I don't know about you... but this is a very hard task for me!
You'd think with my blog that I'd be a master at taking photos of dogs! The issue is my boys hate having a camera pointed at them, they always look away so they're absolutely no help. I've learned that they aren't naturals in front of the camera, and because of this I've had to figure out how to get them to look at me and hold a pose!
While I'm still learning all the time, I have a few tips and tricks I've picked up along the way!
1. Bring a special treat
Always bring a very fragrant food that they rarely get to have. A great example is bacon or anything made with fish. Hold the treat to their nose so they can smell it and then pull it up to your face or above your head. You will be able to capture their full attention and you will be able to see the focus and excitement in their expressions.
2. Get their attention with noise
If your dog is toy motivated and can't resist the sound of a squeaker, use the noise to quickly get them to turn their head towards you. This will get great photos with their ears perked and eyes alert. If you don't have a squeaky toy, make some crazy noises! I've had people walking by turn their heads and laugh because of the noises I was making trying to get my dogs' attention! Do what you gotta do for a good photo!
3. Bring another human
An extra set of hands is so helpful! It's difficult to juggle a handful of leashes, treats, and a nice camera... especially while trying to get animals who don't speak your language to pose! Have that person hold a toy or treat directly behind you to get the dogs to look in your direction.
4. USE a trick to make them stand still
A great one to teach is "watch" so they can make eye contact, or at least look in your general direction on cue. This is taught by holding a treat to your nose while using the command "watch" or whatever else you'd like. You can also use your pet's name so that they learn to look directly at you when you call them. And of course, every dog should know come and stay - especially if you're taking photos out in public!