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5 tips for taking epic adventure photos of your dog

Do you and your furry friend go on hikes to epic locations together? Do you find the photos you take on those hikes aren't living up to the memory in your head? I've been there, and I know how frustrating it can be. But luckily there are a few easy steps you can take to turn those mediocre photos into epic shots! Below are 5 easy tips to take your dog's hiking photos to the next level.

1. Start early in the morning for less crowds and good lighting

Getting an early start on the trails is hard - which is why most people just won't do it. If you can force yourself to get out on the trails early, you'll be more likely to experience less crowds, which means less distractions for your dog during photo time!

Early morning also provides ideal lighting for photography. "Golden Hour", which is the hour just after sunrise, provides the perfect lighting for photography because it is soft, warm, and low angle. Use a golden hour app to find out exactly when golden hour will be at your hiking location so you can plan ahead.

2. Get down to eye level with your dog

Dogs are smaller than we humans are. So, if you just hold your camera at your normal eye level and tilt downward to photograph your short little companion, you're going to end up with a photo that has a lot of the ground in it. Boring!

Now try crouching low and holding the camera at eye-level with your dog. This view gives much more context to the location that you're in. Eye-level photographs can also make the viewer feel more connected to the subject in the photo - which is great if you're trying to turn your pooch into an Instagram star!

3. Use a wide aperture

If you have a DSLR or mirrorless camera, or even a phone camera with a variable aperture (f-stop), this tip is for you. Setting your camera to a wide aperture setting will create a more shallow depth of field. This means when your subject is in focus, the background will be creamy and blurry, and the result will look super professional.

A wide aperture means the f-stop number is low. I like to use f/2.8 or lower depending on the lens I'm using. Try setting your f-stop to the lowest possible number, make sure your dog is in focus, and snap away.

4. Stand far away and use a long focal length

Have you ever posed your dog in front of a massive mountain range or waterfall in absolute awe of the size, but then in photos the background looks small and unremarkable? Keep this tip in mind next time you want to make something in the background of your photo look bigger.

Get your dog in position, and make sure he/she is ready to stay in place. Back away from your dog and zoom in to get the composition that you want. The further away you get from your dog, the larger the background will look in comparison. This is lens compression at work!

5. Use a fast shutter speed and get your dog to run toward you

Nothing says "adventure dog" like an epic action shot of your dog running toward the camera. I use this trick a lot when I'm feeling uninspired about a location, or if my dog won't stay still for more "posed" shots. I never regret taking these types of photos, and you can catch some really cute facial expressions as they run toward you!

Make sure your camera is set to a fast shutter speed to freeze the action. As a rule of thumb, I like to use 1/1000 or faster. Keep in mind shutter speed is measured in fractions of a second, so 1/500 is a slower shutter speed than 1/1000. Get your shutter speed set up, stand back, call your dog, and snap away!

Which of these photo tips are you going to try during your next hike? Leave a comment and let me know!

We share more hiking, photography, and pet-parent tips on our blog at And make sure to follow us on Instagram @justbeingfarley for your daily dose of cuteness and adventure dog inspiration!

Victoria & Farley


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