like cheese or bits of chicken. Use treats throughout the session to get the dog’s attention and to reward him for behaving during the shoot. For dogs who aren’t food-motivated, try rewarding with toys or attention.
Additional Resources for Bios and Photos
BEFORE YOU START YOUR BIO SUBMISSION...
Before you write anything, stop and remind yourself how much you want this wonderful animal to find their perfect home. Take a moment and look into their eyes. Remember all of the sweet, precious moments you’ve had with them. Put your HEART into telling people about him. Readers of the bio will feel what you feel, so help them to feel the love that this animal deserves.
PLEASE NOTE: At this time, you can not stop and save a draft of this form, so do not close this window! Give yourself plenty of time to be thorough, thoughtful, mindful, and to really put your heart into what you tell the world about this pet. You MAY upload photos and short (under 30 scond) videos to this form for us to use in the bio, so have those ready before you get started.
It is strongly suggested that you do a quick read through of the form before starting if you are not familiar with it. We are trying to avoid having to re-do bio postings multiple times because information submitted is not complete. We have one shot to get it right and really catch an adopter’s eye, folks!
If you’re ready, please submit your foster pet’s bio below!