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How to take amazing photos of your dog

Make your dog a cover dog with these simple steps

Monday, January 24th, 2022

Cover Dog is back and in full swing! Yes, your chance to let your dog shine as they grace the cover of Tucson Lifestyle Magazine has come around once again, and we know you are excited. Any chance to give your dog the spotlight they so greatly deserve right?!

There is a unique purity about dogs. They give us 100% of themselves and their love unconditionally, all the time, and that is truly the rarest magic you can find on earth. All dog parents can attest to that, and the desire to capture that rarity to keep is a goal of every dog parent. Let’s be honest, most of us take more photos of our dogs than anything else! Getting that perfect photo that shows their personality through-and-through can be a hard challenge. Well, worry not, because we are here to help! Follow these few simple tips to get professional-level photos of your dog, fit for the cover of a magazine. 

Submit your best photos and you and your dog’s story here to enter the 2022 Cover Dog Contest! Entries are $25 and that will get you 25 votes -- each additional vote is only $1, and every dollar supports HSSA, so encourage people to vote often.


Step 1: Grab their favorite treats and toys for motivation

By having your dog’s favorite toys and treats, you are able to use them as a focusing point for your dog to keep their attention on you and your camera. This gives you the best chance at snapping a photo with their direct gaze. 

Step 2: Head to the Outdoor

Taking your mini photoshoot outside gives you the best lighting for the most incredible photos. Natural light is always the best in capturing your dog’s natural features and highlighting them. 

Step 3: Incorporate a little play time

Starting your photo session with a little fetch or tug-of-war will get your dog’s energy up, and get them panting a little bit, which will bring out their natural smile when it comes to taking the photo. 

Step 4: Bribe, bribe, bribe!

Don’t be afraid to use a little bribery to get that perfect shot! Hold your dog’s favorite treat just above the top of your camera. They will lock their eyes on that delicious morsel, unknowingly looking directly at the camera, and give you the perfect shot. Squeaky toys also help attract your dog’s glaze and can even get you the coveted head tilt shot!

Step 5: Get down on their level

Changing the angle of your photos from looking down on your dog versus at their level, allows you to change the perspective of the shot from a human one to a dog one - sharing the world from their angle. 

Step 6: Photograph them where they are most comfortable

Know where your pet’s favorite places are and catch them in their natural element. You'll capture better emotion and fill your photo with a sense of relatability. 

Step 7: Take photos in a vertical format

The best way to capture your dog is taking photos in a portrait format. This means holding your camera in a way that when the photo is taken it’s vertical instead of landscape.